Biography (EN)

“the leading coloratura soprano in the world”

— New York Sun

Soprano Diana Damrau has been performing on the world’s leading opera and concert stages for two decades. Her vast repertoire spans both lyric soprano and coloratura roles including the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor (La Scala, Bavarian State Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House), Manon (Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera) and La traviata (La Scala, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Opéra national de Paris and Bavarian State Opera) as well as Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute (Metropolitan Opera, Salzburg Festival, Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera House).


Invested as Kammersängerin of the Bavarian State Opera (2007) and holder of the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art (2010), Diana Damrau has forged close links with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich where she has been seen in new productions of Lucia di Lammermoor, Les contes d’Hoffmann (the four heroines), Ariadne on Naxos (Zerbinetta), The Silent Woman (Aminta), The Magic Flute (Queen of the Night) and Rigoletto (Gilda). Other high profile appearances have included La traviata (Sophie) and The Abduction from the Seraglio (Constanze).

The Metropolitan Opera has been a house in which the soprano has performed her signature roles, been broadcast in HD to cinemas globally and made seven role debuts since her own debut there as Zerbinetta in 2005. Highlights have included new productions of Rigoletto (Gilda), Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina), Le comte Ory (Adèle) and Les pêcheurs des perles (Leïla). Other engagements have included the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor, La traviata, Manon, La Sonnambula and La Fille du Régiment. She was also the first singer in Metropolitan Opera history to perform the roles of Pamina and Queen of the Night in different performances of the same run of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

Diana Damrau has twice participated in the annual inaugural performance at La Scala di Milano; in 2004 in the title role of Salieri’s Europa Riconosciuta at the house’s grand reopening and in 2013 as the title role in a new production of La traviata to commemorate Verdi’s 200th anniversary. Damrau has also appeared there as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor as part of Milan’s Expo in 2015. In 2005 she gave her role debut as Susanna in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro and returns in 2016 in another new production of the piece, but on this occasion as La contessa.

The soprano has also performed contemporary works for the opera stage in roles written especially for her, most notably as the title role in Iain Bell’s operatic adaptation of Hogarth’s A Harlot’s Progress (Theater an der Wien 2013) and as Drunken Woman/Gym Instructress in Lorin Maazel’s 1984 (Royal Opera House 2005).

Diana Damrau has established herself as one of today’s most sought-after interpreters of song, regularly performing at most renowned venues such as Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Berlin’s Philharmonie and the Salzburg Festival. She enjoys close artistic partnerships with pianists Helmut Deutsch and Craig Rutenberg and frequently performs in recital with harpist Xavier de Maistre. The latter collaboration can be heard in the CD release Nuit d’étoiles and a DVD capturing their performance at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.

Recording exclusively for EMI/Virgin Classics (now Warner/Erato), Diana Damrau made her recording debut with Arie di Bravura – a collection of Mozart and Salieri arias. Subsequent solo releases have included Donna – a recording of Mozart arias, COLORaturaS – a selection of coloratura arias from the romantic period, Poesie – orchestral songs by Richard Strauss (awarded the ECHO Klassik prize in 2011) and songs by Franz Liszt. Her album Forever, featuring highlights from operetta, film and musicals was awarded the ECHO Klassik Prize in 2014 and was followed by the release of the Belcanto-themed Fiamma del Belcanto. Damrau also features on various complete opera recordings on both CD and DVD.

2016/17 season highlights include Damrau’s role debuts as La contessa in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro at La Scala and Juliette in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Romeo et Juliette, where she will also perform the role of Elvira in I puritani. Later in the season she will once again assume the four heroine roles of Les contes d’Hoffmann at Los Angeles Opera. On concert stage, the soprano will give her debut performances of Strauss’ Four Last Songs in a European concert tour with Kirill Petrenko and the Bayerische Staatsorchester. Together with the French bass-baritone Nicolas Testé performing an opera gala programme she will tour South America including a debut on 27 April 2017 at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. It will be followed by a tour of Meyerbeer arias in Europe, coinciding with the forthcoming release of her solo Meyerbeer recording.

Further ahead, plans include the title role in a new production of La traviata at the Metropolitan Opera and her role debuts as Marguérite in Faust and the title role in Maria Stuarda.



Ms. Damrau received the Bavarian Order of Merit, at a special ceremony event in Munich

Diana was awarded with the Austrian Music Theater Prize for her portrayal of Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles at the Theater an der Wien

Celebrated great success in the role of Leïla in a new production Les pêcheurs de perles at the Metropolitan Opera.

