Holger Falk is one of the most intellectually and vocally flexible singers on German stages, wrote the magazine Opernwelt. The colourfulness, flexibility and authenticity in his expression are the artistic foundation of his international career as an opera singer as well as an interpreter of art song.
Along with his repertoire of early and classical music, Holger Falk has a great passion for works from contemporary musical theatre. Over the last few years, he performed Wolfgang Rihm’s major roles to great acclaim: Jakob Lenz at the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera Warsaw and Dionysos at the Heidelberg Theatre as well as the role of Cortez in Die Eroberung von Mexico at the Teatro Real Madrid at the invitation of Gérard Mortier (stage direction: Pierre Audi).
Furthermore, he has sung in many new roles that have been written specially for him. Due to his close connection to the composer Peter Eötvös, Holger Falk premiered his opera The Golden Dragon at the Frankfurt Opera and later-on at the Bregenz Festival as well as Paradise Reloaded at the Palace of Arts – Müpa Budapest. He sang the world premieres of Miroslav Srnka’s Make No Noise at the Bavarian State Opera Munich, Benoit Mernier’s Frühlings Erwachen at La Monnaie Brussels, Michael Wertmüller’s Weine nicht, singe! at the Hamburg State Opera as well as of works by Steffen Schleiermacher (Kokain), Jan Müller-Wieland (Die Irre), Hans Gefors (Schattenspiele), Vladimir Tarnopolski (Jenseits der Schatten), Beat Furrer (La biancha notte), Fabián Panisello (L ́officina della resurrezione) and Georges Aperghis (Le Soldat inconnu). In 2017, he has been nominated as singer of the year by Opernwelt magazine for the interpretation of Kassandra in Xenaki’s Oresteia at the Theater Basel (stage direction: Calixto Bieito).
Holger Falk was honoured with the renown German Record Critics’ Award 2017 for his recording of Hanns Eisler Lieder Vol. 1, the first part of a 4-CD collection of songs by Eisler, as well as with the ECHO Klassik Award 2016 for his recording of Erik Satie: Intégrale des Mélodies et Chansons. As a specialist in Francis Poulenc’s Mélodies, he released three CDs of his complete oeuvre of all 115 Mélodies for male voice (MDG). His wide discography also includes Wolfgang Rihm’s Lieder (MDG), Schubert’s Schwanengesang, J. M. Hauer’s Lieder nach Hölderlin (MDG) and Peter Eötvös’ Paradise reloaded. In 2017/18, his latest recordings of Hanns Eisler Lieder Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 have been released to great acclaim.
The 2018/19 season will see Holger Falk‘s debut at the RuhrTriennale in the role of Jean-Charles in Hans Werner Henze’s Das Floß der Medusa at the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum. Lied recitals will take him to the USA to the Frick Collection NYC, Phillips Collection Washington and to Cleveland as well as to Europe to the Heidelberger Frühling, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Rathauskonzerte Regensburg and to the Megaron Athen. He will sing further concerts at the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ Amsterdam and at the Kölner Philharmonie. On the opera stage, he will perform the world premiere of Michael Wertmüller‘s DIODATI. UNENDLICH (staging: Lydia Steier, conductor: Titus Engel) at the Theater Basel. In spring 2019, Holger Falk will also take over the professorship of Lied interpretation and performances practice for contemporary music at the renowned Kunstuniversität Graz.
Opera / Music theatre:
Alban Berg Wozzeck (Wozzeck)
Benjamin Britten Billy Budd (Billy Budd)
Peter Maxwell Davies Eight songs for a mad king (King Georg)
Claude Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande (Pelléas)
Gaetano Donizetti Il campanello di notte (Enrico)
Peter Eötvös Der Goldene Drache (Man, Asian), Paradise Reloaded – Lillith (Lucifer)
Hans Gefors Skuggspel (scholar)
Detlev Glanert The Three Riddles (King Zephalus, fly)
Heiner Goebbels Landscape with distant relatives (baritone)
Christoph Graupner Dido (Juba)
Georg Friedrich Haas Morgen und Abend (Johannes)
Johann Adolf Hasse Leucippo (Nunte)
Hans Werner Henze Boulevard Solitude (Lescaut), El Cimarrón (Cimarrón), Der Prinz von Homburg (Prince)
Emmerich Kálmán Die Csárdásfürstin (Edwin)
Franz Lehár Die Lustige Witwe (Danilo)
Benoît Mernier Frühlings Erwachen (Moritz Stiefel)
Claudio Monteverdi Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (Testo), L’Orfeo (Orfeo), L’incoronazione di Poppea (Ottone), Il Ritorno d´Ulisse in patria (Ulisse)
W. A. Mozart The Magic Flute (Papageno)
Jan Müller-Wieland Die Irre oder nächtlicher Fischfang (Der Mann)
Fabián Panisello L’officina della resurrezione (baritone)
Giacomo Puccini Madama Butterfly (Sharpless)
Francis Poulenc Les mamelles de Tirésias (Le Mari)
Wolfgang Rihm Die Eroberung von Mexico (Cortéz), Dionysos (N./Nietzsche/Dionysos), Jakob Lenz (Jakob Lenz)
Gioacchino Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
Steffen Schleiermacher Kokain (Tobias 2)
Miroslav Srnka Make no Noise (Joseph)
Johann Strauß Die Fledermaus (Gabriel von Eisenstein)
Vladimir Tarnopolski Beyond the Shadow (prisoner)
Manfred Trojahn Enrico (Enrico)
Viktor Ullmann The Emperor of Atlantis (Emperor)
Michael Wertmüller Weine nicht, singe! (Aki)
Iannis Xenakis Oresteia (Kassandra, Athena)
Bernd Alois Zimmermann Die Soldaten (Stolzius)
15 June 2019, 20:30, Wiener Konzerthaus, Mozart-Saal, Nouvelles Aventures
Programme: Sofia Gubaidulina Perception (1981-1986)
Cast: Minguet Quartett, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Christian Eggen (conductor), Holger Falk (baritone), Yeree Suh (soprano)
10 July 2019, 20:00, Musikhalle Ludwigsburg, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele
Programme: Ein deutsches Leben in Liedern – Recital presenting works by Hanns Eisler
Cast: Holger Falk (baritone), Steffen Schleiermacher (piano)
Lieder by Hanns Eisler
In a four-part CD edition, Holger Falk and Steffen Schleiermacher present the lied œuvre by Hanns Eisler. The CD Hanns Eisler Lieder Vol. 1 already received the German Record Critics’ Award 2017 and has been nominated for the Editor’s Choice Award of the Gramophone Magazine. The second CD of the series has been released in autumn 2017 to great acclaim. The repertoire can also be experienced on stage at a lieder recital.
The duo, which has been honoured with the ECHO-Klassik 2016 for its Erik Satie recording, shows a new perspective on Schoenberg’s pupil, who had long been reduced on his communistic work and pushed in a far left corner.
Both artists are convincing in their great diversity of expression, Falk’s precise understanding of lyric, and an impressive interpretation of the extremely versatile lieder by Eisler. The first CD presents lieder from a period between 1929 and 1937, which lyrics were mainly written by Bertolt Brecht and are first and foremost workers’ and battle songs. The following three recordings dedicate themselves to a particular period of time in Hanns Eisler’s creative work progress and range from workers and battle songs, chansons and art songs to 12-tone children’s songs.
Holger Falk (baritone)
Steffen Schleiermacher (piano)
Falk displayed a masterful ability to create a distinct mood, atmosphere, and personality for each, whether dreamy and awe-filled in “Der Wanderer an den Mond,” or youthful and effusive in “Bei dir allein”.
Opera News, Steven Jude Tietjen, January 2019
Baritone Holger Falk makes outstanding Washington debut
Those fortunate enough to have been at the Phillips Collection Sunday afternoon heard what I suspect may be the outstanding song recital of the season. Their artfully conceived German and French program, Schubert and Hanns Eisler on the first half, Francis Poulenc and Erik Satie on the second, combined subtlety and power in a breathtaking display of ensemble virtuosity in captivating music. Falk has an extraordinarily flexible baritone, with a warm, confiding lower and midrange that, when called for, can go full throttle in a nanosecond. (…) But more important than his beautiful voice and perfect diction, Falk is able to characterize every word so vividly that, if he were singing in Vedic Sanskrit, you’d get the message. (…) Falk brings a light touch to Schubert, so that when things grow serious, the impact grips the heart. (…) afternoon of unforgettable music making. To read on
Washington Post, Patrick Rucker, 29 October 2018
The baritone’s voice is light in colour with an inherently gentle quality to it, but capable of impressive intensity in the upper range.
Gramophone, Hugo Shirley, September 2018
The testing title role was performed by that protean contemporary music specialist, Holger Falk (…), an inventive, responsive and compelling actor, he gave a remarkable demonstration of technique and musicality, with much lovely soft singing along the way.
Opera Magazine, May 2018
In bulk, Eisler’s messages can sound like hectoring. Fortunately, the refined German baritone Holger Falk, (…) maintains musical virtues here. A diverely talented singer whose repertory ranges from Lehár’s The Marry Widow to Peter Maxwell Davies’ monodrama Eight Songs for a Mad King and Yannis Xenakis’ Oresteia, Falk expresses direct emotion in his singing. He is also a rare German able to manage musically and linguistically the melodies of Francis Poulenc.
Opera Now, Dezember 2017
Holger Falk has a clear, cleanly focused baritone that can run the gamut from a honeyed piano to something more like an impassioned shout (…). There’s also an ideal balance between sophistication and rawness, a certain neutrality of interpretation that will bear repeated listening but doesn’t betray the gritty roots of the music.
Gramophone, Hugo Shirley, August 2017
Eisler’s sardonic and often touching 1930s songs and cabaret-inspired ballads, with texts mostly by Brecht are characterfully performed by Falk, a dramatic master.
BBC Music Magazine, August 2017
Athena was embodied by the astonishing baritone Holger Falk, who also gave a tour de force of a performance as Kassandra, negotiating with ease the falsetto writing of Xenakis in a spectacular fragment with percussion accompaniment.
Opera Magazine, July, 2017
During the second scene of Oresteia, baritone Holger Falk vacillated wildly between his deep, low range and a higher falsetto, flinging his voice to the edges of human possibility in his portrayal of Kassandra who, in spurning the Greek god Apollo, has acquired the gift of fortune-telling simultaneous with the curse of never being believed. […] Despite the fact that few (if any) of the audience could understand the sung ancient Greek, the emotions of the characters, and particularly the desperation of Mr Falk’s Kassandra, came through with astonishing intensity. […] it was the soloists, Mr Falk and Tamás Schlanger, who stood out. After the opening scene Mr Falk stupefied us with his seismographic serenade; […] Mr Falk was communicating, the contortions of his voice and facial expressions spoke for themselves.
Bachtrack.com, 2 July 2016
Lied von der belebenden Wirkung (Hanns Eisler/Bertolt Brecht):
Hier (Erik Satie):
Wenn die Igel in der Abendstunde (Hanns Eisler/Kurt Tucholsky):
Je te veux (Erik Satie):
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