Dorothea Herbert

Soprano

"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


German soprano Dorothea Herbert's artistry has inspired international critical acclaim. The Westdeutsche Zeitung commended her for ‘a lot of passion in a voice that (…) shines very charmingly, has warmth in its mid-register but 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 Conservatoire. 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. She has taken part in masterclasses with some of the world’s leading singers, Christa Ludwig and Anna Tomowa- Sintow among them.

In recent seasons, Dorothea Herbert 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. An invitation to sing Amelia at Nationaltheater Mannheim followed. In 2017-18 season, Dorothea Herbert 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 sang Agathe in Der Freischütz at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. The 2019/20 season saw her debut as Salome at Theater Krefeld Mönchengladbach, and 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 sang Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the iconic Salzburg Easter Festival production at Semperoper Dresden under Christian Thielemann. Dorothea returned to the role of 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 outstanding reviews, prompting the Neue Ruhr Zeitung to predict that she ‘is on the brink of a really great career’ and Opernmagazin to conclude that ‘she convinced throughout the evening with a wonderfully balanced voice’.

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. In 2021 Dorothea made her Glyndebourne Festival debut in Beethoven’s Fidelio as Leonore.

Future highlights include Sieglinde in a concert performance at Staatstheater Darmstadt, the revival of her acclaimed Salome and Operettengalas at Nationaltheater Mannheim. She will return as Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer in her house debut at the State Opera in Prague in 2022.

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

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

Fidelio

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, Dorotea 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 'Abscheulichert!' yet also bringing plenty of subtlety to her vocalism."

John Allison, Opera Magazine

Fidelio

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

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