Diana performed her first solo song recital in the Stern Auditorium of NYC’s Carnegie Hall

Role debut as the Countess in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro at La Scala

European tour of Strauss’ Four Last Songs with Kirill Petrenko and the Bayerische Staatsorchester

Role debut as Juliette in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette


Title role in a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor (dir. Barbara Wysocka) at Bavarian State Opera

Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo’s onstage performances in Manon at the MET considered the highlight of the season

Performed in the opening open-air gala of Milan’s EXPO in the Piazza Duomo, and the title role in La Scala’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor, also part of the EXPO

Release of solo recording Fiamma del Belcanto, supported with a concert tour of Europe


Celebrated role debut as Amina in „La Sonnambula“

Diana Damrau conducts the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall (in an encore)

Celebrated runs of „La Traviata“ in London und Munich

Opera-stage-debut in France in a new production of „La Traviata” at Opera Bastille in Paris

Duo recitals with Xavier de Maistre at the Salzburg Festival and the Vienna State Opera

Recorded the role of Konstanze at Festspielhaus Baden Baden for Deutsche Grammophon

OPERA singer of the year

Klassik ECHO „ohne Grenzen“ prize for the CD „Forever“

Meyerbeer Gala with Antonio Pappano at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome

Debut at Concertgebow Amsterdam in an Opera-Gala with Piotr Beczala and Nicolas Testé

Sensational debut in Prague in a Belcanto-Gala with Nicolas Testé

„Les Pêcheurs de Perles“ at Theater an der Wien, celebrated reality-show directed by Lotte de Beer

Pictured: Diana’s debut as Amina in ‘La Sonnambula’ at The Metropolitan Opera
Image: Marty Sohl


New production of Las Vegas „Rigoletto“  at the Metropolitan Opera transmitted live in HD to movie theaters world-wide

Role debut as Violetta in „La Traviata“ at the Metropolitan Opera with Placido Domingo as Germont

Memorable recital with harp at Palais Garnier in Paris

Concert performance of „Lucia di Lammermoor“ at Philharmonie im Gasteig, recorded for Warner Classics

World premiere of  Iain Bell’s „A Harlots Progress“ at Theater an der Wien

New production of  „La Traviata“ at Teatro alla Scala in celebration of the Verdi bicentenary

Pictured: Diana’s debut as Violetta in ‘La traviata’ at The Metropolitan Opera
Image: Sara Krulwich


Role debut in “Linda di Chamonix” at Barcelona’s Liceu

A memorable stint at the MET as Rosina and Adina

A highly acclaimed series of song recitals with harpist Xavier de Maistre

Further performances of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Wiener Staatsoper

An open-air Operagala at the Théâtre Antique during the „Chorégies” in Orange

Damrau’s CD release “Liszt Lieder” is awarded with the “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik”

Birth of her second son Colyn

Pictured: Diana and Xavier de Maistre in performance


Role debut as Elvira (“I puritani”) in Geneva

First broadcast of the documentary “Diana Damrau – divine diva” (direction: Beatrix Conrad) on the

French-German TV channel “arte”

Role debut and HD broadcast debut as Adèle (“Le Comte Ory”) at New York’s MET and overwhelming success as Lucia di Lammermoor in their tour of Japan

Diana Damrau presents the “Day of Opera” on the TV channel “arte”

Donna Anna in Baden-Baden (recorded for CD release)

“Poesie”, Diana Damrau’s fourth CD release featuring orchestral songs by Richard Strauss is present with Germany’s prestigious “ECHO Klassik” award

Highly acclaimed debut as Hoffmann’s four heroines in a new production at the Bavarian State Opera

Diana Damrau is named “Musical Ambassador” of her hometown Günzburg and receives the “Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art”

Pictured: Diana sings Olympia in the Bavarian State Opera production of ‘Les Contes d’Hoffmann’
Image: Wilfried Hösl


Role debut as Massenet’s Manon at the Vienna State Opera

“Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik“ for Diana Damrau’s third CD release “COLORaturaS”

Diana Damrau appears on the German talk show “Zimmer frei” (WDR)

She gains tremendous success as Marie in “La fille du régiment” at the MET

Role debut as Aminta (“Die schweigsame Frau”) at the Bavarian State Opera

Marriage with the French bass-baritone Nicolas Testé and birth of their son Alexander

Pictured: Diana as Marie in The Metropolitan Opera’s ‘La fille du régiment’
Image: Beatriz Schiller


Diana Damrau appears as Sophie (“Der Rosenkavalier”) and gives a lieder recital with Xavier de

Maistre in Baden-Baden. Both events are recorded.

