Renate Behle, “a Wagner singer to rejoice over” (Die Welt), has left her mark as one of the leading dramatic sopranos with Wagner and Strauss repertoire in opera houses throughout the world for many years. Since 2007 she has appeared internationally as a dramatic mezzo-soprano – the “unique example of a Wagner heroine with a heart and intellect” (Kölner Stadtanzeiger).
For more than fifteen years Renate Behle has been one of the world’s most outstanding interpreters of dramatic roles. With her “warm, sumptuous, full voice” whose “sound is etched in one’s memory” (Financial Times), she has thrilled audiences and critics alike on nearly every major opera stage in the world.
During her more than forty-year career, Renate Behle has displayed remarkable vocal versatility. She began her singing career as a lyric mezzo-soprano. Following her studies in Graz and Rome, Renate Behle sang at the Baden State Theatre in Karlsruhe for two years. In order to have more time for her family after the birth of her son, she joined the chorus of the North German Radio as first alto in 1974. Five years later an engagement as lyric mezzo-soprano at the Musiktheater im Revier in Gelsenkirchen followed.
In 1982 she was engaged by the Lower Saxony State Opera in Hanover, where she was a member of the ensemble for fifteen years, despite her steadily growing international reputation – an important period of development during which she acquired a wide-ranging repertoire of roles from Hansel to Eboli. She was named Kammersängerin in 1987.
The same year – after singing such roles as Adalgisa (Norma) and Adriano (Rienzi) – she began a change in vocal type. To begin with, she took on youthful soprano roles such as Sieglinde, Ariadne and the Marschallin. “Behle floated on a cushion of sound, and the listeners held their breath so as not to miss any of the nuances,” (Hannoversche Allgemeine). A short time later she added the great dramatic roles such as Leonore (Fidelio), Isolde and Brünnhilde.