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Claudia Mahnke is a German operatic mezzo-soprano, a member of the Frankfurt Opera, with guest appearances at leading opera houses and the Bayreuth Festival.
Mahnke was born in Meerane in Saxony, Germany. While she attended school she was already taking voice lessons. After the Abitur, she studied voice at the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden. She made her stage debut in 1991, still during her studies. She was a member of the ensemble of the Theater Chemnitz from 1992 to 1995.
In 1994, Mahnke gained the prize of the Bundeswettbewerb Gesang Berlin in the category opera/operetta/concert. She joined the Staatsoper Stuttgart in 1996. She performed the title role in Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Simplicius Simplicissimus, in a production shown also at the Munich Opera Festival of 2005. The performance earned her several nominations for Singer of the Year of the journal Opernwelt. She was awarded the title Kammersängerin in August 2006.
From the 2006/07 season, she was a member of the Frankfurt Opera. She appeared as a guest at leading opera houses such as the Komische Oper Berlin, the San Francisco Opera and Opéra National de Lyon. She toured with the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin to Seoul.
Mahnke made her debut at the Bayreuth Festival in 2013 as Fricka, Waltraute and Second Norne in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. After repeating these parts the two following years, she appeared as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde in 2016.