Elisabeth Kulman is one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation. She impresses audiences and critics with her combination of a precious colourful timbre, musical versatility and a charismatic stage presence.
The Austrian singer was educated at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna by Helena Lazarska. In 2001, she made her debut as Pamina at the Vienna Volksoper and very successfully performed several years as a soprano, mainly in Mozart roles, such as Contessa and Donna Elvira, and as a concert singer.
In 2005, Elisabeth Kulman started to sing the mezzo-soprano and contralto Fach, and through her extraordinary interpretations she has quickly established herself as the “No. 1 darling of the audience” (Die Presse) at the Vienna State Opera. Among her most important roles are Fricka (Rhine Gold, Valkyrie), Waltraute (Twilight of the Gods), Carmen, Marina (Boris Godunov), Mrs. Quickly (Falstaff), Herodias (Salome), Ulrica (Masked Ball), Orlofsky (Bat). She gained international acclaim as Gora in the world premiere of Aribert Reimann’s “Medea” and as Smeton in Donizetti’s „Anna Bolena“ at the side of Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca.
At the Salzburg Festival 2010 she gave her highly acclaimed debut as Orfeo in Gluck’s opera “Orfeo ed Euridice”, conducted by Riccardo Muti, a role that she already sang 2005 and 2008 at the Opéra National de Paris. Her interpretation of the title role in the opera “Il Giustino” by the baroque composer Giovanni Legrenzi, performed at the Schwetzingen Festival 2007, helped the opera to gain the honour of “Rediscovery of the Year” in the critics’ poll of the journal “Opernwelt”.
Besides opera roles, another focus of Elisabeth Kulman’s musical activities is concert performances. As an internationally sought-after soloist with a wide spectrum, she regularly collaborates with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and conductors including Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Thomas Hengelbrock, and Sebastian Weigle.
Elisabeth Kulman is also a devoted lieder recitalist. Besides duets, she also carries out her own projects in collaboration with exceptional ensembles: She compiled a Mussorgsky programme with an international jazz quartet, and she is singing new adaptations of Mahler songs together with the ensemble “Amarcord Wien”. Both projects are available on CD and have received several awards. In 2011, she released a Liszt CD with the pianist Eduard Kutrowatz.