Salome Kammer’s talent transcends musical boundaries. Her repertoire defies categorisation and is comprised of a mix of avant-garde music, virtuoso voice experiments, classical melodrama, Lieder recitals, Dada poetry and Broadway songs. Whether performing as a singing actress or as an acting singer, Kammer’s stage presence in musical cabaret and theatre roles is fascinating. Numerous contemporary music works have been dedicated to and premiered by her, both nationally and internationally. Composers such as Helmut Oehring, Wolfgang Rihm, Georges Aperghis, Bernhard Lang, Isabel Mundry, Mauricio Sotelo and Carola Bauckholt have dedicated works to her, inspired by the manifold facets of her voice and her exceptional expressiveness.
Salome Kammer studied music from 1977 to 1984, majoring in cello and studying with Maria Kliegel and Janos Starker in Essen. In 1983, she was engaged at the Heidelberg Theatre appearing in countless plays, musicals and operettas. In 1988, she moved to Munich to begin filming Die zweite Heimat with director Edgar Reitz. While working on this monumental film project she began her formal vocal training, taking lessons from teachers such as Yaron Windmüller. She has been performing as a vocal soloist in contemporary music concerts since 1990. Heimat 3, which was premiered in Venice in 2004 and broadcast throughout Europe, also allowed her to exhibit the breadth of her abilities in the role of Clarissa.
Her wide-ranging repertoire includes classics of modern music such as Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and String Quartet No. 2, Luigi Nono’s La fabricca illuminata, works by composers such as John Cage, Luciano Berio and Hans Zender, as well as Lieder by Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler. Her expertise in interpreting Weill’s and Schönberg’s music has resulted in invitations to the Rheingau Music Festival, Kurt Weill Fest Dessau, Beethovenfest Bonn and Lucerne Festival. In addition, she has a passion for musical cabaret and has performed a wide range of Chansons bizarres together with the composer and pianist Peter Ludwig in front of enthusiastic audiences on the most diverse cabaret stages in Germany.
Salome Kammer has wowed audiences in numerous productions of new operas including Helmut Lachenmann’s Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern at the Staatsoper Stuttgart and the Opéra National de Paris, Jörg Widmann’s Das Gesicht im Spiegel at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and Isabel Mundry’s Die Odyssee – Ein Atemzug at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. She sang in Peter Eötvös’s Lady Sarashina at the Opéra National de Lyon, Opéra Comique Paris and Polish National Opera in Warsaw to great critical acclaim, as well as in Ligeti’s Aventures & Nouvelles Aventures in Munich. She has performed a staged version of Kurtág’s Kafka Fragments with violinist Carolin Widmann internationally many times. She gave her debut at the Berlin State Opera/Schillertheater in Brice Pauset’s solo work Exercices du Silence in 2011 and sang the role of Elsa in Sciarrino’s chamber opera Lohengrin at several theatres in 2014. In 2019, the world premiere of Felix Leuschner’s Requiem für einen Lebenden followed at the Opera Festival Munich at the invitation of the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Numerous radio and CD productions document Salome Kammer’s exceptional talent, among them a recording of Schönberg’s Jakobsleiter (Harmonia Mundi) and Lachenmann’s Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern (Kairos). Her latest CDs I hate music, but I like to sing (Capriccio), salomix-max (wergo) and I’m a Stranger Here Myself (Capriccio), all chronicle the results of her long-standing collaboration with the pianist Rudi Spring and received rave reviews.
Salome Kammer will kick off the new 2019/20 season as narrator in Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder together with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra and conductor Susanna Mälkki at the Helsinki Festival. In celebration of L. v. Beethoven’s and Friedrich Hölderlin’s 250th anniversary, she will present a new Lied recital programme together with the accordionist Teodoro Anzellotti at the Musikfest Stuttgart/International Hugo Wolf Academy. Further performances include Carl Eberwein‘s melodrama Proserpina at the Nikolaisaal Potsdam i.a..
