Dorothea Herbert


"Herbert is a tremendous Leonore, warm-voiced and splendidly accurate."

Tim Ashley, The Guardian

"(...) she lends her top notes, which she delivers effortlessly, flawlessly and well focused, an enormous luminosity"

Der Neue Merker

"There is a tremendous house debut from Dorothea Herbert as Leonore, who finds her way to Florestan‘s cell disguised as a boy, and reveals herself in music of passionate intensity; she has the necessary wide range and power at the top and bottom of the register."

Nicholas Kenyon, The Telegraph

"Her Salome shines in wonderfully light registers. The devilishly demanding part never seems endangered."

Aachener Zeitung

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German soprano Dorothea Herbert’s artistry has inspired critical praise and plaudits. The Westdeutsche Zeitung commended her for owning ‘a lot of passion in a voice that … shines very charmingly, which has warmth in the middle but also glows beautifully’. A finalist in the 2014 Wagner Society Singing Competition in London and a Richard Wagner Scholar in 2016, she was one of the youngest students in Germany ever to be selected for the Young Student Programme at Munich’s Richard Strauss Conservatory. Dorothea went on to graduate from Trinity College of Music in London and completed her studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Opera Studio at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in cooperation with Welsh National Opera in Cardiff, where she was supported by the Leverhulme Foundation.

In recent seasons, she has become established on the stage of many European opera houses. Her repertoire includes roles such as Senta (Der Fliegende Holländer), Donna Anna, Salome, Rusalka, Leonore (Fidelio), Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Elsa, Rosalinde, Elisabetta (Don Carlo), Agathe, Chrysothemis and Arabella. In 2016-17, she made her debuts as Senta at the Bühnen Halle and as Amelia (Un ballo in maschera) at the Stadttheater Bremerhaven shortly after. An invitation to sing Amelia at Nationaltheater Mannheim followed. In 2017-18 season, she was second cast for the title role in Christof Loy’s new production of ‘Das Wunder der Heliane’ at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and made her successful debut as Donna Anna in the new production of Don Giovanni at the Nationaltheater Mannheim. In 2018-19, she returned to Mannheim as Donna Anna und made her debut as Agathe in 'Der Freischütz' at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. The 2019/20 season started with her debut as Salome at Theater Krefeld Mönchengladbach, the return to Karlsruhe for Freischütz’ Agathe and her debut as Gerhilde in Wagner’s Die Walküre at Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam under the baton of Marc Albrecht. In December 2019 Dorothea gave her house debut at Semperoper Dresden in Weber’s Freischütz and covered the role of Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in the iconic Salzburg Easter festival production at Semperoper Dresden under the baton of Christian Thielemann. Dorothea returned to Fidelio in January 2020 at Theater Chemnitz and in spring 2020 Dorothea gave her debut in the title role of Rusalka for which she received raving reviews, prompting the Neue Ruhr Zeitung to predict that she ‘is on the brink of a really great career’.’

2020/21 highlights included her debut at Theater an der Wien in Christof Loy’s new production of Zazà as Floriana and La Signora Dufresne and her Sieglinde debut in Wagner’s Walküre at Theater Krefeld.

Dorothea gave her Glyndebourne Festival debut in the title role of Beethoven’s Fidelio in 2021. She sang Sieglinde in a concert performance at Staatstheater Darmstadt, revived her acclaimed Salome in Krefeld and in her house debut at Tiroler Landestheater. Dorothea was also seen in Operettengalas at Nationaltheater Mannheim and sang Agathe at Staatstheater Mainz and Staatstheater Kassel. Dorothea returned to the role of Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer in her house debut at the State Opera in Prague in 2022 and gave her role debut as Elsa in Wagner's Lohengrin at Staatstheater Darmstadt.

Future highlights of the 2022/23 season include her return to State Opera Prague as Senta, a new production of Der Fliegende Holländer at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe and her return to Semperoper Dresden for Die Walküre with Christian Thielemann.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Senta / Der Fliegender Holländer

Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe 2022

"In the Baden metropolis, Dorothea Herbert is a captivating singer who oscillates between hysteria and mystical enlightenment. With a beautiful soprano voice, she masters the highly dramatic accents of her role as well as the dreamy, lyrical cantilena. Her Ballade “Johohoe“ becomes an experience."

