Judith Schmid (Switzerland) is one of today’s outstanding mezzo-sopranos, and possesses a highly varied repertoire. The operatic stage and the concert hall are her main focus, but her love of lieder (Mahler in particular), of oratorio and of contemporary experimental music means that these all play an important role in her professional life.
For more than 20 years, Judith Schmid has been a much sought-after, highly acclaimed soloist at the Zurich Opera House and elsewhere, singing trouser roles such as Smeton (“Anna Bolena”), Sesto (”Giulio Cesare”) and Silla (”Palestrina”), but also Suzuki (“Madama Butterfly“), Polina (“Pique Dame”), Federica (“Luisa Miller”), Maddalena (“Rigoletto”), Emilia (“Otello”) and many other roles. More recently, she has concentrated increasingly on the dramatic mezzo repertoire.
In the 2016/17 season, Judith Schmid will be a soloist both in Zurich and at the Nuremberg State Theatre, where she will be giving her debuts in the roles of Erda (in”Rheingold”), Waltraute (“Walküre”), Erda (“Siegfried”), and First Norn and Flosshilde (“Götterdämmerung”).
For several years now, Judith Schmid has been passing on her vocal and stage experience to a younger generation of professional singers, and from 2017 onwards she will do so as a lecturer for singing at the University of Lucerne.
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For me, the most beautiful role is also the one I’ve sung most often, and she’s my favourite: Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. This is perhaps also because I’ve sung her up to now in three different productions (one revival and two new productions).
It’s Suzuki’s physical presence that makes this role so fascinating to me. She’s on stage from the beginning to the end of the tragedy. She does not sing much in Act One, to be sure, but she leaves her mark on the action by simply being there, and through the physical aura she exudes.
Over the years, throughout the different productions and performances in which I’ve sung the role, the character of Suzuki has matured in me. The calm simplicity with which she moves and expresses herself have helped me to develop an intimate, personal relationship with her.
In both vocal and acting terms, Suzuki is one of my most personal roles – one that I feel closest to and that I trust the most. I could sing her for all time. Calmness and a sense of just “being” are what I associate with Suzuki.