After her successful graduation from the Leipzig Musikhochschule Ricarda Merbeth’s first engagement was as a lyric soprano at the Städtischen Bühnen in Magdeburg. There she sang the parts of Mimì, the Countess, Tatyana, Fiordiligi, Antonia, Agathe and Eva. During the 1997–1999 season she sang at the Deutsches Nationaltheater in Weimar. From 1999 to 2005 Ricarda Merbeth was a member of the Vienna State Opera, where she was able to extend her repertoire. In 2004 she sang the leading rôle in a new production of Richard Strauss’s Daphne, conducted by Semyon Bychkov and directed by Nicolas Joel. In the spring of 2006 she sang the rôle of the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier for the first time at the Vienna State Opera and the title rôle in Jenůfa.
Ricarda Merbeth makes regular guest appearances at the Dresden Staatsoper, where she sang the soprano solo in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. Since 2000 she has been a guest singer at the Bayreuth Festival, with the rôles of Freia and Gutrune and the part of Elisabeth in Tannhäuser from 2002 to 2007. In September 2006 she appeared for the first time as the Empress in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, to much international critical acclaim, and in October 2007 appeared in Tokyo in a new production of Tannhäuser at the New National Theatre.
Ricarda Merbeth’s international career has already led her to many of the most important international opera houses and concert halls. She has sung under very distinguished and well-known conductors, including Bychkov, Chung, Fischer, Gergiev, de Billy, Luisi, Mehta, Welser-Möst, Osawa, Runnicles, Sinopoli, Steinberg, Schneider, Thielemann, Viotti, Salonen and Auguin.