Bass-baritone Dietrich Henschel has been singing professionally since 1990, largely, however, confining his early career to Germany. With his 1997 appearances at the Deutsche Oper Berlin singing the title role in Henze's Der Prinz von Homburg and at the Opéra National de Lyon as Faust in Busoni's Doktor Faust, he launched his international career with conspicuous critical acclaim. He has gone on to many further successes on the operatic stage, but also made numerous appearances with major and second-tier orchestras and often given lieder recitals. His operatic repertory takes in a broad range of works by such disparate composers as Monteverdi, Gluck, Mozart, Bizet, Gounod, Richard Strauss, and Humperdinck, as well as a spate from the twentieth century, including Korngold, Berg, Unsuk Chin, and the aforementioned Busoni and Henze. Henschel has sung lieder by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, Mahler, Duparc, Dallapiccola, and Eisler, and has sung orchestral works by J.S. Bach, Haydn, Orff, and Berio. He has recorded for a variety of labels, including EMI, Philips, Chandos, Teldec, Virgin Classics, TDK, and EuroArts.
Henschel was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1967. As a child and teen he studied piano and today remains an accomplished pianist. He turned to vocal studies relatively late, but his list of teachers is impressive and includes Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Hanno Blanschke.
Henschel made his professional operatic debut at the 1990 Munich Biennale, a contemporary works festival, appearing in Michèle Reverdy's Le Précepteur. From 1993-1995 he was a member of the Kiel Opera (Germany) where he sang Orpheo (Monteverdi's L'Orfeo), Count Almaviva (Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro), and Pelleas (Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande), among other roles.
After his 1997 successes in Berlin and Lyon, invitations to appear at leading opera houses and with major orchestras poured in from across the globe. His recording of Doktor Faustus on Erato, with Kent Nagano conducting, was awarded a Grammy in 2000. Henschel's first recording for Teldec, Schubert's Die Winterreise, with pianist Irwin Gage, was issued that year as well and was also a critical success.
In the new century, Henschel has been in demand throughout Europe, regularly appearing at the major opera houses in Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Lyon, Geneva, and Zurich and at important festivals, such as Aix-en-Provence, Maggio Musicale (Florence), and Salzburg. Among his recordings is the 2007 Virgin Classics CD of Haydn's The Creation with conductor William Christie.