Georges Aperghis Zeugen (WP)
Moritz Eggert Bordellballade (Puffmutter Rosl)
Peter Eötvös Lady Saraschina („Mezzo“, WP)
György Kurtág Kafka-Fragmente (scenic version)
Helmut Lachenmann Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern (Zwei Gefühle)
Bernhard Lang I HATE MOZART (Franziska, WP)
Helmut Oehring Die Wunde Heine (WP)
Brice Pauset Exercices du Silence (WP)
Josef Schuster (1779) Amor & Psiche (Psiche)
Salvatore Sciarrino Lohengrin (Elsa)
Jörg Widmann Das Gesicht im Spiegel (Patricia, WP)
Georges Aperghis Dark Side
Carola Bauckholt Emil will nicht schlafen (WP)
Georg Benda Medea (Melodrama), Ariadne auf Naxos (Melodrama)
Luciano Berio Folksongs, Sequenza III
Harrison Birtwistle 9 Settings by Paul Celan – Pulse Shadows
Carl Eberwein / Goethe Proserpina (Melodrama)
Oskar Fried Die Auswanderer (Melodrama)
Georg Friedrich Haas Das Kleine Ich bin Ich
Roman Haubenstock-Ramati Credentials
Johannes Kalitzke Ortswechsel (WP)
György Kurtág Kafka-Fragments
Helmut Lachenmann temA
Bernhard Lang Differenz und Wiederholung 2 (WP), DW 9 Puppe/Tulpe (WP), ICHT (WP)
Thomas Larcher HEUTE (WP)
György Ligeti Aventures & Nouvelle Aventures (Mezzo-soprano)
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Sommernachtstraum (narrator of the melodrama)
Isabel Mundry Penelopes Atem (WP)
Samir Odeh-Tamimi Alif (WP)
Helmut Oehring/Iris ter Schiphorst Live (aus: Androgyn) (WP), Verlorenwasser (WP)
Wolfgang Rihm Responsorium (WP), Trigon (WP)
Iris ter Schiphorst passion 13 – Melodram (WP), Das Imaginäre nach Lacan (WP)
Arnold Schönberg Die Jakobsleiter (Die Sterbende), Gurrelieder (narrator), Ode to Napoleon, Pierrot Lunaire
Tobias Schencke Weihnachtsmelodram (UA)
Rodion Shchedrin Meine Zeit, mein wildes Biest (WP)
William Walton Façade
Anton Webern Fünf Canons, op. 16
Kurt Weill Die Sieben Todsünden (Anna), Mahagonny Songspiel (Jessie)
Jörg Widmann Dunkle Saiten (WP), Sphinxensprüche und Rätselkanons
Hans Zender ¿Adónde?, Cabaret Voltaire (WP), Hölderlin lesen I-III, Hölderlin lesen IV „Mnemosyne“ (WP)
21 March 2020, 19:00, Konzerthaus Blaibach, DE
Programme: Aria solo recital with works by John Cage, Luciano Berio and György Kurtág
Cast: Salome Kammer (voice)
8 April 2020, 20:00, Neues Theater Höchst, Frankfurt am Main
Programme: August Scheufler Frittenmoni (concertante performance)
Cast: Kammerphilharmonie Frankfurt, August Scheufler (musical direction), Timon Führ (King Halloperidol), Salome Kammer (Melusine), Daniel Pohnert (Raimund), i. a.
19 April 2020, 20:00, Meersburger KonzertGespräche, vineum bodensee, Meersburg, DE
Hans Zender Hölderlin lesen II
Hans Zender Mnemosyne – Hölderlin lesen IV
Nikolaus Brass ohne titel
Nikolaus Brass etchings for string quartet
Cast: Ensemble Modern, Salome Kammer (voice)
21 June 2020, 15:00, Musikfest Stuttgart, Kursaal Bad Canstatt
Programme: concert with works by Friedrich Hölderlin, Ludwig van Beethoven i. a.
Cast: Salome Kammer (voice), Teodoro Anzellotti (accordion)
5 July 2020, 20:30, Schlossfestspiele Heidelberg, Heidelberg Palace
Programme: concert with works by Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, Friedrich Hollaender i. a.
Cast: Philharmonisches Orchester Heidelberg, Florian Ziemen (conductor), Salome Kammer (voice)
Salome Kammer sings, lilts, speaks, purrs, tells, recites, bawls, reads and works with her mouth.
