HELEN AND KLAUS DONATH

Helen und Klaus Donath
Helen und Klaus Donath

Helen Donath,  the soprano from world-class, born as Helen Erwin, studied in her native Texas and in New York and had its European debut in January 1962 at the Cologne Opera, where she was a member of the International Opera Studio and others, and embodied Wellgunde in Wagner's "Das Rheingold" under Wolfgang Sawallisch, directed by Wieland Wagner. After its beginnings at the Staatstheater Hannover, where she met her husband, the conductor and pianist Klaus Donath (Marriage 1965), they launched an international career that takes them up today at all major opera houses, including the Bavarian State Opera, La Scala Milano, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden, the Saxon State Opera Dresden, Hamburg State Opera, as well as to Paris and Tokyo and to the United States, where she made her debut in 1991 as Marcellina in "Fidelio" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and she subsequently was standing on stage as Susanna and the Countess in "Le nozze di Figaro" as well as Sophie in "Der Rosenkavalier".

In the course of her career working - she worked - and is still is working together with all the leading conductors, inter alia, Karl Richter, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Rafael Kubelik, Antal Doráti, Leonard Bernstein, Georg Solti, Giuseppe Patanè, Daniel Barenboim, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Neville Marriner, Helmuth Rilling, Sir Colin Davis, Eugen Jochum, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta and Herbert von Karajan. For the vocal interpretations Helen Donath is praised worldwide for the past five decades and is documented by a very extensive discography. Among these is a complete recording of Britten's "The Turn of the Screw" under the conduction of Sir Colin Davis, in which she sings the role of the governess.

Particular highlights were the role of the Marschallin in "Der Rosenkavalier" in Detroit under the leadership of her husband Klaus Donath and in the direction of her son Alexander Donath and Despina in "Cosi fan tutte" at the Salzburg Festival from 2004 to 2006.

At the Cologne Opera they toured in 2011 as Mrs. Grose in "The Turn of the Screw". End of 2013, Helen Donath sang at the Gotham Chamber Opera in New York City in a series of operas by Ernst Toch and Kurt Weill. She was invited to the resumption of Mrs. Grose in Cologne and a new production in Wiesbaden in 2015. Helen Donath has won several awards, including the title Bavarian chamber singer, and a honorary doctorate from the University of Miami and 1990 she was awarded with the Lower Saxon Price. In 2005 she received the Distinguished Service Cross 1st Class from the Lower Saxon Merit.

The German pianist and conductor Klaus Donath began his conducting career at the Lower Saxony State Theatre in Hanover as well as an assistant to Wolfgang Sawallisch and Karl Böhm at the Salzburg Festival. A little later he became chief conductor at the Staatstheater Darmstadt and professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover. Quickly he acquired an excellent reputation for singers and instrumentalists.

He was a regular guest conductor of the Filarmonica Banatul Timisoara from 1991 to 1995 Bath and Wessex Opera, where he was estimated, especially for his interpretations of "La Bohème" "Dido and Aeneas", "La Traviata" and "Don Giovanni".

As a Mozart specialist first class Klaus Donath also enjoyed great success in North America, among others, "Don Giovanni" at the Pacific Opera, the Dayton Opera and the Michigan Opera Theatre, which re-invitations to the Opera Pacific with "Le nozze di Figaro", "The Magic Flute" and "Don Giovanni" and the Michigan Opera Theatre with "Le nozze di Figaro", "The Magic Flute" and "Der Rosenkavalier" had resulted. In addition, Klaus Donath worked with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and directed productions of "Der Rosenkavalier" at the Portland Opera, productions of "The Flying Dutchman" at the Opera Colorado as well as from "La Traviata" and "Cosi fan tutte" at the Florida Grand Opera.

With his wife, Helen Donath, he gave concerts in Miami, New York, Washington, Louisville, and at the San Diego Opera. "Don Giovanni", he headed in Seattle and at the Cincinnati Opera. At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C. he gave a concert with members of the National Symphony Orchestra. He also made guest appearances at the major European festivals in Bratislava, Herrenhausen, Munich and Prague, as well as the Schubertiade in Hohenems, the Ludwigsburg Castle Festival, the Schwetzingen Festival and the Autumnal Music Festival Bad Urach. 2005 Klaus Donath received the Distinguished Service Cross 1st Class of the Order of Merit of Lower Saxony.