German mezzo-soprano Doris Soffel first studied violin at the Munich Academy of Music, then singing with the legendary Wagner/Strauss-soprano Marianne Schech. During her studies already, she made her debut at the Bayreuth Youth Festival, singing the leading role in Wagner´s Das Liebesverbot. Wolfgang Windgassen immediately engaged her at the Stuttgart opera ensemble. During the following years she could build up a broad repertoire, including protagonist roles like Carmen, Eboli/Don Carlo and Octavian/Der Rosenkavalier.
With her sensational success at Covent Garden as Sesto in Mozart´s Titus 1983 and as Orlofsky in Fledermaus (conductor Domingo) 1984 her world career was launched. Sawallisch gave her a lasting guest contract at the Bavarian State Opera, Munich. Since then she has made regular appearances in all big and important opera houses and concert halls of the world. In the 1980ies Doris Soffel became the only German mezzo-soprano with a world career in coloratura roles (belcanto-operas like L´Italiana  in Algeri and  La Cenerentola by Rossini as well as Donizetti and Bellini operas). Her cooperation with Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge has been well documented. In French repertoire she conquered the International audience not only with Carmen, but also with roles like Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther (with Alfredo Kraus) and Marguerite (Berlioz’ Damnation de Faust). Her exceptional musicality and vocal flexibility also led to cooperation with contemporary composers like Reimann, Henze and Penderecki. She had triumphant successes at world premieres, e.g. at the Munich Opera Festival in 1986 as Kassandra in Reimanns Troades.
With an extraordinary combination of passion, creativity and intelligence, demonstrated already in the Italian and French roles, Doris Soffel grew into one of the most significant Wagner- and Strauss singers of our time. Her early successes as Fricka/Das Rheingold and Die Walküre with Solti in Bayreuth and her Waltraute/Götterdämmerung with Mehta were confirmed later, at Carsens Cologne-Ring, at Audis Amsterdam Ring, at the Dresden Ring,  in 2010 at La Scala with Barenboim and in Berlin with Rattle. Her Kundry/Parsifal with Thielemann and her Ortrud/Lohengrin with Luisi are legendary. Doris Soffels artistic curiosity and permanent seeking of new challenges has also brought her in recent years to the Slavic repertoire: With Marfa in Mussorgski’s Khovanschina, Jezibaba/Rusalka and Kabanicha in Janacek’s Katia Kabanova the artist painted extraordinary and touching role portraits.
Today, with her strong vocal expressive power, with her charisma and with stunning acting performances, she celebrates one triumph after the other in strong Strauss roles like die Amme in Die Frau ohne Schatten (debut in Los Angeles 2004), Herodias/Salome and Klytämnestra/Elektra.
Doris Soffel has sung with legendary conductors such as von Karajan, Celebidache, Solti, Giulini, Sawallisch, Maazel, Mehta, Sinopoli, as well as Thielemann, Jordan, Runnicles, Nagano, Barenboim, Simone Young and Rattle. Working from the beginning of her career with such significant stage directors as Rennert, Ponnelle, Sir Peter Hall, Jonathan Miller, Friedrich and Kupfer had a great formative influence on her artistry and today she works with directors like Konwitschny, Carsen, Herheim, Loy, van Hove and Tcherniakov.
Doris Soffel also has an impressive career as concert- and Lied-singer, main focus on Mahler, Brahms and Strauss. A strong presence on Youtube and an extensive discography (more than 60 CDs) as well as many DVD productions testifies to the great versatility of the singer and to the beauty of her voice. She is German “Kammersängerin” and in 2001 she was awarded with the Royal Swedish Northern Star Order for her important artistic contributions to Swedish music life.

Previous plans for 2019/20 included a. Herodias / Salome under the direction of Kirill Petrenko at the Bayerische Staatsoper München, Klytämnestra / Elektra at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia with Marc Albrecht on the podium, Leokadja Begbick / Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Nationale Opera Amsterdam *, Mme de Croissy / Dialogues des Carmélites at the Glyndebourne Festival and Liederabend “Grandeur und Dekadenz” on the occasion of the Münchner Opernfestspiele *.
Past engagements include Herodias/Salome under the baton of Kirill Petrenko at the Bavarian State Opera Munich, Klytämnestra/Elektra with Marc Albrecht at Palau de les Arts Valencia, Leokadja Begbick/Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny at Dutch National Opera Amsterdam under Markus Stenz, as well as Madame de Croissy/Dialogues des Carmélites (staged by Barrie Kosky) and with Robin Ticciati in Glyndebourne. Furthermore, she was part of the Munich Opera Festival performing her highly acclaimed Lied recital „Grandeur und Dekadenz“.

In the 22/23 season, Soffel will take on the roles of Madame Louise/Oceane, Herodias/Salome and Adelaide/Arabella at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Die Hexe/Königskinder at the De Nationale Opera in Amsterdam.

