Isa Katharina Gericke – Soprano
"Charisma in abundance" - "Beautiful beyond words"
Isa Katharina Gericke has frequently shown her versatility in widely different fields of music theatre, from Rameau to Sommerro, from Humperdinck to Adams. Her Mozart has comprised both Susanna, Pamina and a highly acclaimed Zaïde at Leif Ove Andsnes' Risør Chamber Music Festival. 'Charisma in abundance', to quote the press.
She is also a popular and sought-after soloist with orchestras and has sung with most Norwegian and a number of international orchestras such as BBC Symphony and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. She has visited numerous festivals in Norway, as well as in Germany, Austria and South Africa and worked with conductors like Sir Andrew Davis, Phillippe Herreweghe, Manfred Honeck, Tönu Kaljuste and Frans Brüggen. She has recently sung with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in various programmes, both in Oslo and on tour. She also figures as soloist with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in Simax' special CD project 'Norwegian Heartland', to mark Norway's independence 1905 – 2005 and she participates on the new Naxos recording of Grieg's 'Peer Gynt' with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra.
Her versatility is remarkable. She recently sang Mozart's Pamina and was a soloist in Olav Anton Thommessen's 'The Hermaphrodite', in one and the same week.
She has made her mark as a Lieder singer, having worked with Rudolf Jansen, Brigitte Fassbaender and Håkan Hagegård. In 2003 her recording titled 'Waldabendlust' caught considerable interest. It was the result of her research in the field of the German Lied in Norway: a personal compilation of songs by Kjerulf, Irgens-Jensen, Backer-Grøndahl and Winter Hjelm. As Die Tonkunst wrote: 'This is a CD all Lieder-lovers ought to listen to'.
Isa Katharina Gericke was born in Berlin and grew up in Norway. After studies with Ingrid Bjoner and Svein Bjørkøy at the Norwegian Music Academy in Oslo and Ingrid Figur at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin she won the 1st Prize in the national part of the Queen Sonja International Music Competition 2001 in Oslo. The following year she received the Luitpold Prize at the Kissinger Sommer, and the same year she was selected as a performer within Concerts Norway's (Rikskonsertene`s) launching scheme 'INTRO-Classical' for 2002-2004.
Isa Katharina Gericke is a driving force behind the newly established Oslo Baroque Opera. Her creativity has also found an outlet in her work as Artistic Director of the annual Gloger Festival in January, finding inspiration in the festival's central venue, the splendid Kongsberg Church.
In the summer of 2007 she visited virtually all of Norway's music festivals, as well as music festivals in Crete, Bad Kissingen and at Festival Vancouver, in constantly varying programmes and with different musical partners. In the spring of 2008 she sang Dido for Opera South (musical director Monica Huggett) and Eurydice in Monteverdi's 'Orfeo' (musical director Rinaldo Alessandrini) at the Norwegian National Opera.
After her Lied recital in Edvard Grieg's home Troldhaugen during the Bergen International Festival in June 2007, Aftenposten, Oslo wrote: 'Beautiful beyond words'. In 2009, she follows up with a new recording of Lieder together with the pianist Christian Ihle Hadland. The recording is a tribute to the soprano Eva Nansen, with Lieder from her repertoire by Kjerulf, Nordraak and Backer Grøndahl. In 2009 she has performed in the newly written opera "Unge Hamsun" at Kristiansund Opera, Mozart with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Mahler and Zemlinsky with The Norwegian Radio Orchestra. She will shortly go on tour in Spain with Kammerakademie Potsdam.
At the moment Isa Katharina Gericke is rehearsing Galatea in Handel's 'Acis and Galatea' with the Oslo Baroque Opera, for an October premiere.