After completing violin studies Petra Lang studied singing with Gertie Charlent at the Akademie für Tonkunst in Darmstadt and at the Peter Cornelius Conservatory in Mainz, where she attended the Opera School with Harro Dicks at the same time. After completing her studies in 1989 she immediately auditioned for a master class with Ingrid Bjoner with whom she studied until 2006. She was involved in masterclasses with Brigitte Fassbaender, Hans Hotter, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Peter Schreier and also studied her Wagner roles with Astrid Varnay. She works now with Angelo Loforese.
In 1989, Petra Lang joined the Opera Studio of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. In 1990, she moved to the Theater Basel, sang in 1991 at the Städtischen Bühnen Nuremberg and 1992-1995 at Theater Dortmund. Here she could develop numerous roles of the lyric mezzo-soprano repertoire. In addition, she was engaged as Tamiri in Mozart’s IL RE PASTORE at De Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, as Virtu in Monteverdi’s L´INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA at the Salzburg Festival, as Fenena in Verdi’s NABUCCO at the Bregenz Festival and as Flora in LA TRAVIATA at the Zurich Festival.
In 1994/95 season, she turned to the work of Richard Wagner, and sang her first Waltraute (GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG) and Fricka (DAS RHEINGOLD, DIE WALKÜRE) in the Dortmund Ring cycle. Under the opera direction of Brigitte Fassbaender at the Staatstheater Braunschweig from 1995-1997 she added to her repertoire Brangäne (TRISTAN UND ISOLDE), Judit (DUKE BLUEBEARD´S CASTLE), Marie (WOZZECK) and Eboli (DON CARLO).
Then Petra Lang decided to become freelance and since then sings on the world’s greatest stages: Royal Opera House London (Brangäne, Waltraute, Kundry, Ortrud, Ariadne, Judith, Foreign Princess), De Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam (Brangäne, Cassandre, Venus, Kundry), Bavarian State Opera Munich (Brangäne, Venus, Sieglinde, Kundry, Brünnhilde, Ortrud, Isolde) Deutsche Oper Berlin (Waltraute, Brangäne, Venus, Sieglinde, Cassandre, Ortrud), Semperoper Dresden (Brangäne, Kundry, Ariadne, Sieglinde), Hamburg State Opera (Waltraute, Kundry), Staatstheater Stuttgart (Adriano), Opera Cologne (Sieglinde), Nationaltheater Mannheim (Cassandre, Ariadne, Kundry), Staatstheater Karlsruhe (Brünnhilde), Vienna State Opera (Fricka, Waltraute, Brangäne, Kundry, Ortrud, Sieglinde in Tokyo, Isolde, Brünnhilde), De Vlaamse Opera Antwerp (Brangäne), Grand Théâtre de Genève (Amneris, Kundry, Judith, Ortrud, Brünnhilde), Zurich Opera House (Sieglinde, Ortrud), Teatro San Carlo, Naples (Sieglinde), Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome (Venus), Teatro La Fenice Venice (Sieglinde), La Scala Milan (Venus), Oviedo (Brangäne), Teatro de la Maestranza Seville (Sieglinde), Budapest (Ortrud, Kundry, Brünnhilde), Opera Nationala Bucharest (Ortrud), Tokyo (Kundry, Ortrud), Teatro Municipal di Santiago de Chile (Brangäne), San Diego Opera (Venus), Baltimore Opera (Venus), Lyric Opera of Chicago (Brangäne), San Francisco Opera (Venus, Ortrud).
She sang her first Brünnhilde in concerts in 2012/13: DIE WALKÜRE and GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG in Berlin and Bucurest with RSO-Berlin under Marek Janowski and in Bamberg and Luzern with the Bamberger Symphoniker under Jonathan Nott, SIEGFRIED under Gabriel Feltz in Stuttgart and Dortmund. At the Opéra National de Paris she sang Brünnhilde in Günter Krämers production of GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG under Philippe Jordan. She appeared in Dieter Dorns Ring-Cycle in Geneva and sang Brünnhilde in SIEGFRIED under Adam Fischer in Budapest, WALKÜRE and GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG under Simone Young and Kirill Petrenko in Munich. She sang Brünnhilde in Vienna under Peter Schneider in 2017.
Petra Lang sang Isolde at the Bayreuth Festival 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 under the baton of Christian Thielemann, appeared as Isolde in Vienna under Mikko Franck an in Munich under Simone Young.
At the Bayreuth Festival Petra Lang has sung Brangäne in TRISTAN UND ISOLDE (2005/2006), and appeared as Ortrud in LOHENGRIN by Hans Neuenfels in 2011/13-15. In addition to her successes on the opera stage, she is an internationally sought-after concert singer who is known mainly for her sensitive interpretation of the works of Gustav Mahler. On the concert podium Petra Lang also sings Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, Berlioz’s Les nuits d ‘été, Berg’s Seven Early songs and the Wozzeck Fragments, Schoenberg’s Songs Op.8 and the Wood Dove in Gurrelieder, Zemlinsky’s Maeterlinck songs, Sibelius, Duparc, Lalo, Strauss orchestral songs, in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and the Missa Solemnis.She performs worldwide with all the major orchestras under the direction, amongst others, of Claudio Abbado, Alain Altinoglu, Pierre Boulez, Christian Badea, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, M. W. Chung, Andrew Davis, Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Adam Fischer, Ivan Fischer, Bernard Haitink, Marek Janowski, Armin Jordan, Philippe Jordan, Zubin Mehta, Ingo Metzmacher, Riccardo Muti, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Kirill Petrenko, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Leif Segerstam, Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Peter Schneider, Jeffrey Tate, Christian Thielemann, Silvio Varviso, Simone Young.
Also Petra Lang has a successful career as a Lieder singer. She sings a comprehensive repertoire of Lieder from Franz Schubert to Anton Webern, and works with the pianists Adrian Baianu, Malcolm Martineau, Carmen Piazzini, Maurizio Pollini, Wolfram Rieger, Charles Spencer, and Einar Steen-Noekleberg. Their song recitals have been performed at, amongst others, Wigmore Hall (London), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Schubertiade (Feldkirch), Semper Opera House (Dresden), La Scala (Milan), Carnegie-Weill Hall (New York), Salle Pleyel (Paris) and at the Edinburgh Festival.
Future projects include Isolde at the Bayreuth Festival, Tokyo, Athens and Madrid, Brünnhilde in Bayreuth, Marseille and in Dresden under the baton of Christian Thielemann, Wagner-Galas in Quebec and Osaka, a Recital at the Richard-Strauss-Festival Gamisch-Partenkirchen and a Masterclass in Quebec.
Petra Lang is in addition a singing advisor. During and after her violin studies she worked from 1983 to 1989 as teacher of violin, viola, early musical education and musical training at the Gross-Gerau Music School, and at the Municipal Music School in Rüsselsheim, Germany. With this in-depth educational experience, it is Petra Lang’s concern to give young colleagues professional suggestions and advice for singing in larger rooms. This way of singing she drew up with the pianist and vocal coach Adrian Baianu, it is based on old Italian vocal techniques and has been transferred to the German vocal repertoire.
She gave master classes for the Mahler Society of London (2006), at the Cologne Musikhochschule (2007), in Münster (2007), and together with Adrian Baianu in Münster (2008) , London (2009, 2012) and at the Bayreuth Festival 2013, at the SGMF (2014/15) and Köln (Opera Studio).