Hildegard von Bingen – O quam praetiosa
Luciano Berio – Sequenza III
Hugo Ball – Sechs Laut- und Klanggedichte
John Cage – Aria
Georges Aperghis – Récitations
Tarquino Merula – Hor ch’è tempo di dormire
Kafka-fragments for soprano and violin op. 24 (György Kurtág)
It is very rare for a duo such as Salome Kammer and Carolin Widmann to master György Kurtágs “Kafka-fragments” by heart, this fascinating cosmos of miniatures in which every nuance matters. For the scenic enactment, which was shown on stage internationally, the composer and the two artists often rehearsed one detail for hours. Kurtág chose single sentences from Kafka’s works and gave them a new aura. His music creates in its retraction the internal dramatic art, which also distinguishes the classical madrigal art, and in which constantly the passion of the I as fundamental frequency resonates.
Salome Kammer (vocals)
Carolin Widmann (violin)
The past is still ahead of us (Rilke and Russia – an echo in text and music)
During a journey in 1899, Russia becomes an initial experience for Rainer Maria Rilke: the sound of the language infatuated the young poet as did the width of the landscape and a great love. For it is Lou Andreas-Salomé that leads him to the Volga. Without Russia and this woman, Rilke might never have become this phenomenal poet. An evening with letters and compositions by Lou Andreas-Salomé, Paul Hindemith, Hans Krása, Dmitri Shostakovich, Alexander Skrjabin, Ernst Toch, Winfried Zillig, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Marina Zwetajewa – and of course Rilke himself.
Salome Kammer (vocals und reading)
Rudi Spring (at the grand piano)
I’m a stranger here myself
awakens desire in us.
In the foreign
fear, uncertainty is our company.
The composers Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler and the poet Bertolt Brecht all have experienced these fascinations and abysses of the far and foreign. What a fortune is must have been when in Berlin’s 1920s Weill and Brecht met such great success with their songs, which repeatedly described the far and the foreign. Hanns Eisler, a politically active fighter for the labour movement, had set Brecht’s writings to music in a very simple, almost Schubertian manner and included the subtle allusions to the class struggle in his songs, whose vigour stands the test of time.
When the circumstances in Nazi Germany turned out to be catastrophic, Brecht, Weill and Eisler were forced to leave their home country. The political exile began to be a dangerous journey into the unknown. The yonder that once was longingly sung of now became the foreign, where previous accomplishments no longer were valid. Thus, the most opposed artists came together in California. Their shared destiny brought them together in a new way.
Salome Kammer (vocals)
Rudi Spring (at the grand piano)
As you make your bed, so you must lie in it (Songs from all love situations)
Bertolt Brecht, the title giving word-artist of this programme, has repeatedly dedicated himself in his poetry to the incomprehensible drive of desire. But both before and after Brecht, this subject had and has moved all large and little minds. During this song recital the most widely varying perspectives of love are found: a woman’s and a man’s point of view, of paradise’s snake to the fall into the earthly hell, of a fatuous belittlement to coarse realism, of decency and moral, of seduction and drive, of fluffy red chambers and of misery in the gutter, of easy girls and of bawds, of beauty and of aging, of lust and of money, of alcohol and of violence, of closeness and of loneliness, of condemnation and of illegitimate children, of love and of sorrow… .
And just as love appears in its dazzling dress, the song will also sound in all its stylistic diversity: in a lied of romanticism and early modernism, in “Brettl”-songs, in the ballad, in a blackletter ballad, in a chanson, in a song.
Salome Kammer (vocals)
Rudi Spring (at the grand piano)
Salome Kammer is instantly mesmerising as Elsa through her stage and vocal presence. She purrs with her vocal cords, bills and coos, whispers, breathes fast text passages, makes rhythmic plopping sounds with her lips. What at first seems strange soon has the audience under its spell: just as words are formed from letters, so too does this vocal landscape, at first so unfamiliar, develop into a very clear and heartfelt narrative style.
Neue Presse, Coburg, 2014
Kammer generates a breath-taking psycho-acoustic portrait of Elsa through gasping, whispering, snorting, chortling, speaking, chirruping and finally also singing. She switched virtuously between situations and characters and in so doing, allowed a uniquely vibrant world to be portrayed on stage.
NWZonline.de, Jan 27, 2014