Olivia Vermeulen


Dutch mezzo-soprano Olivia Vermeulen has established herself in recent years as a versatile soloist on the international stage. She made her debut at the Berlin State Opera as Turno in Steffani's L'Amor vien dal destino under the musical direction of René Jacobs, toured Europe with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and appeared as a soloist in Schumann's Szenen aus Goethes Faust at London's Barbican Hall under Daniel Harding and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Equally in demand as an interpreter of contemporary music, Olivia has appeared at the Ruhrtriennale and the Holland Festival in Philippe Manoury's Kein Licht and made guest appearances at the Musikfest Berlin under Peter Eötvös. Olivia created the role of Saiko in the world premiere of Thomas Larcher's first opera The Hunting Gun at the Bregenz Festival, premiered several songs by Wolfgang Rihm at the Kissinger Sommer classical music festival, and appeared at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam as Idris in John Adams' opera The Death of Klinghoffer, conducted by the composer himself.

As an internationally sought-after concert singer, Olivia Vermeulen devotes herself with great passion to the classical and baroque repertoire. She has performed with Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan in Handel's Messiah, Bach's St Matthew Passion and Mozart's Mass in C minor (the latter being released with the label BIS Records). Equally in demand as a soloist in Bach's Passions, she recently worked with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and Residentie Orkest The Hague for Bach's St Matthew Passion, while at the International Baroque Days at Melk Abbey in Austria she appeared with Concentus Musicus under Stefan Gottfried as the Sorceress in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, further to a solo matinee featuring works by Geminiani, Handel and Pepusch.

Other important career highlights to date include her role debut as Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Dorabella in Così fan tutte, both with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra conducted by René Jacobs. Under the same director, she also made her house debut at the Opéra national de Paris as Abel in Alessandro Scarlatti's opera Il primo omicidio, a coproduction with the Berlin State Opera. In addition, Olivia made her house debut at Opernhaus Zürich as Cherubino in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and returned to the Berlin State Opera for a new production of Vivaldi's rarely performed Il Giustino under René Jacobs.

Together with Jörg Widmann, she gave guest performances at the Salzburg Mozart Week, followed by Mozart's Mass in C minor under Masaaki Suzuki at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Olivia her debut in the same work with the Berliner Philharmoniker, this time conducted by Daniel Harding.

On the solo concert stage, Olivia Vermeulen recently appeared with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 under Masato Suzuki, in Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Residentie Orkest The Hague under Matthew Halls, and with the Belgian B'Rock Orchestra under Andreas Küppers in The Hague, Ghent and at the Thüringer Bachwochen. In a collaboration with Jordi Savall and his ensemble Le Concert des Nations, Olivia further performed Beethoven's Missa Solemnis in Barcelona, Paris and at the Dresden Music Festival, while once again appearing in Mozart’s Mass in C minor in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe.

Concert appearances in the current season include Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Bach's St Matthew Passion with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer, Bach's St John Passion with the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn and Bach's B Minor Mass with the Boston Handel and Haydn Society under Masaaki Suzuki, in addition to various recitals at the Oxford International Song Festival, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Stadsschouwburg Nijmegen and the International Song Festival in Zeist.

An additional focus of Olivia Vermeulen’s artistry is song and lieder, with the year 2020 marking the release of her highly acclaimed solo album "Dirty Minds", which was awarded the Annual Prize of the German Record Critics and the Edison Klassiek Prize. Together with her lieder partner Jan Philip Schulze, she took the album on tour to the Oxford International Song Festival, the International Lied Festival Zeist, the Gesellschaftshaus Magdeburg and the International Art Centre deSingel in Antwerp. At the Brucknerhaus Linz, the pair gave a recital dedicated to the Second Viennese School, also featuring works by Zemlinsky, Webern, Schönberg and Berg.

Her festival appearances have included the Bregenz Festival, Munich Opera Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, RheinVokal Festival, Musikfest Stuttgart and the Handel Festival Halle, while her collaborations with conductors includes Frans Brüggen, Alessandro De Marchi, Iván Fischer, Reinhard Goebel, Enoch zu Guttenberg, Philippe Herreweghe, René Jacobs, Marek Janowski, Konrad Junghänel, Andrea Marcon, Tomáš Netopil, Michael Schønwandt, Markus Stenz and Lothar Zagrosek.

Numerous radio and CD recordings are a testament to Olivia Vermeulen’s versatility. Following her first solo disc “Dirty Minds” with Dutch label Challenge Records, she performed the programme in an acclaimed debut recital at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Her second solo album "Hello Darkness" was released in 2022.

Updated: 30/08/2023

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