* cancelled due to Covid-19

Artist Website



Artist Manager
Boris Orlob
Managing Director 
Mobil: +49-172-8 51 55 14


Repertoire Concert

Bach, J.S. Christmas Oratorio
  St. Matthew Passion
Beethoven Missa solemnis
  Symphony no. 9
Berg Sieben frühe Lieder
Berlioz La mort de Cleopatre  
  Les nuits d'été
  Romeo et Juliette
Brahms Alt-Rhapsodie
  Vier ernste Gesänge
Dvorak Stabat Mater
Hindemith Requiem
Mahler Das Lied von der Erde
  Des Knaben Wunderhorn
  Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
  Symphony no. 2
  Symphony no. 3
  Symphony no. 8 / Alto 1
Martin Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets
  In terra pax
Mendelssohn Elias
Mozart Requiem
Pfitzner Von deutscher Seele Op. 28
Ravel Shéhérezade
Rossini Petite Messe solennelle
  Stabat Mater
Schnittke Faust-Kantate / Mefistofela
Schulhoff Menschheit Landschaften
Schönberg Gurrelieder / Waldtaube
Sibelius Orchesterlieder
Strauss, R. Orchesterlieder
Strawinsky Oedipus Rex
Szymanowski Stabat Mater
Verdi Requiem
Wagner Wesendonck-Lieder
Zemlinsky Sechs Gesänge nach Texten von Maurice Maeterlinck

Repertoire Opera

Bartók Bluebeard's Castle Judit
Bellini Norma Adalgisa
Berg Lulu Countess Geschwitz
Berlioz Les Troyens Didon
Bernstein Candide Old Lady
Bizet Carmen Carmen
Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur  Principessa
Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande Geneviève
Donizetti La favorita Leonora
  Maria Stuarda Elisabetta
Dvorak Rusalka Jezibaba
Giordano Andrea Chénier La comtesse di Coigny
Gluck Orfeo et Euridice Orfeo
Hindemith Cardillac Die Dame
Janácek Katja Kabanova Kabanicha
Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana Santuzza
Massenet Herodiade Herodiade
  Werther Charlotte
Mozart La clemenza di Tito Sesto
Mussorgsky Boris Godunov Marina
  Chowanschtschina Marfa
Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann La voix de la mère
Penderecki Ubu Rex Maire Ubu
Ponchielli La Gioconda Laura Adorno
Poulenc Dialogues des Carmélites Madame de Croissy
Reimann Troades Kassandra
Saint-Saëns Samson et Dalila Dalila
Schoeck Penthesilea Penthesilea
Spohr Jessonda Amazili
Strauss, J. Die Fledermaus Prinz Orlofsky
Strauss, R. Arabella Adelaide
  Ariadne auf Naxos Composer
  Capriccio Clairon
  Der Rosenkavalier Octavian
  Die Frau ohne Schatten Nurse
  Elektra Klytämnestra
  Salome Herodias
Stravinsky Oedipus Rex Jokaste
Tchaikovsky The Maid of Orleans Joan of Arc
  The Queen of Spades Countess
Verdi Aida Amneris
  Don Carlo Eboli
  Il trovatore Azucena
Wagner Das Rheingold Fricka
  Die Walküre Fricka
  Götterdämmerung Waltraute
  Lohengrin Ortrud
  Parsifal Kundry
  Rienzi Adriano
  Tannhäuser Venus
  Tristan und Isolde Brangäne


In eager anticipation
On 18 March, Richard Strauss' Arabella celebrates its premiere at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Together with, among others, Sara Jukubiak as Arabella and Albert Pesendorfer as Count Waldner, Doris Soffel sings the role of Adelaide under the musical direction of Sir Donald Runnicles in the production by Tobias Kratzer.
The premiere will be broadcast time-delayed on rbb Kultur, starting at 20:03. In addition, a DVD / Blu-ray of this production will be produced in collaboration between Deutsche Oper Berlin and Naxos.

Futher performances: 23.03., 26.03., 30.03., 02.04., 06.04.2023


Pique Dame / Osterfestspielen Baden-Baden / 11.04.22 /

"Doris Soffel in Pique Dame: Ein Höhepunkt in 50 Jahren Karriere" 

Pique Dame / Baden-Baden Berliner Philharmonker / 10.04.22 /

"Und Doris Soffel gibt die alte Gräfin [...] mit finsterer Dämonie." 

Elektra / Palau de les Arts Valencia / 23.01.20 /

"Sin exageraciones, con un dominio absoluto del sprechgesang" 

Elektra / Palau de les Arts Valencia / 22.01.20 /

"Doris Soffel gave a luxurious interpretation of Klytämnestra" 

Oceane / Deutsche Oper Berlin / 30.04.19 /

"invincible as a singer and actress" 

Liederabend / Philharmonie Essen / 07.05.18 /

"raumgreifend, frei schwingend, ohne jede Grelle" 

Dialogues des Carmélites / Staatsoper Hamburg / 08.05.17 /

"l'extraordinaire première Prieure (Madame de Croissy) de Doris Soffel" 

Elektra / Staatstheater Stuttgart / 26.02.17 /

"Klytämnestra ist nicht nur Doris Soffels Signature Role, es ist schlicht ein Erlebnis!" 

Elektra / Bayerische Staatsoper / 17.02.17 /

"Elektra, starke Frauen" 

Elektra / Oper Stuttgart / 15.02.17 /

"Das kann man kaum besser singen!" 

Doris Soffel im Gespräch / 14.02.17 /

 "Man braucht Mut zur Hässlichkeit" 

Elektra / Aalto-Musiktheater Essen / 16.05.16 /

 "Ein Ereignis!" 

Elektra / Deutsche Oper Berlin / 03.04.16 /

"eine wunderbare Darbietung" 

Dialogues des Carmélites  / De Nationale Opera Amsterdam / 07.11.15 /

 "Unvergesslich, unvergleichlich, einfach wahnsinnig" 

Salome / BBC Proms / 01.09. 14 /

 "such astonishing power, richness, precision" 

Die Frau ohne Schatten / Oper Leipzig / 12.06.14 /

 "eine anziehende Vorstellung" 

Das Rheingold / Deutsche Oper Berlin / 22.09.13 /

 "Kraft, Klang, Erfahrung, Ausdruck in einer Stimme vereint" 

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