Vienna-born tenor Norbert Ernst has achieved international acclaim as a performer of roles like Loge (Rheingold), David (Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Erik (Fliegender Holländer), Leukippos (Daphne) and in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Recently, he has been expanding into the lyric-dramatic tenor repertory, having made successful debuts as Florestan (Fidelio) and Lohengrin (Montpellier, Marseille).
In 2018/19 he will make his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Loge in Das Rheingold, a role he will also sing at other leading opera houses such as the Wiener Staatsoper and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. He will also make his debut at the Staatsoper Hamburg in a new production of Schumann’s Faust-Szenen, and will return to the Deutsche Oper am Rhein as Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus. The MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig will present him for a concert version of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, and he will perform Mahler’s Symphony No.8 under the baton of Kirill Petrenko.
Highlights of Mr. Ernst’s past engagements include Hans Schwalb in Mathis der Maler at the Enescu Festival, Aegisth in Elektra at the Wiener Staatsoper and in concert performances in Paris, Loge at the Wiener and the Bayerische Staatsopers, Merkur in Liebe der Danae at Salzburg Festival, Dvorak Requiem with the MDR Leipzig and concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra. Of particular note amongst his appearances with Franz Welser- Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra were his performances of Leukippos in Strauss’ Daphne in Cleveland as well as at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York. Shortly afterward, he celebrated his operatic debut at Salzburg Festival with Fidelio. In autumn 2015, he had his debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London with Tanzmeister in Strauss` Ariadne auf Naxos.
In summer 2016 Mr. Ernst released his Solo-CD “Lebt kein Gott” with excerpts from Wagner’s operas (Decca). With his successful interpretation of Loge in Das Rheingold in 2014, he celebrated his tenth anniversary as a soloist at the Bayreuth Festival. Beyond Bayreuth, Mr. Ernst has been a guest performer at various prestigious international festivals, such as the Cincinnati Opera, Ohio, the Opera Festival Savonlinna Finland and the Salzburg Festival.
From 2010 to 2017 Norbert Ernst was a member of the Wiener Staatsoper, where he established himself in the German repertoire, performing such diverse roles as Loge (Rheingold), Aegisth (Elektra), David (Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Alfred (Fledermaus), Erik (Der Fliegende Holländer), Narraboth (Salome) and Tamino (The Magic Flute).
Mr. Ernst’s first engagement brought him to the Deutsche Oper am Rhein from 2002 to 2005, where he was able to work on the major roles of his repertoire. Many guest appearances followed, for instance as David, Nemorino, Steuermann, Narraboth, Tanzmeister and Pedrillo at major European opera houses in Munich, Vienna, Barcelona, Geneva, Berlin, Paris, Monte Carlo and Amsterdam with conductors such as Franz Welser- Möst, Christian Thielemann, Kirill Petrenko, Peter Schneider, Sebastian Weigle, Bertrand de Billy, Simone Young, Ingo Metzmacher, Ulf Schirmer, Pierre Boulez, Adam Fischer, Pinchas Steinberg and Ivor Bolton.
As recital and concert singer Norbert Ernst has performed at the Wiener Musikverein, Brucknerhaus Linz, Wiener Konzerthaus, Philharmonie am Gasteig Munich, at the Berliner Philharmonie, at Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Tonhalle Düsseldorf with works of the entire large oratorio literature from Bach’s Passions to Mahler’s Song of the Earth. After his successful recital debut in 2013 at the Wiener Musikverein and the release of his highly acclaimed first Lieder recording “Wohl fühl ich wie das Leben rinnt” on the Viennese label Gramola in January 2015, Mr. Ernst and his accompanist Kristin Okerlund were invited for a recital at the Opéra National de Paris with songs of Hugo Wolf to texts by Eduard Mörike.
Mr. Ernst started his vocal studies with Gerd Fussi at the Josef-Matthias Hauer Conservatory in Wiener Neustadt and later studied „Lied und Oratorium“ with Robert Holl and Charles Spencer at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. He further attended master classes with Walter Berry and Kurt Equiluz.