… leading coloratura soprano in the world
- New York Sun
Acclaimed as the “leading coloratura soprano in the world” (New York Sun), Diana Damrau continues to amaze audiences with her unique voice and arresting stage presence. A regular guest to the most renowned opera companies and concert halls, she was awarded the title Bayerische Kammersängerin in 2007 and, in 2008, named “Singer of the Year” by Opernwelt magazine. A documentary on her life, directed by Beatrix Conrad and entitled Diana Damrau – divine diva, was first aired on the French-German TV channel arte in February 2011.
The 2013/14 sees Diana Damrau performing a broad range of repertoire both on the operatic and the concert stages. She begins the season in Vienna where she performs the title character in the world premiere of Iain Bell’s new opera A Harlot’s progress at the Theater an der Wien, followed by a new production of Verdi’s La Traviata to open the season of La Scala di Milan. She reprises the role of Violetta for company role debuts in Paris and London. Other projects include her role debut as Amina in Bellini’s La sonnambula at the Liceu Barcelona, a role she then reprises at the Metropolitan.
In the past two seasons, she added a number of new roles to her repertoire: Philine (Mignon) and Elvira (I puritani) with Grand Théâtre de Genève, Linda di Chamounix with Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Lucia di Lammermoor for the Metropolitan Opera Japan and Donna Anna in a concert production of Don Giovanni at Baden-Baden Festival Hall that was recorded and released by Deutsche Grammophon. In 2011, the soprano scored a tremendous success with her stunning rendition of the three soprano roles in Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Bavarian State Opera. In 2013, she sang Gilda in a new production of Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera New York, where she also made her acclaimed role debut as Verdi’s “Violetta”.
As a member of the ensembles at Mannheim National Theatre and Frankfurt Opera, Diana Damrau’s career gained momentum with much-praised guest appearances as Queen of the Night, Zerbinetta and Adele (Die Fledermaus) in Munich, Berlin and Vienna. Free-lancing since 2002, she took on the female lead in the world premiere of Cerha’s Der Riese vom Steinfeld at Vienna State Opera and was hailed by the critics for her UK debut as Queen of the Night (2003), as well as her spectacular rendition of the title role in Salieri’s L’Europa riconosciuta at the re-opening of Milan’s La Scala (2004). Other noteworthy engagements include Gym Instructress/Drunken Woman in the world premiere of Lorin Maazel’s 1984 at Covent Garden, Susanna at La Scala, Konstanze at Vienna’s Burgtheater, Zerbinetta at Teatro Real Madrid, Gilda at Semperoper Dresden, Gretel at Covent Garden, Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) at Baden-Baden Festival Hall, and her role debuts as Marie (La fille du régiment, San Francisco), Donna Anna (Geneva), Massenet’s Manon (Vienna) and Aminta (Munich).
A beloved artists to the audience of the Metropolitan Opera, Diana has returned to New York every year since 2005, tackling Zerbinetta, Rosina, Aithra, Konstanze, Gilda, Lucia, Marie, Adèle (Le comte Ory) and Adina, and causing a sensation by singing both her first Pamina and her last Queen of the Night in a 2007 run of Die Zauberflöte. In Europe, she has close ties with the Salzburg Festival, where her 2001 debut was followed by appearances as Queen of the Night, Blonde, Konstanze, Fauno and Susanna. The list of conductors who accompany Diana’s career includes Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, Ivor Bolton, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Kent Nagano, Fabio Luisi, Jérémie Rhorer, Dan Ettinger and Christian Thielemann.
In addition to her achievements in opera, Diana has established herself as one of today’s finest lieder singers and gives recitals with pianists like Helmut Deutsch, Julius Drake and Matthias Lademann at renowned venues including Berlin’s Philharmonie, Vienna’s Musikverein, London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Salzburg Festival and the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg. Her extraordinary musical partnership with harpist Xavier de Maistre is documented in the form of a CD release (Nuit d’étoiles) and a DVD released in 2013.
Recording exclusively for EMI/Virgin Classics since 2007, Diana made her CD debut with Arie di Bravura, which received enthusiastic reviews and prestigious awards. Subsequent solo projects encompass discs with Mozart arias (Donna), coloratura pieces of the romantic period (COLORaturaS), orchestral songs by Richard Strauss (Poesie, awarded with the ECHO Klassik in 2011) and songs by Franz Liszt. Diana’s discography is rounded off by various opera, concert and recital recordings on different labels. TV broadcasts, most notably from the opening gala of the 2006 Soccer World Cup in Munich, have made her well-known to the broad public. In autumn 2013 her new CD “Forever” with melodies from operetta, film and musical will be released.
A native of Günzburg an der Donau/Germany, Diana Damrau studied voice with Carmen Hanganu at Wurzburg Conservatory and with Hanna Ludwig in Salzburg. In 1995, she made her professional operatic debut at Würzburg’s Mainfrankentheater, later joining the company’s ensemble.