After completing my voice studies at the music academies of Budapest and Vienna, I sang for years as a soloist. In January of 2017, I joined the Hungarian National Choir, where we work on a daily basis with a range of music significantly wider than my repertoire as a soloist.
The difficult aspects of singing in a choir – constantly mastering new composers, styles, languages and even singing techniques at short notice – are also the beautiful part about it.
As a soloist, I never would have encountered Ligeti's Requiem or worked together with the Modern Art Orchestra led by Kornél Fekete-Kovács.
Some of my colleagues are true friends, while I see that many others possess hidden treasures, whether it be talent as a poet, translator or simply the ability to make people laugh or to bake marvellous cakes and cookies.
We look out for each other through good and bad.
Gertrúd Wittinger started her advanced music studies in the opera course at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in 1993. There, her teachers were Erika Sziklay, Ádám Medveczky and Balázs Kovalik. She earned her degree in opera voice and voice pedagogy in 1998, which was followed by another supplementary degree in voice in 2000. Between 1998 and 2000, she studied on a scholarship in the opera department of Vienna's Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst under the guidance of professors Ralf Döring, Reto Nickler and Dieter Paier. She also studied at Széchenyi István University's Apáczai Csere János Faculty of Humanities from 2014 until 2017, earning a degree in speech therapy.
In 1998, she earned first place at the Rolando Nicolesi Competition in Taranto, in addition to reaching the finals of singing competitions in Krakow, Passau and Deutschlandsberg. In 2007, she received a scholarship from the Wagner Society of Budapest after winning its competition.
Between 2000 and 2003, she sang the following roles as a guest performer at the Wiener Staatsoper and Wiener Volksoper: Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Helmwige (Die Walküre) and Fourth Maid (Elektra).
In 2004, her guest roles at the Hungarian State Opera consisted of Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), and she also served as a cover for the roles of Elsa (Lohengrin) and Chrysothemis (Elektra).
The following year saw her portray Elettra in Idomeneo at the National Theatre of Debrecen.
Also in 2005, she joined the Auris Opera Group founded by György Selmeczi and made appearances at Müpa Budapest, the Miskolc International Opera Festival and Kaposvár's Csiky Gergely Theatre as Agatha in Der Freischütz and Czipra in The Gypsy Baron.
As a member of the National Theatre of Szeged between 2006 and 2009, she sang the roles of Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Leonora (Il trovatore), Leonora (La forza del destino), Desdemona (Otello), Frau Fluth (Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor), Michaela (Carmen) and Angèle (The Count of Luxembourg).
From 2007 until 2019, she was a regular fixture in performances of the Budapest Wagner Days festival, singing the role of Helmwige in Die Walküre under the baton of Ádám Fischer.
In 2010, she took the stage of the Opéra Bastille to portray Ortlinde in Die Walküre, with Philippe Jordan on the conductor's podium.
In October of 2015, she sang the role of Juli in the world première of Sándor Balassa's Cataclysm at Müpa Budapest, in addition to portraying the wife, she was asked to cover the role of Maria in Richard Strauss's Friedenstag.
Between March and November of 2016, she again sang Helmwige in Die Walküre, this time at the Hungarian State Opera.
In 2017, she sang the role of the Lady in Iván Madarász's piece The Last Waltz.
In October 2017 and January 2018, she sang the role of the Innkeeper's Wife in the world première (and other premières) of György Selmeczi's opera Our Lady's Knight at Müpa Budapest and in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) and Nagyvárad (Oradea).
In the autumn of 2017, she returned as a guest of the Hungarian State Opera to sing the role of Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus on its tour of Japan.
At the 2018 Budapest Wagner Days held at Müpa Budapest, she was asked to cover the role of Isolde, in Cesare Lievi's production conducted by Ádám Fischer.
On 14 and 21 June 2019, she again appeared as Helmwige in Die Walküre at the Budapest Wagner Days festival, while also covering the role of Brünnhilde in Siegfried.