About the artist
Iris Vermillion rose to international fame by singing Dorabella and Cherubino under the baton of Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Amsterdam, as well as Clairon in Strauss’ Capriccio in a production by Johannes Schaaf at the Salzburg Festival under Horst Stein. Other important roles in those earlier years include Sesto in Mozart‘s La clemenza di Tito and Octavian in Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier.
Iris Vermillion regularly appeared on the stages of the foremost European opera companies, such as the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera, the Semperoper Dresden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Berlin State Opera and Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, progressively adding more dramatic roles to her repertory including Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos), as well as Countess Geschwitz (Lulu), Fricka (Ring des Nibelungen), Waltraute (Götterdämmerung) and Adriano (Rienzi).
Further important debuts were the role of Idamante in the Strauss-Wallerstein version of Mozart’s Idomeneo at Dresden’s Semperoper and at the Salzburg Festival, Brangäne in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde under Kurt Masur in Paris, Dresden and Seville, Venus in Tannhäuser in Dresden and Cologne, as well as a new production of Erwin Schulhoff’s Die Flammen at the Theater an der Wien and her first Herodias in Strauss’ Salome with the Bavarian State Opera and the Teatro alla Scala. Her debut as Hexe in Hänsel und Gretel in Dresden was a stunning success with audiences and critics alike, and a DVD of the production has been released. She also gained international attention appearing as Mother in Luigi Nono’s Al gran sole carico d’amore at the Leipzig Opera and as Countess Geschwitz in Alban Berg’s Lulu in Graz, taking further part in productions such as Salome at the Vienna State Opera, Les Dialogues des Carmelites in Valencia and Die Walküre in Leipzig and Sevilla. Her stunning debut in the title role of Othmar Schoeck’s Penthesilea in Dresden won her the coveted German Theater award Der Faust.
At the Graz Opera she gave her role debut as Klytämnestra in Richard Strauss’ Elektra, and Dresden’s Semperoper invited her to star in a new production of Hans Werner Henze’s We come to the river. As Herodias, she could be heard in Salome on tour to Japan with the Vienna State Opera. Further highlights of the past seasons include her debut as Amme in Die Frau ohne Schatten in Buenos Aires and her role debut of Kostelnička in Janáček’s Jenufa in Graz, followed by Salome in São Paulo and Kurt Weill’s Rise and fall of the city Mahagonny in Rome.
Iris Vermillion has always been careful not to neglect her expansive concert and recital repertory and to keep enough time in her calendar free for appearances with prominent conductors and orchestras – and with works that range from ancient music up to the 20th century. In particular, she has earned renown for her interpretation of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies and song cycles. Iris Vermillion has sung under the direction of renowned conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Gerd Albrecht, Daniel Barenboim, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnányi, Vladimir Fedosejev, Michael Gielen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, René Jacobs, Armin und Philippe Jordan, Vladimir Jurowski, Marek Janowski, Kurt Masur, Cornelius Meister, Georges Prêtre, Helmuth Rilling, Donald Runnicles, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Sir Georg Solti, Christian Thielemann und Marcello Viotti.
A much sought-after artist on the international concert podium, Iris Vermillion has taken part in a myriad of concert projects including Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle at the Vienna Musikverein, the world premiere of Jean-Luc Darbellay’s Requiem in Leipzig under Fabio Luisi, Berlioz’ La damnation de Faust at the Grafenegg Festival, Britten’s Phaedra in Madrid and Barcelona, Mahler’s Das klagende Lied with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Das Lied von der Erde with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, as well as Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Munich Philharmonic under Christian Thielemann. As a Lied singer, Iris Vermillion appeared in recitals at the Vienna Musikverein, the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Semperoper, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, as well as in Bern, Zaragoza and Madrid.
She further appeared in the role of Stolzius’ Mutter in the Spanish premiere of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten at Madrid’s Teatro Real and as Herodias in a new production of Richard Strauss’ Salome at the Oper Graz. In addition, she starred as Judith in Bartòk's Bluebeard’s Castle with Sylvain Cambreling and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. Iris Vermilion took part in the world premiere of Peter Eötvös's newly composed oratorio Halleluja – Oratorium Balbulum along with Daniel Harding and the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival. Revivals of this oratorio led her to Zurich, Cologne, Munich and Budapest, whilst as a Lied singer she appeared at the Festival Internacional de Música Clásica in Bogotá accompanied by Roger Vignoles. In addition, she recently appeared as Mescalina in a new production of György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre in Dresden, where she will return also in the current season for a revival of Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. At the theatre of her hometown Bielefeld, she will in addition take part in the German premiere of Christian Jost’s opera Egmont.
Iris Vermillion has made well over thirty highly acclaimed recordings, including works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, Berthold Goldschmidt, Carl Heinrich Graun, Franz Liszt, Carl Loewe, Gustav and Alma Mahler, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Hans Pfitzner, Erwin Schulhoff, Robert Schumann, Richard Strauss, Viktor Ullmann, Richard Wagner and Alexander von Zemlinsky, for labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Decca, Philips, Harmonia Mundi, CPO, Erato and BMG.