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Constanze Backes is a classically trained German soprano in opera and concert. She has toured throughout Europe and performed in many classical genres but over the last few years has focused primarily on Early music. In addition she teaches children music technique and has translated musical works.
Constanze Backes was born in Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. She began her music studies at the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen. Later, she studied privately with Jessica Cash in London and Hea-Soon Park.
In 1993, performing with John Eliot Gardiner, Backes appeared as Barbarina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at the Théâtre du Châtelet of Paris, at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and recorded it for Deutsche Grammophon Archiv. She recorded with Gardiner also for Deutsche Grammophon Valetto in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea and Papagena in Mozart's Zauberflöte.
Backes won the 1996 Lady-Nixon-Förderpreis for young singers and joined the Monteverdi Choir. She sang at the 1998 Göttingen Handel Festival, performing vocal chamber music by Handel and Domenico Scarlatti accompanied by Jacob Heringman on vihuela, harpsichordist Ludger Rémy and cellist Katie Rietman, singing arias from Handel's Sosarme and Tamerlano.
Other opera productions have included Reinhard Keiser's The Temple of Janus in Berlin's Hebbel am Ufer, Johann Adolph Hasse's Larinda e Vanesio at the Margravial Opera House, and a production of Purcell's King Arthur for the Ruhrtriennale 2003. She performed Proserpina in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and in 2004 sang madrigals by Carlo Gesualdo and Monteverdi withconductor Thomas Hengelbrock at the Schwetzingen Festival.