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HELENA RASKER | Contralto

General Management Worldwide

Highlights for the season 2019/2020 for Dutch contralto Helena Rasker will include the role of Griet’s Mother in the world premiere of Girl with the Pearl Earring composed by Stefan Wirth at Opernhaus Zürich, the Old Countess in Pique Dame at the Aalto Theater in Essen, George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill with Ensemble Intercontemporain at the Festival Présences in Paris, Stravinsky's Requiem Canticles with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Andrea Battistoni, Diepenbrock's Die Nacht with the Residentie Orkest The Hague, Beethoven’s Symphony Nr.9 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Sakari Oramo and Mahler’s Symphony Nr.2 with the South Netherlands Philharmonic.

 

She recently sang the alto part in George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill with Ensemble Modern in a tour through Europe at venues such as Wigmore Hall, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the Alte Oper Frankfurt and the same piece with the Münchener Kammerorchester, the role of Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 2018 with Raphaël Pichon conducting, the role of Ramise in Händel's Arminio under the baton of Laurence Cummings at the Internationale Händel-Festpiele Göttingen 2018,

Bach's Mattheaus Passion and Mahler's Symphony Nr. 8 with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Marc Albrecht, Schumann's Szenen aus Goethes Faust with The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Markus Stenz, Bruckner's Mass Nr. 3 with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Edo de Waart, Leocasta in Händel’s Giustino with with Lautten Compagney at the Händel-festspiele Halle and Bach’s Weihnachts Oratorium and Mattheaus Passion with conductor Marc Minkowksi and Les Musiciens du Louvre.

 

Her other operatic engagements include Third secretary to Mao (Nixon in China), First Maid (Elektra), Grimgerde (Die Walküre), Hedwige (Guillaume Tell) and Mother (Lulu) for the Dutch National Opera, Bryna (Michel van der Aa’s After Life) for the Melbourne Festival and Erna in Georg Friedrich Haas’ Morgen und Abend at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin under the baton of Michael Boder.

 

Her role creations include Ursula (Peter-Jan Wagemans’s Legende), Paula (Robin de Raaf’s Waiting for Miss Monroe) and Mother (Martijn Padding’s Laika) and in 2013 the world premiere of Robert Zuidam’s chamber opera Troparion. Other operas in which she has created roles include Jan van Vlijmen’s Thyeste and Zuidam’s Adam in Ballingshap.

 

In concert, Rasker has worked with orchestras including the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, London Sinfonietta, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Lausanne and Geneva chamber orchestras, Europa Galante and ASKO/Schoenberg Ensemble. She has sung at festivals throughout Europe and in Australia. Her concert repertory includes oratorios by Bach, Handel and Mendelssohn, Mahler symphonies, Wagner’s Wesendock Lieder and chamber and recital repertoire by Brahms, Ravel and Schoenberg. Her contemporary recital repertory includes works by Sciarrino, Gubaidulina, Nono and Zuidam.

 

Helena Rasker trained at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and the Tanglewood Music Center. She currently is coached by Margreet Honig.

 

For a full biography and more information

about the role of Claudio in Händel’s Lucio Cornelia Silla at the Die Tage Alter Musik in Herne.

 

“Die Altistin Helena Rasker ist eine der Stärksten im Ensemble, mit toller Tiefe und grosser Sicherheit hält sie die Töne bis zum nächsten Trompeteneinsatz - dem Publikum stockt der Atem.

Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung, 17 Nov 2016

“ Helena Rasker begeistert in der Partie des Claudio mit einem dunkel-timbrierten Alt, der in den Arien die unterschiedlichen Gefühlsregungen des jungen Mannes deutlich herausarbeitet. Dabei verfügt Rasker über eine kräftige Mittellage, die vor allem in Claudios Arie "Con tromba guerriera" am Ende des ersten Aktes seinen unbändigen Mut erkennen lässt.” 

Online Musik Magazine, November 2016

About the role of Erna in Georg Friedrich Haas' Morgen und Abend at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

 

"Dutch contralto Helena Rasker produced grand tone as Erna. “

Operanews, 13 November 2015

 

"The Dutch contralto Helena Rasker has a wonderful warm deep voice and a stage presence to match." 

Opera Brittania, 15 November 2015

"Seasoned Dutch contralto Helena Rasker brings a rich, ethereal sensuality to Johannes's dead wife Erna” 

The Londonist, 16 November 2015

 

"Der Alt von Helena Rasker als Fischersfrau Erna bringt mit starker Bruststimme so etwas wie Erotik ins Spiel.” 

Süddeutsche Zeitung. 16 November 2015

 

About the role of the Mother in Martijn Padding’s Laïka at the Dutch

National Opera.

 

"Helena Rasker (mother) sings a top-class role appealing to the deepest regions of her contralto voice."

NRC Handelsblad, 4 June 2014

 

'" (…) exceedingly strong part for Helena Rasker as Robberts mother (….) her vocal contribution a source of great joy."

Het Parool, 4 June 2014 

 

"The dominating mother was sung by Helena Rasker. Her performance reminded me of the movie Psycho (….) Unquestionably a highlight within the opera." 

Operamagazine.nl, 4 June 2014.