Friederike Harmsen’s versatility in both singing and acting is reflected in her broad repertoire, which ranges from baroque to musical, pop, electro opera, and acting.
After completing her vocal training as soprano under Inge Uibel at Berlin University of Arts, Friederike Harmsen worked with David Jones, Janet Williams and Eva Lindqvist, switching to mezzosoprano and expanding her diverse repertoire, which includes soprano, mezzosoprano, and alto roles in opera and concerts. Today, her main focus lies on a lower-pitched repertoire. She now works with Renate Faltin.
She has successfully participated in numerous world premieres, including at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, the Neuköllner Oper, the Berlin Opera Prize, the Zeitgenössische Oper Berlin, the Schauspielhaus Wien and the Steirischer Herbst.
Numerous projects were created in collaboration with Christoph Schlingensief, including his Fluxus oratorio A Church of Fear of the Stranger in Me, which was seen at the Ruhrtriennale in 2008 and at the Berlin Theatertreffen in 2009, the readymade opera Mea Culpa, which took her to the Burgtheater in Vienna, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Hamburger Schauspielhaus and to the Holland Festival at the Nederlandse Oper Amsterdam, as well as Schlingensief's last music theater production Via Intolleranza II, which was invited in 2011 to the Berliner Theatertreffen, the Holland Festival Amsterdam, the Helsinki Festival and the Festival Politik im freien Theater at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden. At the Salzburg Festival, Friederike Harmsen debuted in 2011 with Goethe's Faust 1&2 - a production that was also shown at the Thalia Theater Hamburg and at the 2012 Theatertreffen and 2013 Festival d'Avignon.
In 2012, the mezzo-soprano took on the title role in Cui's Puss in Boots at the Staatsoper's workshop at the Schillertheater, and has subsequently appeared in Shostakovich's operetta Moscow Cheryomushki, Cage's Songbooks, Stockhausen's Originals, Strasnoy's Story, Spoliansky's It's in the Air, and Sani's Falcone.
Together with Girma Yifrashewa, Friederike Harmsen premiered the hymn The Silent Hearts, specially composed for her and others, at the National Theatre Addis Adeba in 2017.
After her debut as Vava at the Braunschweig State Theatre in 2018, she also starred as Hannah in Weinberg’s The Passenger and in Cage’s Songbooks and took on the role as Ice Princess in Kurt Schwertsik’s children’s opera, The Ice Princess’s Journey to Sicily. In the 2020/21 season, she performed in the premiere of Fake Voices.
Friederike Harmsen was also on stage in Germania at the Volksbühne Berlin in the 2019/20 season. Together with the Ensemble Quillo, Friederike played in the premiere of Maria Vatenina’s chamber opera Journey to the South, which was dedicated to her.
In spring 2020, she debuted at the Elbe Philharmonic Hall Hamburg in Mark Scheibe’s Deutschlandsinfonie.
In the current 2022/23 season, she premiered the silent film classic Dr. Mabuse with new music by Mark Scheibe together with the Filmorchester Babylon and can be heard at the Schauspielhaus Zürich in Faust I&II, as well as at the Staatstheater Braunschweig in Fake Voices and successfully premiered the chamber opera Robinson by Oscar Strasnoy at the Staatsoper Berlin.
In addition to her performances, Friederike Harmsen offers voice coaching on a time-available basis.