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The versatile artist Christiane Iven worked as a concert and Lied singer and felt equally at home on the opera stage. Starting her career in concert and opera as a mezzo-soprano, Iven later switched to soprano. Her dark timbred voice has always been in between both subjects. Among other things, she was a member of the ensemble of the Staatsoper Stuttgart for many years. In Stuttgart, as well as in further German and European opera houses, she worked with the directing team Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito, with Calixto Bieto, Claus Guth, Luc Perceval, Andreas Homoki, Stephan Herheim, Andrea Moses and others. Her most important roles were Feldmarschallin (Rosenkavalier), Agathe (Freischütz), Didon (Les Troyens), Marie (Wozzeck), Kundry (Parsifal), Strauss’s Ariadne (title role), Elvira (Don Giovanni), Emilia Marty (Die Sache Makropulos), Sieglinde (Walküre) and Isolde (Tristan und Isolde).
She appeared in concerts with leading orchestras, including the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporaine, NDR Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, RSO Berlin, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Munich Philharmonic and the Czech Philharmonic under the baton of Marc Albrecht, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Riccardo Chailly, Teodor Currentzis, John Elliot Gardiner, Michael Gielen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Heinz Holliger, Marco Letonja, Shao-Chia Lü, Sir Neville Marriner, Matthias Pintscher, Helmut Rilling, Michael Schoenwandt, Christian Zacharias and Lothar Zagrosek.
Her most frequently sung repertoire included the Seven Early Songs by Alban Berg, the Wesendonck-Lieder by Richard Wagner, Rückert-Lieder, the Lied von der Erde, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Lieder aus des Knaben Wunderhorn by Gustav Mahler, the Lyric Symphony by Alexander Zemlinsky, as well as the Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss.
Her lieder recitals with Burkhard Kehring, Igor Levit, Wolfram Rieger, András Schiff, Jan Philip Schulze among many others, were Christiane Iven’s particular passion and at the very heart of her concert activity. She was a guest performer at leading music festivals including the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival and the Schwetzinger SWR Festival.
Christiane Iven was born in Hamburg, studied in her home city under Judith Beckmann, and supplemented her studies in lied interpretation classes with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Berlin.
She had scholarships from the Steans Institute of Music at the Ravinia Festival (USA), the Richard-Wagner-Verband and the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes. In 1990 she was a prizewinner at the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, and in the following years she won prizes at a number of international lied competitions.
Christiane Iven discovered her passion for music in her school time. She sang in the choir of the St. Michaeliskirche in Hamburg under Günter Jena for many years. As a student she worked as a long-term understudy at the NDR choir. In particular the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, his Passions and Cantatas, became the focus of her life, and left a profound impression which remains to this day. After initial, small parts at the State Opera Hamburg she became a member of the ensemble at the Theater Bremen in 1992. In 1996 she moved to the Nationaltheater Mannheim, where she sang parts such as Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Charlotte (Werther). This was followed in 2001 by an engagement as a permanent ensemble member at the Staatsoper Hannover and in 2006 at the Staatsoper Stuttgart.
For her artistic achievements, she was awarded the Niedersächsischer Staatspreis (State Prize of Lower Saxony) and honored with the title of ‘Kammersängerin’ by the state of Baden Württemberg.
A further focus is her successful work as a singing teacher. From 2001–2007 she was a professor at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. Since the winter semester 2013/14, Christiane Iven holds a professorship for voice at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich. She is a requested jury member at international singing competitions and gives numerous master classes, including at the Internationale Musikakademie für Solisten (IMAS) at Schloss Bückeburg, the Internationale Bachakademie in Stuttgart, the International Hugo-Wolf-Akademie and the Summer Academy of the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
In addition, Christiane Iven works as a coach and consultant in the fields of music, theater and pedagogy.