Richard-Strauss-Festival @ Schloss Elmau

Johannes Brahms

Selected songs

Richard Strauss

Eight Poems from „Last Leaflets“ by Hermann Gilm op. 10

Selected songs

Gustav Mahler

Lyrics following Friedrich Rückert

Okka von der Damerau
Karola Theill

Mezzo-soprano Okka von der Damerau is one of the most promising singers of her generation and loved by the audience. She is successful as an opera and concert singer and devotes herself to the „Lied“. In Bayreuth she succeeded in Frank Castorf's production of "Der Ring des Nibelungen" under the direction of Kirill Petrenko. She is also in demand internationally as Brangäne in "Tristan and Isolde".
Okka von der Damerau has chosen a delicate programme for the song recital in Schloss Elmau: Gustav Mahler's "Rückert Lieder", Richard Strauss' early, already masterly songs on poems by Hermann Gilm and songs by Johannes Brahms. Her partner at the piano is the Berlin pianist Karola Theill, who has established herself internationally as an accomplished accompanist with artists such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Angela Denoke and Matthias Goerne.

Bus transfer GAP - Elmau - GAP can be booked additionally.

Okka von der Damerau © Michael Lieb
Okka von der Damerau © Michael Lieb

Okka von der DamerauHamburg-born Okka von der Damerau began her vocal studies in Rostock and graduated at the University of Music in Freiburg. Her first engagements led her to the theatres of Rostock and Freiburg.
From 2006 until 2010 she was an ensemble member of the Hannover State Opera and performed e.g. in the world premiere of Edward Rushton’s DIE FROMME HELENE, in DAS RHEINGLD/ Erda, RIGOLETTO/ Maddalena and DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE/ Dritte Dame. After having given her debut as Erste Magd in the ELEKTRA-production of the Bavarian State Opera she has been an ensemble member since the 2010/11-season. Here she will perform in three new productions in the season 2015/16: Verdi’s UN BALLO IN MASCHERA/ Ulrica (C: Zubin Mehta), DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG/ Maddalena (C: Kirill Petrenko), Prokoviev’s THE FIERY ANGEL/ Abbess (C: Vladimir Jurowski).
Future engagements furthermore lead her in the 2016/17-season to Chicago, where she will sing the roles of Erda/ DAS RHEINGOLD and Anna/ LES TROYENS. Besides, she gives her house debut at the Vienna State Opera with the role of Erda/ RHEINGOLD and SIEGFRIED.
In June 2016 Okka von der Damerau gives her debut at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Bruck In 2017/18 she will among others perform in a new production DAS WUNDER DER HELIANE at Deutsche Oper Berlin, as Brangäne / TRISTAN UND ISOLDE in concert with Cleveland Orchestra, concerts with Mahler II. Symphony under the baton of Antonio Pappano at Enescu Festival Bukarest and under Kent Nagano in Munich and Berlin, and IX. Beethoven under Daniel Barenboim in Berlin.ner’s TE DEUM (C: Riccardo Muti).

Karola Theill © Karola Theill
Karola Theill © Karola Theill

Karola TheillKarola Theill was a real new discovery, “Der Tagesspiegel” wrote about Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s accompanist after a concert in the Berlin Philharmonie. Since then Karola Theill has made a name for herself as a pianist and lecturer as one of a few women in Lied interpretation.
Karola Theill gives concerts in Germany (amongst others at the Berliner Festwochen, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the International May Festival Wiesbaden, the Moselfestwochen), as well as in other European countries (e. g. Musikverein Wien, Opéra de Bastille, Paris), Israel, the USA and China.
She was or is an accompanist for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Benjamin Bruns, Angela Denoke, Matthias Goerne, Klaus Häger, Thomas Mohr, Adrian Strooper, Silvia Weiss, Nadine Weissmann, Okka von der Damerau and others. She is also a member of the ensembles “flautopiano berlin” and “liedtrio”.
Born in Cologne, she was trained as a pianist at universities in Hamburg and Berlin. She attended song courses with Aribert Reimann and was a lied-accompanist in the lessons of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau for several years.
In 1987 she was awarded a one-year scholarship to the Indiana University, School of Music in Bloomington, USA. The intensive cooperation with the pianist Shoshana Cohen in Jerusalem since 1985 has been particularly formative.
Karola Theill teaches as an honorary professor at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin and leads a lieder class at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock.
She regularly gives master classes for lieder in Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Akademii Muzycznej in Poznan (Poland), the Conservatorio di Musica in Castelfranco (Italy), the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem (Israel), the University of California (USA) and the ZheJiang Conservatory of Music in Hang Zhou (China).
Radio recordings and CD productions document their activities.