Damrau’s CD release “Donna” is awarded with the “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik”

Gala concert on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of the Mainz Cathedral (TV broadcast)

Role debuts as Marie (“La fille du régiment”) in San Francisco and as Donna Anna (“Don Giovanni”) in Geneva. Much-praised appearances in London, Munich, New York, Vienna and Madrid

Pictured: Diana as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier in Baden-Baden


Ms. Damrau is awarded the “2008 singer of the year” by the international opera magazine

“Opernwelt” (Germany) and appears on the 2008 issue’s cover of the annual book. Read the article (german PDF document)

Standing Ovations for Diana Damrau’s “Gilda” at the “Rigoletto” premiere in Dresden’s Semperoper – also seen on TV.

“Exemplary activities for Europe” – Diana Damrau receives the “Europe medal” on May 7, 2008

“Arie di bravura” is awarded “Le Timbre de Platine”. More information

Special release in February: On acclaimed harpist Xavier de Maistre’s debut cd, Diana Damrau sings a selection of songs by Claude Debussy, accompanied by this Vienna Philharmonic soloist.


Diana Damrau is invested as “Bayerische Kammersängerin”

An exclusive recording contract is fixed with Virgin / EMI

A further role debut at the Met: Aithra in a new production of Strauss’ “Die ägyptische Helena”

Lieder recital debut in New York’s Carnegie Hall

Lieder recital debut at La Scala, Milan

Engaged to sing both Pamina (Role debut) and Queen of the Night at the Met

Pictured: Diana as Pamina in ‘Die Zauberflöte’ at The Metropolitan Opera
Image: Ken Howard


A role debut as Susanna in “Le nozze di Figaro” at La Scala, Milan at the start of Mozart’s Anniversary Year

Plays Konstanze in a new production of Mozart’s “Entführung” staged at the Wiener Burgtheater where the piece was originally debuted

Part of the line-up of “3 Orchester und Stars” to mark the opening of the World Cup in Germany in

Summer 2006, performing alongside Domingo, Lang lang, Mehta, Thielemann and Jansons

Makes three appearances at Salzburg Festival’s Mozart celebrations; in a new production of “Die

Zauberflöte” as Queen of the Night, as Fauno in “Ascanio in Alba” and as the Soprano in his C Minor Mass

Spain debut as Zerbinetta at the Teatro Real, Madrid

Role debut as Rosina in Bartlett Sher’s new production of Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” at the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Pictured: Diana as the Queen of the Night at the Salzburg Festival


Metropolitan Opera debut as Zerbinetta in Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos”

Lieder recital debut at the Salzburg Festival which is released by Orfeo as a Live CD

Lieder recital debut at Vienna’s Musikverein

Takes on the duo roles of Gym-Instructress and Drunken Woman in the World Premier of Lorin Maazel’s “1984” at the Royal Opera House, London


Performs the title role in Salieri’s “L’Europa riconosciuta” at La Scala, Milan to mark the house’s grand re-opening. Singing under the baton of Riccardo Muti, the performance is attended by the world’s press.



Role debut as Konstanze in Christoph Loy’s celebrated production of “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” at Oper Frankfurt (DVD)

British opera debut at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Queen of the Night in David

McVicar’s new production of “Die Zauberflöte” (DVD)

Sings Beethoven’s 9th under Dohnanyi at the Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall

Pictured: Diana as the Queen of the Night at London’s Royal Opera House
Image: Alastair Muir


Created the role of Die kleine Frau in the World Premier of Cerha’s “Der Riese vom Steinfeld” at the Vienna State Opera (TV and CD)

USA debut in a concert of Mozart Arias conducted by Leonard Slatkin in Washington’s Kennedy Center

Pictured: Diana as Die Kleine Frau at the Vienna State Opera
Image: Zeininger


Lieder Recital debut at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg

Debut at the Salzburg Festival as Najade in Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” and Voce dal cielo in Verdi’s “Don Carlo”


Debut at the Vienna State Opera as Königin der Nacht


Debut at the Bavarian State Opera, Munich as Zerbinetta


House debuts in Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Frankfurt as Queen of the Night

1996 – 2002

The soprano was contracted to the opera houses of Würzburg, Mannheim and Frankfurt, each for two years respectively


Opera Stage debut as Barbarina in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” at the State Theater, Würzburg