Eckehard Uhlig, Die Deutsche Bühne

"Senta's ballad - the beautiful seed of this opera - glows with multifaceted colors of Dorothea Herbert‘s dramatic soprano."

Isabel Steppeler - Badische Neueste Nachrichten

"Dorothea Herbert masters the difficult role of Senta almost perfectly with a straight and beautiful voice."

Bernd Künzig - SWR

Elsa / Lohengrin

Staatstheater Darmstadt, 2022

"(...) as Dorothea Herbert shows in her multifaceted interpretation which brilliantly illustrates the parts' emotional richness."

Guido Holze, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"Peter Sonn (Lohengrin) and Dorothea Herbert (...) seem - on the director's prescription, of course - sterile and sleek, and are vocally brilliant."

Frankfurter Rundschau

"Dorothea Herbert enthuses as Elsa with an impressive and profound onset and strong and dramatic depth."

Axel Zibulski, Darmstädter Echo

Salome (Title)

Landestheater Innsbruck, Mar-Apr 2022

Salome was Dorothea Herbert, who created a credible and engaging character, sporting a confident and balanced voice.

Raffaello Malesci, Opera Teatro

Salome (Title)

Theater Krefeld und Mönchengladbach, April 2022

Dorothea Herbert shines as a vocally outstanding Salome. (...) As she has proven yet again in the opera's premiere at Theater Krefeld (...) she can be treated as one of the great discoveries of her Fach. Congratulations to the Opera Director Andreas Wendholz for this excellent choice. Vocally triumphant over any ever-so-small moment of doubt she masters this eminently straining role of Salome with technical and musical finesse, with vocal substance that seemingly never tires and with lively hights.

Christian Oscar Gazsi Laki, Westdeutsche Zeitung

A 16-year-old girl with an Isolde-like voice,” thus Richard Strauss' imagination of his Salome. Dorothea Herbert came surprisingly close to this idea. Although no longer a teenager, (...), she was able to credibly bring to the stage this spoiled but neglected, defiant and bored creature, who is above all lonely. Her playful eroticism was convincingly executed, as was her famous dance - with a lot of fabric and feather boas.

But above all it was this extraordinarily sensual voice, trembling with glow in every register, which seemed to know no limitation in either height or depth, and was just as thrilling in the forte as in the most delicate piano. It is admirable how Dorothea Herbert has developed vocally and as an actress since the Mönchengladbach series three years ago - an outstanding achievement.

Heide Oehmen, RP Online

Dorothea Herbert’s glorious Salome in the roaring twenties (…) She sings the part with a warm, full voice, always controlled and at the same time round and beautiful even in the high register. A glorious, radiant rendition!

Opera Nederland

Concert performance - Die Walküre / Sieglinde

Staatstheater Darmstadt, January 2022

"From the very beginning, Dorothea Herbert lets her audience feel how inadvertently connected Sieglinde feels to her twin brother in her smooth tone, with clear diction in the recitative parts and flowingly with legato in her voice in the arias."

Guido Holze, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


Glyndebourne Opera Festival

“The performances, though, carry us through. Herbert is a tremendous Leonore, warm-voiced and splendidly accurate”

Tim Ashley, The Guardian

“There is a tremendous house debut from Dorothea Herbert as Leonore, who finds her way to Florestan‘s cell disguised as a boy, and reveals herself in music of passionate intensity; she has the necessary wide range and power at the top and bottom of the register.”

Nicholas Kenyon, The Telegraph

"Glyndebourne has done well with its two leads. Dorothea Herbert is up for the challenges of Leonore, feisty whenever necessary, but with enough of a lyrical quality in the voice to take her over the hurdles of the aria."

Richard Fairman, Financial Times

"The German soprano Dorothea Herbert was an absorbing Leonore who, to Wake-Walker’s directorial credit, eschewed a diva’s spotlight and instead allowed her character to live and breathe within the ensemble."

Mark Valencia, Musical America

"Newcomer Dorothea Herbert is a find as Leonore, a lyric-dramatic soprano of radiant vocal security who delivers her dialogue with native know-how."

Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times

“No quibbles, however, about the Leonore, Dorothea Herbert, who has both precision and fervour.”

