Sophie Koch (born 19 February 1969) is a French operatic mezzo-soprano who has made an international career, performing Rosina in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Royal Opera House, the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss at the Semperoper in Dresden, and Charlotte in Massenet's Werther at the Paris Opera, among others. The title role of Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss became her signature role. She has also performed in concert and recital, and made recordings.
|Born||February 19, 1969|
|Education||Conservatoire de Paris|
|Occupation||Opera singer (mezzo-soprano)|
Koch was born in Versailles. Her family is from Alsace-Lorraine, and her great-grandfather was German. Koch became interested in music at an early age. She started playing the piano at the age of 7, studied it for 15 years and also sang in a choir. She began performing in operas at age 11.
After obtaining the baccalaureate, she prepared for a DEUG in literature, communication and language sciences, then hypokhâgne. Following her failure at the audition to join the Sorbonne choir, and her meeting with Christa Ludwig, she became motivated to sing. At the age of 21, she entered Jane Berbié's class at the Conservatoire de Paris, from which she earned a First Prize diploma. She also won first prize in the International Vocal Competition ´s-Hertogenbosch in 1994 and was awarded the Christel-Goltz Prize by the Semperoper in Dresden in 2001. Her mastery of the Italian and English languages is precious to her, although she sings mainly in French and German.
Koch is currently married and has a daughter.
In the 1997/98 season, Michel Glotz arranged an audition for Koch at the Royal Opera House of Covent Garden (London), where she appeared as Rosina in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia and as Dorabella in Mozart's Così fan tutte, which brought her international recognition. She appeared in the title role of Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss at the Vienna State Opera in 1999, which became her signature role. She performed another trousers role by Strauss, the Composer in his Ariadne auf Naxos at the Semperoper in Dresden. She appeared at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich as Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni. She performed at the Teatro Real in Madrid, La Scala in Milan, the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and the Salzburg Festival, where she made her debut as Zerlina in 2000.
In 2010, the Paris Opera invited her to perform Charlotte in Massenet's Werther alongside Jonas Kaufmann in the title role. In concert performances of Bellini's Norma at the Nice Opera and Salle Pleyel in Paris in December 2011, she appeared as Adalgisa alongside Edita Gruberová in the title role.
In Wagner stage works, Koch appeared as Venus in Tannhäuser at the Opéra Bastille in 2011. She was also Fricka there in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, and Waltraute in Götterdämmerung. She performed the title role of Gluck's Alceste in 2013, conducted by Marc Minkowski, alongside Yann Beuron and Roberto Alagna. She made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in the 2014 season, again as Charlotte alongside Kaufmann.
- Lieder by Schubert and Wolf, label: Chants du monde
- Mélodies by Fauré, Chausson and Respighi, label: Chants du monde
- Lieder by Richard Strauss
- Manon (Javotte) EMI
- Laurent Petitgirard: Elephant Man (Eva Lückes).
- Mozart: Don Giovanni (Zerlina), Schwetzingen Festival), 1998 Legato
- R. Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos (Composer), Semperoper, 1999 Arthaus
- Gounod: Faust, 2004 EMI
- Mozart: Così fan tutte (Dorabella), Salzburg Festival, 2006 Deutsche Grammophon
- R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier (Octavian), Baden-Baden Festival, 2009 Decca
- Massenet: Werther (Charlotte), Paris, 2010 Decca
- Werther, Metropolitan Opera, New York, 2010 (live)
- Ariadne auf Naxos, Baden-Baden, 2013 Decca Deutsche Grammophon
- Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites, Paris, 2013 Erato Records
- Der Rosenkavalier, Salzburg Festival, 2014 C Major
- (in French) Mehdi Mahdavi. "La triple reconnaissance de Sophie Koch". Alta Musica.com. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- (in French) Valéry Fleurquin. "Sophie Koch, mezzo". Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- Kutsch, Karl J.; Riemens, Leo, eds. (2004). Koch, Sophie. Großes Sängerlexikon (in German). 4. Walter de Gruyter. p. 2429. ISBN 978-3-59-844088-5.
- Nen, Patrice. "Sophie Koch". Opera national de Paris. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- "Sophie Koch". Salzburg Festival. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- "Sophie Koch". francemusique.fr (in French). Retrieved 22 October 2018.
- Tommasini, Anthony (19 February 2014). "Things End Badly for a Poet, but Quite Well for the Tenor". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
- Solare, Carlos Maria. Report from Berlin. Opera, Vol 67 No 2, February 2016, pp. 193–4.
- Sophie Koch at AllMusic
- Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed in Italian / Conductor Thomas Hengelbrock operadis-opera-discography.org
- Charles Gounod: Faust jpc.de
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / Così Fan Tutte Deutsche Grammophon
- Richard Strauss / Der Rosenkavalier Decca
- Massenet* / Jonas Kaufmann, Sophie Koch, Ludovic Tézier, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Orchestre De L'Opéra National De Paris*, Michel Plasson – Werther Discogs
- Werther (DVD) – Kaufmann, Koch, Tezier, Gillet Metropolitan Opera
- Richard Strauss / Ariadne auf Naxos Deutsche Grammophon
- Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) / Dialogues des Carmelites jpc.de
- Richard Strauss (1864-1949) / Der Rosenkavalier jpc.de