Olivia Vermeulen – Mezzosoprano

Praised for the “exceptional wealth of colours” of her voice (Opernwelt) and her singing of “exquisite, inexhaustible sweetness” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Olivia Vermeulen has established herself as one of the leading vocal artists in today’s classical music world. Her opera and concert performances in a wide range of repertoire from early music to 21st century works have stunned audiences around the world.
Having celebrated her début at the Opéra National de Paris in 2019 in a Romeo Castellucci landmark production of Scarlatti’s Il primo omicidio conducted by René Jacobs, Ms. Vermeulen joined the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, also under René Jacobs, for an international tour as Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. In the same season, she returned to Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where in 2016 she had made her tumultuously celebrated début in the lead role of Turno in Steffani’s Amor Vien dal Destino under the direction of René Jacobs. 2018 saw her début with the Berliner Philharmoniker in a performance of Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor conducted by Daniel Harding. Her interpretation of the role of Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, performed on a 2018 worldwide tour with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under René Jacobs, received rave reviews.
Highlights of the current season include her début with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis under Masaaki Suzuki in Tokyo. The next stop is Moscow, where she will take the role of Sesto in a concert performance of Handel’s Giulio Cesare conducted by Christopher Moulds. In Spring, Ms. Vermeulen sings a revival of Thomas Larcher’s Das Jagdgewehr at the Nationale Opera Amsterdam. Her exciting new solo CD with Jan Philip Schulze, Dirty Minds, is due for release by Challenge Records later this season. Looking ahead to 2000/2021, a production of Idamante (Idomeneo) under Giovanni Antonini heralds her début at Zurich Opera.
Olivia Vermeulen has frequently worked with eminent conductors such as René Jacobs, Philippe Herreweghe, Pablo Heras-Casado, Daniel Harding, Marek Janowski, Michael Schønwandt, Lothar Zagrosek, Andrea Marcon, Giovanni Antonini, Iván Fischer, Markus Stenz, Frans Brüggen, Reinhard Goebel, Alessandro de Marchi, and Tomáš Netopil. She has appeared with many of the world’s most distinguished orchestras, including the Budapest Festival Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, and Camerata Salzburg, and has been invited to appear at leading festivals including the Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, Ruhrtriennale, the Festival International d’Opéra Baroque & Romantique de Beaune, Munich Opera Festival, Musikfest Berlin, Kissinger Sommer, Rheingau Music Festival, Mozartwoche Salzburg and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.
A champion of an unusually wide range of repertoire spanning five centuries, Olivia starred at the 2018 Bregenz Festival in the world premiere of Thomas Larcher’s opera Das Jagdgewehr. She has premiered songs by Wolfgang Rihm and celebrated her début at the Ruhrtriennale festival in 2017 with the world premiere of Kein Licht by Philippe Manoury. On the opera stage, she recently appeared in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, sang the title role in Händel’s Teseo in Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, and appeared as the eponymous queen in Vivaldi’s Arsilda at the Grand Theatre Luxembourg, Opéra de Lille and the Opéra Royal Versailles. Furthermore, she recently sang Fyodor in Boris Godunov in Amsterdam and Annio in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito in Moscow, as well as Cherubino in an Aix-en-Provence Festival production of Le Nozze di Figaro at the Opéra de Dijon.
A native of the Netherlands, Olivia Vermeulen studied in Detmold, Germany, and in Berlin with Julie Kaufmann, and worked in masterclasses with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Andreas Scholl, Thomas Quasthoff, and Irwin Gage. Among many other distinctions and awards, she won the Bavarian Radio International Lied Competition “La Voce” in 2008. As a widely recorded and broadcast artist, her recent recording of Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor won awards and international critical praise (Masaaki Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan, BIS Records 2016). Her latest CD release of G.F. Händel’s version of Didone abbandonata (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/SONY 2018) also received great critical acclaim worldwide.