Regula Mühlemann, Alumna
Musically world-class – throughout her singing studies, Regula Mühlemann (31) was a regular recipient of honours.
Self-confidence – now she’s taking the opera world by storm.
With barely five years gone since she gained her master’s degree, Regula Mühlemann is already a go-to performer in the world of opera: in the summer of 2012, shortly before completing her studies, she gave her debut as the young Papagena at the Salzburg Festival. There followed appearances on major stages in Venice, Paris, Vienna and Berlin, an operatic film, an Advent concert sponsored by public-service German television broadcaster ZDF at Dresden’s Church of our Lady, and an exclusive recording contract with Sony. Can university studies prepare one for an international career of this magnitude? “Yes and no. Of course I never could have guessed what was coming. I wasn’t even contemplating becoming a professional singer,” says the 31-year-old, who hails from Lucerne. Her studies provided her with every opportunity to develop her vocal talents and – equally important – to regularly put herself to the test through public concerts and before her tutors and peers. “I was often more nervous singing in front of fellow students than in front of a large audience I didn’t know,” she recalls. “The training I received was incredibly useful in terms of coping with performance nerves.” She is unstinting in her praise of singing coach Barbara Locher – who remains her role model and key adviser. “She taught me that liking to sing and singing well is not enough to make headway as a professional. Alongside a proper technique, you need a self-assured manner, perfect pronunciation and a readiness to take risks.” This cannot simply be learnt: it has to be worked at day after day. Everything clicked into place for her the first time she represented the University in an international competition. Regula Mühlemann – who had until then breezed through her studies – now sensed that more was being expected of her – a great deal more. “Appraisal of that kind from experts is at least as important as applause from the audience,” she reckons. Although she did not win that particular competition, the experience prompted her to “really step on the gas from then on.” With success: a few months ago, her first solo CD was awarded the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics’ Prize), while last June she performed in the USA with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Qualification: Master of Arts in Music with Major in Solo Performance (2012)