Holger Falk

Baritone

“Falk sings with a tremendous tonal range that refuses to allow the audience to remain oblivious to the music involved: it is as though the lyrics are biting deeper into the ear with each syllable, each note. (…) Falk’s capacity for creativity is sensational”, as die ZEIT and the Washington Post reported: “Falk is able to characterize every word so vividly that, if he were singing in Vedic Sanskrit, you’d get the message“. Flexibility, vibrancy and immediacy of expression make Holger Falk an internationally sought-after interpreter. With his multiple opera appearances as well as being an avid concert and lieder singer, he is a guest at major houses throughout Europe and the USA, working with renowned conductors and directors.

Holger Falk has a great passion for contemporary music theatre, and several new scores were composed especially for him. He has been nominated three times as singer of the year by Opernwelt magazine for his outstanding interpretations of Kassandra in Iannis Xenaki’s Oresteia (2017), Johannes in Georg Friedrich Haas‘ Morgen und Abend (2017) and of Lord Byron in Michael Wertmüller‘s world première DIODATI. UNENDLICH (2019). He has also performed works by composers including Wolfgang Rihm, Kaija Saariaho, Beat Furrer, Georges Aperghis, Bernhard Lang, Miroslav Srnka, Vladimir Tarnopolski and Steffen Schleiermacher and has appeared at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Staatsoper Hamburg, the Oper Köln, the Theater an der Wien, the Theater Basel, the Théâtre de la Monnaie Brussels, the Teatro Real Madrid, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées Paris and the National Opera Warsaw.

In the season 2023/24, Holger Falk will perform the world premiere Septembersonate by Manfred Trojahn at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf (staging: Johannes Erath). Furthermore, he will sing recitals at the Kirchner Museum Davos, the Klangspuren Schwaz and the Society for Contemporary Music Mannheim i.a. and will interpret Hanns Eisler’s Ernste Gesänge with the Munich Chamber Orchestra and Bas Wiegers.

Holger Falk’s range of CD productions, including a four-part series of songs by Hanns Eislers (MDG), the complete recordings of the Mélodies et Chansons by Erik Satie and all 115 mélodies by Francis Poulenc (MDG) and Il Gondoliere Veneziano – a musical voyage through Venice (Prospero), received prestigious awards: German Record Critics’ Award 2017, CD of the Month (Opernwelt), Gramophone Editor‘s Choice Award, ECHO Klassik Award 2016 and Opus Klassik 2019 as Singer of the Year and best solo-recording vocal: Lied 2019. In 2022, the CD Keintate I, II (Friedrich Cerha) has been released (Kairos) together with the attensam quartett.

Holger Falk presents new CD-recording

The baritone Holger Falk and the pianist Steffen Schleiermacher just released their latest recording Germaine Tailleferre & Darius Milhaud: "Mélodies et Chansons" Vol. 2 (published at MDG) continuing their Lied recording series which focuses on the Groupe des six composers.

The press writes enthusiastically about this release:

It’s impressive how Holger Falk is capable to instantly switch the mood and the timbre, even in very short songs.
KULTUR-EXTRA, Thomas Rothschild

The duo already presented 5 CD recordings of songs of the composers Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honegger and Francis Poulenc to great acclaim. The Lied-Oeuvre of Louis Dureys and Georges Aurics will be presented in further recordings that will complete this Lied-series.

Holger Falk received prestigious awards für his recent Lied-recordings: German Record Critics’ Award 2017, CD of the Month (Opernwelt), Gramophone Editor‘s Choice Award, ECHO Klassik Award 2016 and Opus Klassik 2019 as Singer of the Year and best solo-recording vocal: Lied 2019. 


Holger Falk – Opera premiere in Düsseldorf

On 3 December 2023 the baritone Holger Falk will sing the world premiere of the new opera Septembersonate by composer Manfred Trojahn at the Opernhaus Düsseldorf and will make his debut at this renowned opera house. The chamber play in 6 scenes is based on the text by the composer freely adapted from the story The Jolly Corner by Henry James. Already in 2019, Holger Falk premiered Trojahn‘s Monodrama Ein Brief successfully at the Bonn Opera and is now looking forward to this new cooperation with the composer. In Düsseldorf, Vitali Alekseenok will conduct the Düsseldorf Symphony and Johannes Erath is responsible for the stage direction. Holger Falk‘s partner on stage will be the soprano Juliane Banse.
Further performance dates are: 9/14/29 December 2023 and 3/14/27 January 2024.


