Preparation of roles from the entire operatic repertoire with the focus on:
- Wagner – Strauss – Berg
- Modern – world premieres
- Bel canto
- Monteverdi – Italian Baroque Opera – Handel
- Audition training
- German diction
I have cooperated well with Wolfgang Niessner since my studies at the Mozarteum Salzburg. I really respect him for his comprehensive knowledge of German repertoire, especially the works of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. His knowledge of the performance practice of the individual works, application of the score as well as all of the performance versions were a great support for my study of the roles of my lyric dramatic soprano fach (e.g. Elsa in Bayreuth, Sieglinde in Vienna and Paris, Gutrune in New York at the MET, Chrysothemis (Montpellier, Cologne, Munich), Wozzeck Marie in Tokyo or L’Upupa Badi’at in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam) and now accompanies me on my way into the dramatic soprano fach, starting with Isolde and Brünnhilde.
Wolfgang Niessner has worked with me as an opera répétiteur and coach since my time at the music university. For my first permanent opera engagement he helped me prepare different roles, such as Desdemona, Faust Marguerite, Amelia, Butterfly, Tosca, Senta, Marschallin. Niessner helped me develop greatly in terms of singing styles. I value him very much for his expertise as a conductor, his incredibly large knowledge of opera repertoire, quick grasp of the scores, competent work with singers and very good knowledge of types of voices and their development.
After a ten-year break from singing, I was 61 and had to prepare the role of Prioress Madame de Croissy (Dialogues of the Carmelites) to be sung in Hildesheim. Wolfgang Niessner accompanied my return to the opera with great patience. To build up the stamina, we sang Lieder over and over again. With his highly professional knowledge of Poulenc’s music, I was able to present my role successfully. I am still grateful to him for his incredibly patient, and at the same time relentlessly role-oriented, work.
Christa Ranacher, Düsseldorf, Berlin / KO, Hanover, Munich / Gärtnerplatz.
The musical collaboration and friendship with Wolfgang goes back for decades. From January 1987 we worked almost daily, initially on my first roles at the Salzburg State Theathre, and later, with great pleasure, on increasingly demanding roles, such as Drum Major – (Wozzeck), Max – (Jonny plays on), Max – (Freischütz), Hoffmann – (The Tales of Hoffmann), Jimmy Mahoney – (Mahagonny), Florestan – (Fidelio). We also had a lot of fun preparing operetta galas. I really appreciate Wolfgang. He has professional competence and is very accurate and consistent. He also prepared me well for my engagements at the Salzburg Festival and many other concerts. Lately we have also enjoyed working on the Lied repertoire.
I have been working with Wolfgang Niessner for over ten years on a regular basis in order to take care of my already learned roles and to study new ones. His sound knowledge of the repertoire and his constant work stemming from his theater experience have made him an indispensable coach for me with whom I was able to learn complex roles in a concentrated manner and in a short time. I would like to especially emphasize two role debuts, which with the excellent preparation by Wolfgang Niessner were successfully and surely presented on stage without previous orchestral rehearsals: Baron Ochs – Rosenkavalier and King Heinrich -Lohengrin. Also Osmin (The Abduction from the Seraglio), Rocco (Fidelio), Kaspar (Freischütz), Elias, and many other roles have been prepared in a pleasant and personal working atmosphere and with a lot of calmness.
David Steffens, soloist in the ensemble of the Stuttgart Opera, at the Salzburg Festival and the Teatro Real Madrid.