Schwarz, Hanna, German mezzo-soprano; b. Hamburg, Aug. 15, 1943. She studied in Hamburg, Hannover, and Essen. In 1970 she made her operatic debut as Maddalena in Rigoletto in Hannover. In 1973 she became a member of the Hamburg State Opera. She sang with the Bavarian State Opera in Munich for the first time in 1974. In 1975 she made her debut at the Bayreuth Festival as Flosshilde in Das Rheingold, and continued to sing there during the next decade. In 1977 she made her U.S. debut as Fricka in Das Rheingold at the San Francisco Opera, and also appeared as Preziosilla at the Paris Opéra. In 1978 she sang Cherubino at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. On Feb. 24, 1979, she appeared as Countess Geschwitz in the first complete performance of Lulu at the Paris Opéra. That same year she also made her debut at the Salzburg Festival as a soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Sym. In 1980 she sang for the first time at London’s Covent Garden as Waltraute and returned to the Salzburg Festival to sing Juana in a concert performance of Krenek’s Karl V. In 1992 she made her first operatic stage appearance at the Salzburg Festival when she sang Herodias. She was engaged as Fricka and Waltraute at the Bayreuth Festival in 1995, and that same year she sang in the premiere of Schnit-tke’s Historia von D. Johann Fausten in Hamburg. In 1996 she appeared as Herodias and Fricka at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. As a concert artist, she sang widely in Europe and North America.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire