Photo: Barbara Aumüller
HEDWIG FASSBENDER, Mezzosoprano
Known for her compelling stage-presence and powerful musicianship, HEDWIG FASSBENDER has established herself as an ideal interpretor of Herodias (Salome), Kostelnička in Janáček’s „Jenůfa“ as well as contemporary music during the last 15 years. She has now been turning to roles like Babuschka in Prokofiews Igrok, Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes, Mrs. Grose in Turn of the Screw, Adelaide in Arabella...
Ms. Fassbender began her vocal studies with tenor Ernst Haefliger in Munich after having already become proficient at the piano. As a lyric mezzo-soprano she was a member of the ensembles of Freiburg(82) and Basil (85). Subsequently she was invited as a guest to the stages of Vienna, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Trieste, Lyon, Paris and Genève in such varied roles as Carmen, Baba the Turk, Fricka, Mescalina, Judit, Mère Marie etc.
Her 2001 success as Isolde at the Theater Saarbrücken marked her definite approach to some roles of the dramatic soprano-repertoire.
Hedwig Fassbender is Isolde in the 2005 recording of Wagner’s TRISTAN (Leif Segerstam, Naxos) and released a CD with songs by Richard Strauss „Songs of love and death“ (accompanist: Hilko Dumno) in 2007. Both recordings were greeted with international critical acclaim.
Her interpretation of Sieglinde received a nomination for the „artist-of-the-year“-award.
She has worked with the Conductors Adam Fischer, Armin Jordan, Riccardo Chailly, Donald Runnicles, Olaf Henzold, Michail Jurowski, Kirill Petrenko,Vladimir Jurowski, Iván Fischer, Kazushi Ono, Christian Arming, Karen Kamensek, Jacques Lacombe, Jurai Valcuha, Sebastian Weigle, Asher Fish, Konstantin Trinks, Paul Daniel und Lothar Königs and Stage directors Harry Kupfer, Herbert Wernicke, Robert Carsen, Willy Decker, Pierre Strosser, Jean-Claude Berutti, Jean-Louis Grinda, Georges Lavaudant, Laurent Pelly, Nicolas Brieger, Peter Stein, Jim Lucassen, Dominique Pitoiset, Elisabeth Stöppler, Keith Warner and Richard Brunel
Recently Ms Fassbender interpreted Mrs. Grose/The Turn of the Screw in Zürich, Der Goldene Drache by Peter Eötvös in Frankfurt and at the Bregenz Festival, Mère Marie/Diaogues des Carmélites in Nantes and Angers, Kostelnička at the Staatsoper Hannover, Der Goldene Drache at the Bregenz Festival, Mrs. Grose/The turn of the Screw in Bordeaux, Babulenka/Igrok and Mrs Sedley /Peter Grimes in Frankfurt (2017), Zemlinsky Der Kreidekreis in Lyon 2018.
All roles/houses can be found here
Hedwig Fassbender has been one of the most successful singing teachers of her generation:
As Professor of voice she taught at the faculty of the Frankfurt Conservatory from 1999-2017 and was director of the voice faculty from 2001-2011, when the vocal department received the price for Excellency in innovative teaching method in a university environment from the state of Hessen. Many promising singers of the young generation have studied in her class: Björn Bürger, Jana Baumeister, Gurgen Baveyan, Nohad Becker, Esther Dierkes, Samantha Gaul, Stine Marie Fischer, Maren Favela, Sebastian Kohlhepp, Kateryna Kasper, Katharina Magiera, Ruzan Mantashyan, Sofia Pavone, Marie Seidler, Johannes Weiss....
Full list of Alumni can be found here
Miss Fassbender has been invited to share her know-how in masterclasses for the "Atelier Lyrique" at Paris Opera, International Opera Studio in Zürich (IOS), the Hannover Opera Studio, the Young Artists Program at the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow, the Opera Academy of the Polish National Opera (Teatr Wielki) and the Frankfurt Opera Studio.
Hedwig Fassbender accomplished her Certification as Systemic Coach and is now also working as Coach for Artists.
She lives in Paris and Frankfurt with her husband René Massis.