Baritone Dietrich Henschel is a towering figure, physically, intellectually, musically and theatrically. His prowess as an interpreter, by which I mean precisely his ability to get below the surface of a song and right into its soul, is extraordinary.
Henschel capitalized on his charismatic stage presence and his effortless technique enabled him to fully exploit the playful nature of the music, which the audience ate up.
At the peak of his career, this vastly experienced (in both opera and Lieder) German baritone encompasses the reflective songs with as much aplomb as he brings to the dramatic pieces and his ever-inquiring partner provides revelatory perceptions at the piano.
quite simply, the world's greatest living lieder singer... One of the greatest things I've ever heard in my life.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 15 August 2003 (on Dietrich Henschelʼs performance with Irwin Gage of Schubertʼs Schwanengesang and other lieder, Edinburgh Festival)
The baritone Dietrich Henschel is known as a regular guest at major opera houses, as a valued interpreter of song and oratorio, as the inventor and protagonist of a wide range of multimedia projects. His repertoire ranges from Monteverdi to the avant-garde.
Henschel began his international career with a co-production between Opéra de Lyon and Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris in the title role of Busoni's opera Doktor Faust, for which he won a Grammy Award.
The singer's leading roles include Rossini's Figaro, Wolfram in Wagner's Tannhäuser, Monteverdi's Ulisse and Orfeo, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Alban Berg's Wozzeck and Dr. Schön in Lulu, Golaud in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande and Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. Contemporary opera also has an important part in Henschel's repertoire; many great composers such as Pèter Éötvös, Detlev Glanert, Manfred Trojahn, Peter Ruzicka or Chaja Czernowin entrusted him with important roles in the premieres of their works.
In orchestral concerts, Henschel regularly works with conductors such as Sylvain Cambreling, Kent Nagano, Riccardo Chailly and Vladimir Jurowski. Recordings with John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Sir Colin Davis document his oratorio work. He has performed scenic versions of Schubert song cycles in La Monnaie, Theater an der Wien, Norske Opera Oslo and the Komische Oper Berlin, among others. In the project IRRSAL – triptych of forbidden love, conceived together with the director Clara Pons, orchestral songs by Hugo Wolf were combined with a feature film shot especially for their live performance; the great success of this project led to the follow-up project Wunderhorn, an international co-production involving 8 partner institutions, including La Monnaie, Bruxelles, BBC Symphony Orchestra London and De Doelen, Rotterdam.
The 2021/22 season includes the world premiere of Francesco Filidei’s The Red Death at the 100th anniversary of the Donaueschinger Musiktage, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Britten’s War Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. At the festival in Montepulciano, Henschel will perform Gaetano Donizetti's opera Rita alongside the acclaimed soprano Patrizia Ciofi. In autumn 2022 he will make his role debut as Faninal in a production of Der Rosenkavalier at the Théâtre La Monnaie.
concerts, recitals, performances
Bach/St John Passion
De Doelen, Rotterdam
Bach/St Matthew Passion
Bach/St John Passion
London/Royal Albert Hall
Utrecht/Festival Oude Musik
Spirits of Sanssouci
The Queer Passion
Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival
Forum Lockenhaus Ensemble