Baritone Dietrich Henschel’s repertoire extends from the beginning of baroque opera to modern day avant-garde. He debuted at the Biennale für modernes Musiktheater in Munich with the title role in Michaels Reverdy´s opera Le Precepteur. In his first and only permanent engagement, at the opera in Kiel, he performed classics such as Papageno, the Count in Nozze de Figaro, Pelleas in Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande, Monteverdi´s Orfeo and Henze´s Prinz von Homburg. Mr Henschel´s international career began with Busoni´s Doktor Faust in Lyon and Henze´s Prinz von Homburg at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Invitations followed from most of the important opera houses in Europe to sing in (amongst others) Rossini´s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Wagner´s Tannhäuser (Wolfram), Monteverdi´s Il ritorno d´Ulisse in Patria, Krenek´s Karl der V, Mozart´s Don Giovanni, Wagner´s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Beckmesser), Berg´s Wozzeck, in Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande (Golaud), and in Stavinsky´s The Rake’s Progress (Nick Shadow). His most recent engagements were the title roles in Enescu's Oedipe (La Monnaie) and Manfred Trojahn's Orest (De Nationale Opera). Most recently he sang Kunrad in Feuersnot and Johanaan in Salome, both operas by Richard Strauss.
In addition to opera, a wide range of acclaimed recordings testifies to Dietrich Henschel’s success as a lied interpreter and an oratorio singer. Mr Henschel has sung with the world’s most prestigious orchestras, and his collaboration with great conductors such as Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe and Colin Davis is documented on many CD's and DVD's. For his recording of Busoni’s Doktor Faust he won a Grammy-Award in 2000.
In a daring attempt to visualize the literary and emotional content of the lieder he sings, Mr. Henschel has also been exploring the intersection between art music, theatre, and the visual media. In 2010 he performed a staged version of Schubert’s Schwanengesang, which was featured in major European theatres such as La Monnaie, Theater an der Wien, and der Komische Oper.
In 2013 his film project “IRRSAL”, with the English title “forbidden prayers – triptych of illicit love” (directed by Clara Pons) was premiered in Tonhalle Dusseldorf, which envisages the ramifications of love, guilt and sacrifice in the symphonic songs Hugo Wolf set to the haunting poems by Eduard Mörike. The film is combined with a live performance of the songs in concert.
The most recent project WUNDERHORN is a feature film for the performance in a live concert of all Lieder such as Des Knaben Wunderhorn by Gustav Mahler. It will be premiered in the coming season and has a co-production team of seven partners including De Doelen, Rotterdam, BBS Symphony Orchestra London and Théatre La Monnaie, Bruxelles.
Dietrich Henschel records for the Belgian record label Evil Penguin Classics, with whom he is scheduled to record the integral Wunderhorn songs by Gustav Mahler, and Schumann’s Eichendorff songs.