Richard Morrison, The Times

"Much of the musical performance, on the other hand, is highly impressive: there, at least, the opera’s messages of political freedom and women’s heroism come over loud and clear, whether in the committed Leonore of Dorothea Herbert, the confident Florestan of Adam Smith, Callum Thorpe’s focused Rocco, Dingle Yandell’s taut Pizarro, Jonathan Lemalu’s warm Don Fernando or the precision of Carrie Ann-Williams’ Marzelline and Gavan Ring’s Jaquino."

George Hall, The Stage

"In the pivotal role of Leonora, German dramatic soprano, Dorothea Herbert (who sang the role for the first time in Chemnitz last year) was superb. Her strong and well-controlled voice was radiant and a joy to listen to especially in the confines of Glyndebourne’s comfy auditorium boasting such excellent acoustics. In fact, Ms Herbert (surely, a Brünnhilde in waiting!) has realised a cherished ambition on her Glyndebourne début as she has yearned for years to perform here following being de-selected for the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus during her student days.

However, if she sings from the heart, she also speaks from the heart. "It’s a dream come true to sing a role that is so precious to me at Glyndebourne," she said. "I’ve wanted to sing at this wonderful place for so many years. There’s really no words for it other than to say that I’m over the moon!"

Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

"In the title role, Dorothea Herbert disclosed a shing soprano to match her compelling stage presence; she has all the amplitude required, at least in a medium sized theatre, holding the stage in 'Abscheulicher!' yet also bringing plenty of subtlety to her vocalism."

John Allison, Opera Magazine


Theater Chemnitz

"Dorothea Herbert sang the Leonore for the first time in Chemnitz. What a stroke of luck! The young soprano has a very flexible voice, which responds well in both lyrical and dramatic passages. She masters the uncomfortable tessitura confidently. In addition, she lends her top notes, which she sings effortlessly, flawlessly and well focused, an enormous luminosity! She convinces us with her intelligent and unobtrusive playing."

Der neue Merker

Die Walküre

Theater Krefeld-Mönchengladbach

“The actors are terrific: Dorothea Herbert is a Sieglinde who makes you want to kneel down. With a big, warm-tempered voice and intimate play, she eludes the demands of her husband. Lost she cares for the sword, polishes it and wraps it in cloth. [...] The glow that the strange guest elicits from her and the radiance when she discovers her lost brother in him is implemented with vocal brilliance."

Petra Diederichs, RP online

“(...) Dorothea Herbert. A Sieglinde with a lot of culture in the sound - a lot of passion in a voice that is also very charmingly flexible, has warmth in the middle but shines with beautiful charisma. The soprano (...) created lively top notes.”

Christian Oscar Gazsi Laki, WZ

"Dorothea Herbert confirms the psychological intensity of her Sieglinde entirely from the intimate atmosphere of this production with touching piani and inner radiancy."

Michael Kaminski, Theater pur

Beethoven - Symphony No. 9

Theater Krefeld Mönchengladbach

“Dorothea Herbert who […] already amazed the audience as Salome in Gladbach, outshone her colleagues with her crystal clear noble soprano voice.”

RP online


Theater Krefeld Mönchengladbach

“Save yourself the money for a Salzburg ticket. I'm pretty sure that the giant discovery Dorothea Herbert will be starring on the big stages of the world in a few years. And then it gets expensive. So, opera fans from Germany: Up, up and on to the beautiful theatre at our gorgeous Lower Rhine. It is worth the longest journey!“

Der Opernfreund

“The soloist, a heroine with a brunette bob in a silvery shimmering sequin dress, is the discovery of the evening. Herbert fires missiles with her explosive, yet supple voice, whose huge ambitus overwhelms upwards“


“For the title role, opera director Andreas Wendholz has brought Dorothea Herbert, a wonderful Strauss interpreter, into the ensemble. Her Salome shines in wonderfully light registers. The devilishly demanding part never seems endangered. On the contrary, the Munich soprano apparently increases at will the emotional power of the daughter of Herodias which drives the court society with her pubertal sensuality to lose any kind of countenance.”

Aachener Zeitung

"Dorothea Herbert in the title role is the equally pampered, emotionally neglected and disorientated teenager without restrictions. Vocally, she masters the stresses and strains of the role almost perfectly and effortlessly.”


"Dorothea Herbert convinces brilliantly in the large, demanding part of Salome: With good articulation (central to all Richard Strauss operas) and especially in high pitches overwhelming soprano Dorothea Herbert creates excitement, curiosity and fascination in the audience from the very beginning.”


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