Holger Falk - Klangspuren Schwaz Festival 2023

On 17 September 2023 the baritone Holger Falk will sing the Wiener Lieder Keintate I & II by Friedrich Cerha at the Klangspuren Festival Schwaz’s invitation. He will perform them together with the attensam quartett, following their successful CD-release in 2022.

(published on 13 September 2023)

Opera / Music theatre:

Alban Berg Wozzeck (Wozzeck)
Benjamin Britten Billy Budd (Billy Budd)
Peter Maxwell Davies Eight songs for a mad king (King Georg)
Claude Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande (Pelléas)
Gaetano Donizetti Il campanello di notte (Enrico)
Peter Eötvös Der Goldene Drache (Man, Asian, WP), Paradise Reloaded – Lillith (Lucifer)
Hans Gefors Skuggspel (scholar)
Detlev Glanert The Three Riddles (King Zephalus, fly)
Heiner Goebbels Landscape with distant relatives (baritone)
Christoph Graupner Dido (Juba)
Georg Friedrich Haas Morgen und Abend (Johannes), Thomas (Thomas)
Johann Adolf Hasse Leucippo (Nunte)
Hans Werner Henze Boulevard Solitude (Lescaut), El Cimarrón (Cimarrón), Der Prinz von Homburg (Prince), Das Floß der Medusa (Jean-Charles)
Emmerich Kálmán Die Csárdásfürstin (Edwin)
Franz Lehár Die Lustige Witwe (Danilo)
Benoît Mernier Frühlings Erwachen (Moritz Stiefel, WP)
Claudio Monteverdi Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (Testo), L’Orfeo (Orfeo), L’incoronazione di Poppea (Ottone), Il Ritorno d´Ulisse in patria (Ulisse)
W. A. Mozart The Magic Flute (Papageno)
Jan Müller-Wieland Die Irre oder nächtlicher Fischfang (Der Mann, WP)
Fabián Panisello L’officina della resurrezione (baritone)
Giacomo Puccini Madama Butterfly (Sharpless)
Francis Poulenc Les mamelles de Tirésias (Le Mari)
Wolfgang Rihm Die Eroberung von Mexico (Cortéz), Dionysos (N./Nietzsche/Dionysos), Jakob Lenz (Jakob Lenz)
Gioacchino Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro)
Kaja Saariaho L’amour de loin (Jaufré Rudel WP)
Steffen Schleiermacher
Kokain (Tobias 2, WP)
Miroslav Srnka Make no Noise (Joseph, WP)
Johann Strauß Die Fledermaus (Gabriel von Eisenstein)
Vladimir Tarnopolski Beyond the Shadow (prisoner, WP)
Manfred Trojahn Enrico (Enrico), Ein Brief (Lord Chandos, WP), Septembersonate (Brydon, WP)
Viktor Ullmann The Emperor of Atlantis (Emperor)
Michael Wertmüller Weine nicht, singe! (Aki, WP), Diodati.Unendlich (Lord Byron, WP)
Iannis Xenakis Oresteia (Kassandra, Athena)
Bernd Alois Zimmermann Die Soldaten (Stolzius)

25 February 2024, 18:00, Ernst-Ludwig-Saal, Darmstadt

Programme: jeune homme de vingt ans with songs by Francis Poulenc and Hanns Eisler

Cast: Holger Falk (baritone), Alessandro Zuppardo (piano)


13 August 2024, 19:30, Atlantic Hotel Travemünde, Lübeck
14 August 2024, 19:30, Nikolaikirche, Plön
Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival

Programme: Il Gondoliere Veneziano

Cast: nuovo aspetto, Holger Falk (baritone), Eva Pöpplein (soundscapes)

Il Gondoliere Veneziano – Gondolier songs from the 18th century in the Venetian soundscape 

In Il Gondoliere Veneziano, the music and soundscape of Venice come together in an extraordinary way. As in the past, everyday sounds inspire the songs of the gondolier for a new musical interpretation. At the same time, the soundscape is influenced by the music, with everyday sounds turning into musical sounds and tones in reference to the gondolier’s music in a kind of sound metamorphosis. The programme is based around the “Canzoni da Battello”, performed by baritone Holger Falk, together with the baroque ensemble “Nuovo Aspetto”, led by Michael Dücker. The Canzoni da Battello are interspersed by the contrasting electro-acoustic Venice pieces by the duo Merzouga, which use baroque fragments as motifs, transposing melodic elements into the contemporary sound language, while preserving the integrity of the baroque music. The combination of these two approaches creates a Venice soundtrack as an overall, through-composed work. Church bells, voices, the sound of Venetian squares, the acoustic intimacy of winding alleyways, water, waves and beating paddles surround the gondolier’s singing.

