Michelle Breedt studied singing at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, beginning her professional career with engagements at the opera houses in Cape Town and Pretoria before continuing her studies at the Guildhall School of Music in London. She moved to Germany in 1990, initially as a member of the Cologne Opera Studio, later with the Braunschweig State Theatre. It was during this period that she began to build up an extensive repertory ranging from Mozart – including lesser-known parts such as Idamante in Idomeneo and Ramiro in La finta giardiniera – to bel canto roles, including Adalgisa in Norma and Romeo in Il Capuleti e i Montecchi. Other rarely performed roles in her repertory at this time included Diana/Giove in Cavalli’s La Calisto and Anna in Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins. Among her other important role débuts in Braunschweig were Mélisande, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Charlotte in Werther, Bizet’s Carmen and Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde. Since then Michelle Breedt has appeared regularly at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and the Dresden and Hamburg State Operas. International engagements have also taken her to the Vienna State Opera and the Opéra Bastille in Paris. She has sung the role of the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos in Lisbon, Ferrara, Modena and Zurich. In 2005 she was heard as Cherubino in Tokyo. She was a member of the Vienna State Opera for three years from September 2000 to 2003, during which time she was awarded the Eberhard Waechter Medal. Since 2004 she has pursued a freelance career, while remaining closely associated with the State Opera. Michelle Breedt also appears regularly in the concert hall and on the recital platform, giving frequent lieder recitals at the Schubertiade Festival in Schwarzenberg and making her Salzburg Festival début with another such recital in 2004. Other venues in which she has appeared to great acclaim include London’s Wigmore Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein and other halls throughout Italy and Austria.
She made her acclaimed Bayreuth Festival début in 2000 as Magdalene in Wolfgang Wagner’s production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under Christian Thielemann, returning to sing the same role in 2001 and 2002. In 2009 she may be heard as Fricka, again under Thielemann, and as Brangäne under Peter Schneider.