Weihnachtsoratorium / Oratorio De Noël / Le Concert Lorrain
Le Concert Lorrain & Dresdner Kammerchor Olv. Christoph Prégardien
Tenor Markus Schäfer studied voice and sacred music in Karlsruhe and Dusseldorf under the guidance of Armand McLane. He has won awards in Berlin (Bundeswettbewerb Gesang) and Milan (Caruso Competition). After his studies, he visited the Zurich opera studio, where he gave a debut performance that led to his first engagement. Positions as an ensemble member of the Hamburgische Staatsoper and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf soon followed.
Schäfer’s most recent engagements include Vašek in a semi-staged version of DIE VERKAUFTE BRAUT by Bedrich Smetana at the Styriarte in Graz, Ceccone in Joseph Haydn’s IL MONDO DELLA LUNA, and Pasquale/ORLANDO PALADINO at the Theater an der Wien, all under the musical direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. He sang IL RIOTORNO DI TOBIA and DIE SCHÖPFUNG at the International Haydn Festspiele in Eisenstadt under Adam Fischer, and ELIAS under Rolf Beck in Helsinki, as well as giving a Lied evening and holding a master class at the Karg Elert Festival in Leipzig. He sang the part of Pasquale/ORLANDO PALADINO in concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and could be seen at the Ansbacher Bach Festival 2009 together with the Windsbacher Knabenchor as the Evangelist in Bach’s JOHANNES PASSION.
During his numerous guest performances and concert tours, Schäfer delights audiences with his portrayal of Mozart roles such as Ferrando, Ottavio, and Tamino, performed at venues including the Staatsoper in Berlin and Munich, in Dresden, and at the Aalto Theater in Essen. The tenor is known for his interpretations of the Evangelist roles in Bach’s oratorios, which he can be heard performing throughout Europe.
Leopold Hager has invited him to Luxembourg to play IDOMENEO, and Fabio Luisi engaged him for an MDR Mozart Gala. He has performed Mozart’s musical comedy ZAIDE in numerous European musical centers together with the Wiener Akademie, and could be heard in London with the Italian Europa Galante Baroque Ensemble performing in ASCANIO IN ALBA. He sang ELIAS (DSO Berlin, Windsbacher Knabenchor), Paul McCreesh invited him to perform in the SCHÖPFUNG, and Enoch zu Guttenberg and Gustav Leonhardt selected him to sing the Bach Oratorios. In two double evenings at the Schumann Fest in Dusseldorf, he interpreted H. Heine’s DIE HEIMKEHR in 88 songs, with a rediscovered score by Johann Hoven.
Schäfer interpreted Bach’s WEIHNACHTSORATORIUM together with Robert King and the RSB in Berlin, going on to sing several concerts under Frans Brüggen, including the Evangelist/JOHANNES PASSION and the MATTHÄUS PASSION with the Windsbacher Knabenchor. At the Salzburger Osterfestspiele, he sang under Sir Charles Mackerras in Mozart’s VESPERS and Schubert’s ES-DUR MESSE. He celebrated resounding success at the Theater an der Wien, where he performed in Händel’s ACIS AND GALATHEA under Martin Haselböck.
Schäfer is also a successful Lied performer, enjoying acclaim in Vienna, at the Schubertiade events in Feldkirch and Schwarzenberg, and in New York, where he appeared together with pianist Hartmut Höll interpreting works by Schubert and Schumann. He is tied by many years of collaboration to pianist Christian de Bruyn, with whom he has recorded a Schubert CD, among many other projects.
Numerous CD releases and radio shows document his work: this includes outstanding recordings of COSI FAN TUTTE with “La petite bande” under S. Kuijken, and the MATTHÄUS PASSION with the Concentus Musicus under Harnoncourt, which was awarded a Grammy. A few of his other albums include a solo CD of works by Bach (solo cantatas: NAXOS), Karg-Elert: Lieder (NCA), CDs with Reger Lieder (also on NCA), and Schubert Lieder (NAXOS). Jos van Immerseel invited the tenor to produce a CD of Beethoven’s 9th SYMPHONY, and he has recorded Bach’s secular cantatas together with G. Leonhardt.
Markus Schäfer is a vocal professor at the HMTH Hannover.