Cast:
Holger Falk (baritone)
soundscape – duo „Merzouga“: Janko Hanushevsky & Eva Pöpplein (soundscapes and live electronic)
Ensemble „Nuovo Aspetto“: Michael Dücker (lute), Johanna Seitz (harp), Elisabeth Seitz (salterio), Hartmut Becker (cello), Evgeny Sviridov (violine), Daniel Lanthier (oboe), Leonard Schelb, (baroque flute), Adrián van der Spoel (baroque guitar), Andreas Nowak (percussion)

Premiere:
17 April 2019, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Kleiner Saal
– Opening of the Easter Festival

Equally popular as a singer of opera and Lieder, Holger Falk finds exactly the right tone for this music: with a light sound that unites simplicity and sweetness in his almost tenor-like timbre. (…) Holger Falk changes colour in harmony with the musical surroundings like a vocal chameleon.
Hamburger Abendblatt, Marcus Stäbler, 20th April 2019

Recording & broadcast of the programme by WDR (season 2018/19).


Lieder by Hanns Eisler

In a four-part CD edition, Holger Falk and Steffen Schleiermacher present the lied œuvre by Hanns Eisler. The CD Hanns Eisler Lieder Vol. 1 already received the German Record Critics’ Award 2017 and has been nominated for the Editor’s Choice Award of the Gramophone Magazine. The second CD of the series has been released in autumn 2017 to great acclaim. The repertoire can also be experienced on stage at a lieder recital.

The duo, which has been honoured with the ECHO-Klassik 2016 for its Erik Satie recording, shows a new perspective on Schoenberg’s pupil, who had long been reduced on his communistic work and pushed in a far left corner.

Both artists are convincing in their great diversity of expression, Falk’s precise understanding of lyric, and an impressive interpretation of the extremely versatile lieder by Eisler. The first CD presents lieder from a period between 1929 and 1937, which lyrics were mainly written by Bertolt Brecht and are first and foremost workers’ and battle songs. The following three recordings dedicate themselves to a particular period of time in Hanns Eisler’s creative work progress and range from workers and battle songs, chansons and art songs to 12-tone children’s songs.

Cast:
Holger Falk (baritone)
Steffen Schleiermacher (piano)

The main achievement here is that more of Tailleferre’s work is being given an airing. Hats off to Falk and Schleiermacher (…) for making it happen. (…)
Falk’s Eisler discs (…) are an absolute revelation, with an incredible immediacy, authority, verbal clarity and breadth of stylistic nuance (…)
theartsdesk.com, Sebastian Scotney, 23. December 2023

Holger Falk has a beautifully mellifluous baritone, and in the more lyrical numbers it is wonderfully easy to imagine him singing to you in his gondola on a warm Venetian night (and getting an extra tip for it of course, at the end of the evening). But the songs aren’t all simply seduction numbers, and they vary greatly in character with Falk showing himself equally adept at the tongue twisting and the highly characterful. It is this variety which makes the disc such a delight, the mixture of the hauntingly lyrical, the plangent, the lively characterful and the down-right toe-tapping.
Planet Hugill, Robert Hugill, 2 July 2020

This is both technically dazzling and musically involving: a collection of canzoni da battello (…) from 17th century Venice, wonderfully sung by baritone Holger Falk and deliciously accompanied by period instrument combo Nuovo Aspetto.
Falk is in gorgeous voice, singing with a relaxed informality that’s irresistible, and the production values serve him so well.
theartsdesk.com, Graham Rickson, 20 June 2020

Holger Falk’s high baritone and sensitive diction made each word of Hofmannstahl’s meditation clear and meaningful (…).
Opera Magazin, Agustín Blanco-Bazán, April 2020

Holger Falk shows the full range of colour in his voice as he interprets these songs, he has been impressive throughout the previous three discs, showing great subtlety as well as intensity in his reading and he is truly excellent here.
Music Web International, Stuart Sillitoe, January 2020

A first among equals and tour de force: Holger Falk as Lord Byron.
Die Zeit, Mirko Weber, 27 February 2019

With vocal and acting exaltation, he brings to life the figure of the torn, pleasure and sex-addicted, idealistic and ultimately lonely romantic hero.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Thomas Schacher, 23 February 2019

Falk displayed a masterful ability to create a distinct mood, atmosphere, and personality for each, whether dreamy and awe-filled in “Der Wanderer an den Mond,” or youthful and effusive in “Bei dir allein”.
Opera News, Steven Jude Tietjen, January 2019

