Hilke Andersen is a mezzo- soprano of remarkable versatile accomplishment, and for
this she has been nominated by the influential magazine 'Opernwelt' as 'New Generation'
singer of the year for 2003 and 2005; at the same time, with her dark timbred mezzo,
she has gained a paticularly fine reputation in the field of Oratorio.
The mezzo-soprano Hilke Andersen was born in Espoo, Finland and raised in Germany,
where she grew up bilingually and received lessons in piano and classical guitar
from an early age. After finishing school, Hilke attended classes at drama college
in Tampere, Finland after which she started her vocal studies with Mayling Konga
at the University for Music and Theatre in Hanover, where she was awarded a pass
with distinction in opera and lieder, continuing with her Konzertexamen in 2004.
After her first guest engagements at the Komische Oper Berlin and the Stadttheater
Hildesheim, Hilke became a member of the ensemble of the Staatstheater Hanover from
2002 until 2006. In Hanover she sang various mezzo and alto roles in a range of styles
varying from Maddalena in Rigoletto to Rosina in Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia,
as well as works by Cavalli through to works by Cage. In the season of 2004-05, she
appeared with great success as Bradamante and later as Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina
and in 2005-06 as Dorabella in Così fan tutte. In the same season she guested as
Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Komische Oper Berlin and appeared in the
leading alto role in the world première of the opera “WIR” at the Biennale in Munich.
In 2006-07 Hilke guested at the Staatstheater Stuttgart as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel
and as Third Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute a role which she also sang at the Komische
Oper Berlin in a production by Hans Neuenfels. 2007-08 she was engaged as Mary in
The Flying Dutchman at Staatstheater Stuttgart and as Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus
(The Bat) and Third Lady at the Komische Oper Berlin. 2008 Hilke Andersen sang Rosina
at the Festwochen Hanover-Herrenhausen and appeared as Bradamante under Andrea Marcon
at the Winteroper Potsdam, also singing in the revival of this production at the
Handel Festival of Halle in 2009. At the Schwetzinger Festspiele 2009 Hilke Andersen
guested as Onoria in Handel’s Ezio staged by Günter Krämer and conducted by Attilio
Cremonesi, and sang Fenena in Verdi’s Nabucco at the Nationale Reisopera in the Netherlands.
In 2009, Hilke made her debut as Mistress Quickly in Falstaff at the Helsinki Opera.
In 2010, she sang Erda and Schwertleite in Wagner’s Ring Cycle at Cologne Opera and
in Shanghai (the first complete Ring ever played there), and was Third Lady in Mozart’s
The Magic Flute at the Internationale Herrenchiemsee Festspiele 2010 and 2011 under
the baton of Enoch zu Guttenberg. At the Staatsoper Stuttgart she appears in Jonathan
Dove’s Pinocchio since 2010. In the 2011-12 season, she returned to Cologne Opera
as Ericlea in Monteverdi’s Ulisse and performed Annina in Der Rosenkavalier at the
Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg.
Guest engagement in 2012-13 and 2013-14 include: Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro
at Cologne Opera, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly alongside Soile Isokoski as Cio-Cio-San
in Tampere, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff at the Staatsoper Stuttgart als well as
Third Lady in the revival of the International Herrenchiemsee Festival’s Magic Flute-production
at the PrinzregentenTheater in Munich.
Hilke Andersen has worked under renowned directors such as Calixto Bieito, Brigitte
Fassbaender, Andreas Homoki, Peter Konwitschny, Günter Krämer, Uwe Eric Laufenberg,
Nigel Lowery, Hans Neuenfels, Anthony Pilavachi and Joachim Schlömer.
She has taken part as a soloist in various CD and radio recordings, for instance
with the Goettinger Symphoniker and with the NDR Philharmonic Orchestra under Eiji
Oue. She sang the alto-solo in Gustav Mahler’s 8th Symphony under Esa-Pekka Salonen
at the Helsinki Festival 2006 and in Stockholm. In 2008, she was the alto-soloist
in the first recording for CD of “Die Grossen Passionen” by C. H. Graun under Hermann
Max with the baroque orchestra 'Das kleine Konzert'. She frequently appears at the
Rheingau Musik Festival and at the International Herrenchiemsee Festspiele. In 2012,
she sang the role of Selinda in a concert performance of Vivaldi’s opera Il Farnace
at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Brahms’
Alto Rhapsody under Enoch zu Guttenberg at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall and other
venues. In 2013 she will return to the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées for Bach’s Magnificat
and Handel’s Dixit Dominus with Le Concert Spirituel under Hervé Niquet.
Hilke's wide repertoire of lieder especially includes works by Finnish composers
such as Yrjö Kilpinen, Toivo Kuula, Leevi Madetoja, Erkki Melartin and Oskar Merikanto.