" IN THE TITLE ROLE OF ARIODANTE, OLIVIA VERMEULEN'S COLORATURA SINGING WAS SO WONDERFULLY LUMINOUS AND CAPTIVATING THAT NO LISTENER WILL EVER FORGET IT. "
- ELEONORE BÜNING; FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG
Dutch mezzosoprano Olivia Vermeulen has established herself in recent years as a versatile soloist of international standing.
In May 2016, she made her tumultuously celebrated début at the Berlin State Opera, taking the lead role of Turno in Agostino Steffani’s opera Amor Vien dal Destino under René Jacobs. In addition, she has toured with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer in Mozart’s Magic Flute to cities including Budapest, Amsterdam, London and Berlin, and performed for the first time under Daniel Harding with the London Symphony Orchestra, singing Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust in London’s Barbican Hall.
Plans for the coming season include a tour with Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under René Jacobs as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, and her début at the Bregenz Festival with a leading role in the world premiere of Das Jagdgewehr by Thomas Larcher. She will also perform with Jörg Widmann at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and sing Mozart’s C Minor Mass under Masaaki Suzuki in the Théâtre du Champs-Elysées and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.
In 2019 she will make her début at Paris National Opera.
A passionate exponent of the Classical and Baroque repertoire, Olivia Vermeulen has performed in Tokyo under Masaaki Suzuki in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Mozart’s C Minor Mass (later a Gramophone award-winning CD), and has toured with Bach’s Christmas Oratorio under Helmuth Rilling.
In 2017, she took the part of Ramiro in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera under Andrew Parrott with the Munich Radio Orchestra, sang the title role in Handel’s Teseo under Federico Maria Sardelli in Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, and appeared as the eponymous queen in Vivaldi’s Arsilda at the Grand Theatre Luxembourg, Opéra de Lille and the Opéra Royal Versailles.
Furthermore, she sang Annio in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito under Stefano Montanari in Moscow, Cherubino in an Aix-en-Provence Festival production at the Opéra de Dijon under Jonathan Cohen, and gave a guest appearance in the same production under Andreas Spering in Bahrain.
Her other major roles in the operatic repertoire include Ariodante (Ariodante), Idamante (Idomeneo), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Sesto (Giulio Cesare), l’Enfant (l’Enfant et les Sortilèges), Cenerentola (La Cenerentola) and Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel).
Olivia Vermeulen is equally in demand as a performer of contemporary music. In this capacity, she made her début at the Ruhrtriennale in 2017 with the world premiere of Kein Licht by Philippe Manoury with texts by Elfriede Jelinek. As part of the Musikfest Berlin, she gave a guest performance with Musikfabrik Köln in the Berlin Philharmonie under Peter Eötvös. She is also a regular guest at the renowned Kissinger Sommer, where she has premiered songs by Wolfgang Rihm.
Further festival invitations have included the Munich Opera Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, RheinVokal, Musikfest Stuttgart, and the Handel Festival in Halle.
Beyond the opera stage, Olivia Vermeulen also enjoys a busy solo career on the concert platform. She has already worked with numerous distinguished conductors including Philippe Herreweghe, Iván Fischer, Markus Stenz, Marek Janowski, Andrea Marcon, Franz Brüggen, Reinhard Goebel, Michael Schønwandt, Alessandro de Marchi, Konrad Junghänel, Tomáš Netopil, Enoch zu Guttenberg and Lothar Zagrosek.
Olivia Vermeulen studied singing in Detmold with Mechtild Böhme and in Berlin with Julie Kaufmann.
She took part in lieder classes given by Wolfram Rieger and Axel Bauni, and masterclasses with Andreas Scholl, Thomas Quasthoff, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Irwin Gage. She currently receives vocal coaching from Margreet Honig.
In 2008 she won the Bavarian Radio international lieder competition ‘La Voce’. Numerous radio and CD recordings document the output of this versatile singer.