The Boston Globe hails Michaela Martens for her “dense, color-saturated voice” and declares: “She is a passionate and sympathetic vocal actress.” Ms. Martens is fast becoming known for her portrayals of some of the most difficult dramatic mezzo-soprano roles in the repertoire, beginning with a triumphant last minute debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as die Amme in Die Frau ohne Schatten, a role she repeated for the Oper Graz in a new production by the critically acclaimed director Marco Marelli.
Michaela Martens begins the 2016-2017 season as Freia in Das Rheingold with North Carolina Opera. She then sings the role of Herodias in Salome with Pittsburgh Opera and performs John Adams’ The Gospel of the Other Mary with the St. Louis Symphony at Carnegie Hall. She debuts with Washington Concert Opera in the title role of Hérodiade and sings Ortrud in Lohengrin with Opernhaus Zürich. Last season, Ms. Martens performed the role of Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle in concert with the New Japan Philharmonic in Tokyo, Cassandre in Les Troyens with Geneva Opera in Switzerland, and Kostelnicka in Jenůfa with English National Opera.
In the 2014-15 season, she returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Marilyn Klinghoffer in John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer, Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle, and Gertrud in Hänsel und Gretel - a role she reprised later that season in her debut with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. With the Santa Fe Opera she performed Herodias in Salome, and with San Francisco Opera she sang the role of Cassandre in Les Troyens. Ms. Martens opened the 2013-14 season with her return to Oper Graz singing the role of Ortrud in Lohengrin, a role she later reprised at the Vienna State Opera. Ms. Martens also made a return to the Opernhaus Zürich as Kostelnicka in Jenůfa, a role in which she made her triumphant debut last season. Ms. Martens was also heard as Kundry in Parsifal and the 2nd Norn in Götterdämmerung at the Metropolitan Opera in the 2012-13 season.
In the 2011-2012 season, she was heard as Gertrude in Hänsel und Gretel and returned to English National Opera as Marilyn Klinghoffer in Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer. Ms. Martens made her Carnegie Hall debut with the American Symphony Orchestra singing the difficult title role in Albéric Magnard’s Berenice. Opera Today said, “…she can indeed sing softly, though clearly, when required…but it is the fierce and tireless, unwavering solidity of Martens’ voice that Wagnerians will find exciting.” Finishing the 2010-2011 season she joined the Indianapolis Symphony for performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with world renowned conductor Raymond Leppard and later this season, she will be heard as the mezzo soloist in Verdi’s Requiem for the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. Also in the 2010-11 season, Ms. Martens once again joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for productions of Capriccio and Die Walküre in their new Ring Cycle staged by Robert LePage.
Ms. Martens made her debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Franz Welser-Möst to open the 2009 - 2010 season. She returned to the English National Opera as Judith in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle where she had previously been heard as Kostelnicka in David Alden’s critically acclaimed production of Jenůfa. The London Musical Criticism praises Ms. Martens’ protrayal as “a virtuoso and heart-breaking portrayal, physically as well as vocally.” She began the 2008 - 2009 season, with a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, along with productions of La Damnation de Faust and Götterdämmerung. In the 2006–2007 season, Ms. Martens sang Verdi’s Requiem in a return to the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. That same season she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the Contessa in Andrea Chenier and joined their productions of The First Emperor, Il Trittico, and Jenůfa. The mezzo-soprano’s other recent engagements include Margerethe in Schumann’s opera, Genoveva, at Bard’s SummerScape Festival and the Queen in La bella dormente nel bosco by Respighi at both the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. and New York’s Lincoln Center Festival.