The versatile mezzo soprano Rita-Lucia Schneider started her international career as Anita in the acclaimed Philippe Arlaud production of West Side Story at the Volksoper Wien. Since then, she has interpreted a diverse range of roles, adding dramatic mezzo heroines such as Carmen, Eboli, Azucena, Venus and Waltraute to her repertoire.
Her most recent successes had been at the Landestheater Detmold as Azucena, a role which she had previously covered at the Tiroler Festspielen Erl under Gustav Kuhn, as well as Carmen in the highly acclaimed production of Kay Metzger. In addition, she had numerous guest appearances at the Theater Ulm, where she sang Mère Marie (Dialogues des Carmélites), Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), Fricka (Loriot’s Der Ring an einem Abend), the mezzo-part in a scenic realization of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem and Auntie in Peter Grimes. In 2016 she returned to Ulm as Charlotte in Werther and Ortrud in Lohengrin, and sang Carmen with the Opernbühne Württembergisches Allgäu in Germany. In 2017 she will be heard as Witwe Browe in Lortzing’s Zar und Zimmermann at the Volkstheater Rostock as well as Waltraute in Walküre and Götterdämmerung, and Ortrud in Lohengrin with the Tiroler Festspielen Erl.
Further guest appearances of the recent past include Mère Marie at the Theater Heilbronn, Marcellina (Le Nozze di Figaro) at the Teatro Sociale di Trento as well as at the Tiroler Festspiele Erl (for the opening of their new Festspielhaus), Venus in Tannhäuser with the Tiroler Festspiele Erl, Carmen at the Slovene National Theater Maribor, under Karen Kamensek, Santuzza and Eboli with the Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina and Donna Elvira, which she first sang in 2009 on tour through Japan.
In previous seasons she enjoyed considerable success in the title role of Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier, which she first interpreted in 2005 at the State Opera Gdansk Octavian became one of her signature roles, which she went on to sing in numerous theaters in Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland and most recently Spain. Another signature role has been Nicklausse/Muse in Les contes d’Hoffmann, which she debuted in 2004 at the Opera Stettin in Poland.
In the character fach she has received acclaim as Marquise de Berkenfield in La fille du régiment with Oper Klosterneuburg (Austria), as Jade Boucher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking at the Theater an der Wien and as Czipra in J. Strauß Jr.’s operetta Der Zigeunerbaron, a role, which has brought her to numerous theaters and festivals in Austria, Belgium, Holland and Liechtenstein. She has also performed with the Opernfestspiele St. Margarethen, the Opernfestspiele Stift Melk, the Schlossfestspiele Langenlois, Theater Baden, Schlosstheater Schönbrunn and Eduard-von-Winterstein-Theater Annaberg, where she was a member of the ensemble in 2003-04.
As a concert singer Rita-Lucia Schneider’s repertoire encompasses numerous orchestral songs (Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder, Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder), oratorios (Handel’s Messiah, Dvořák’s Requiem and Stabat Mater, Bach’s St. John’s and St. Matthew’s Passion, as well as Mozart’s and Verdi’s Requiem) and numerous masses. She has performed with renowned orchestras such as the Tonkünstler-Orchester, the Symphony Orchestra of the National Theatre Prague, the Barockensemble der Wiener Symphoniker and the Orquestra Nacional do Porto, and under the baton of conductors such as Gustav Kuhn and Franz Welser-Möst.
Rita-Lucia Schneider was born in Vienna, where she studied ballet for seven years with the Royal British Dancing School. In 1985 she began singing lessons with Hana Janku, and later studied with KS Walter Berry, Petra Chiba and currently with KS Oskar Hillebrandt and Glenys Linos. She attended master classes led by Hilde Rössl-Majdan and Franz Lukasovsky.