Ursula Hesse von den Steinen received her vocal training at Hochschule der Künste Berlin. She refined her skills in master classes with Brigitte Fassbaender and Aribert Reimann. During her studies she received numerous prizes at national and international competitions.
Following the first engagements of her career at Staatsoper Hamburg, Dresden and Komische Oper Berlin, were guest engagements at Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and at the opera in Antwerp and Amsterdam.
She has been member of cast at Semperoper in Dresden until 2002 and could be heard with her most important interpretations in her discipline. Since then, she freelanced and accepted invitations of many European Opera houses. Among others, she gave her debut at the Opéra Bastille in Paris as Anna in Die sieben Todsünden. Further engagements were in Amsterdam, Bonn, Hamburg, at the Ruhr-Triennale as well as at the opera houses in Paris, Naples, Nantes and Angers.
She worked with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Vladimir Fedossejew, Michael Gielen, Eliahu Inbal, Marek Janowski, Vladimir Jurowski, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Markus Stenz, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, James Levine and Sebastian Weigle.
At the Glyndebourne Festival she has been celebrated for her debut as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. She could be heard as Fricka in Rheingold and Walküre at the Nurnberg Ring cycle. 2007/08 she returned for Eboli in Don Carlo. She sang Venus in Tannhäuser at Nationaltheater of Mannheim and Maddalena in Rigoletto in Lille, France. Hesse von den Steinen performed at Opera Cologne in 2009 in Richard Strauss‘ Capriccio as Clairon and Dalila in Samson et Dalila. Further engagements lead her again to Paris, Tokyo (Mary in Wozzeck) at Vienna Volksopera (Carmen), Bavarian State Opera Munich as Lucy in the premiere of Eötvös The Tragedy of the Devil and Fricka in Die Walküre at Aalto Theater Essen. In the repertory season of 2011/12, she gave her first-time role of Jitsuko Honda in the opera Hanjo at RuhrTriennale in the production of Calixto Bieito and again in the past season of 2012/13 at Staatoper Berlin. In addition, she performed at the premiere of Christian Josts Opera Rumor at Vlaamse Opera in the staging of Guy Joosten and sang with outstanding success the title role in Henze’s Phaedra at Deutsche Oper am Rhein. Celebrated were her Mother Goose in The Rake‘s Progress at Opéra National de Paris and her role in Hansel and Gretel and Foreign Princess in Rusalka at Komischen Oper Berlin.
The versatile singer is home on concert stages as opera stages. Her repertoire encloses not only classical pieces but also contemporary music. In recent years, she performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonics, Orchestra Rai Torino, Konzerthausorchester Berlin and with the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden in Moscow, Lisbon and Amsterdam.
Upcoming engagements are going to lead her to Amsterdam as Kartenaufschlägerin (fortune teller) in Arabella, Caesonia in Caligula and to Riga as Adriano in Rienzi. She will return continuously to Komische Oper Berlin for Hansel and Gretel and Rusalka.