Baritone Holger Falk makes outstanding Washington debut
Those fortunate enough to have been at the Phillips Collection Sunday afternoon heard what I suspect may be the outstanding song recital of the season. Their artfully conceived German and French program, Schubert and Hanns Eisler on the first half, Francis Poulenc and Erik Satie on the second, combined subtlety and power in a breathtaking display of ensemble virtuosity in captivating music. Falk has an extraordinarily flexible baritone, with a warm, confiding lower and midrange that, when called for, can go full throttle in a nanosecond. (…) But more important than his beautiful voice and perfect diction, Falk is able to characterize every word so vividly that, if he were singing in Vedic Sanskrit, you’d get the message. (…) Falk brings a light touch to Schubert, so that when things grow serious, the impact grips the heart. (…) afternoon of unforgettable music making.
The Washington Post, Patrick Rucker, 29 October 2018

The baritone’s voice is light in colour with an inherently gentle quality to it, but capable of impressive intensity in the upper range.
Gramophone, Hugo Shirley, September 2018

The testing title role was performed by that protean contemporary music specialist, Holger Falk (…), an inventive, responsive and compelling actor, he gave a remarkable demonstration of technique and musicality, with much lovely soft singing along the way.
Opera Magazine, May 2018

Audio recordings:

Der Graben (Hanns Eisler/Kurt Tucholsky):
Anmut sparet nicht noch Mühe (Hanns Eisler/Bertolt Brecht):
Lied von der belebenden Wirkung (Hanns Eisler/Bertolt Brecht):
Hier (Erik Satie):
Bleib gesund mir, Krakau (Hanns Eisler/Gebirtig):
Je te veux (Erik Satie):

Germaine Tailleferre & Darius Milhaud: Songs "Mélodies et Chansons" Vol. 2

MDG (2023)
Holger Falk, baritone
Steffen Schleiermacher

Darius Milhaud: Songs "Melodies et Chansons" Vol.1

MDG (2022)
Holger Falk, baritone
Steffen Schleiermacher

FRIEDRICH CERHA: Keintate I,II (parts)

KAIROS (2022)
Holger Falk, baritone
attensam quartet

Wojciech Błażejczyk:
General Theory of Relativity

KAIROS (2021)
Holger Falk, baritone
Klangforum Vienna
Johannes Kalitzke

Arthur Honegger
Mélodies & Chansons

MDG (2021)
Holger Falk, baritone
Steffen Schleiermacher, piano

The Venetian Gondolier -
A musical voyage through Venice

Prospero (2020)
Holger Falk, Bariton
New Appearance
Merzouga

Hanns Eisler
Lieder Vol. 4
Songs 1917-1929

MDG (2019)
Holger Falk, baritone
Steffen Schleiermacher, piano

Hanns Eisler
Lieder Vol. 3
Songs 1938-1948

MDG (2018)
Holger Falk, baritone
Steffen Schleiermacher, piano

Hanns Eisler
Lieder Vol. 2
Songs 1948-1962

MDG (2017)
Holger Falk, baritone
Steffen Schleiermacher, piano

Hanns Eisler
Lieder Vol. 1
Songs and Ballads 1929-1937

MDG (2017)
Holger Falk, baritone
Steffen Schleiermacher, piano

Peter Eötvös
Paradise reloaded

BMC-Records (2016)
Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gregory Vajda, Dirigent
Holger Falk, Lucifer

Hans-Jürgen von der Wense
Piano works, songs, chamber music

ES DUR (2016)
Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin
Steffen Schleiermacher, piano
Holger Falk, baritone, et al.

Erik Satie
Intégrale des Mélodies et Chansons

MDG (2015)
Holger Falk, baritone
Steffen Schleiermacher, piano

Francis Poulenc: "Mélodies sur des poèmes des poètes divers" Vol. 3

MDG (2013)
Holger Falk, Baritone
Alessandro Zuppardo

Francis Poulenc: "Mélodies sur des poèmes de Paul Éluard" Vol. 2

MDG + Deutschlandradio Kultur (2013)
Holger Falk, Bariton
Alessandro Zuppardo

Francis Poulenc: "Mélodies sur des poèmes de Guillaume Apollinaire"

MDG (2010)
Holger Falk, Baritone
Alessandro Zuppardo

Biografie Holger Falk 23/24 104 KB
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Biography Holger Falk 23/24 111.23 KB
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Repertoire Holger Falk 118.57 KB
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