“[...]Damrau’s vocal delicacy, [is] able to open a phrase with a delicate crescendo, while often ending them with soft holds as if she were embracing the syllables to the fullest.”
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 Die Zauberflöte (Metropolitan Opera, Salzburg Festival, Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera House, Bavarian State Opera).
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), Die Zauberflöte (Queen of the Night) and Rigoletto (Gilda). Other high profile appearances have included La Traviata (Violetta), Der Rosenkavalier (Sophie), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Konstanze) as well as Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna and Contessa d’Almaviva).
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 and Roméo et Juliette. 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 Die Zauberflöte.
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. Damrau has also appeared there as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor as part of Milan’s Expo in 2015. In 2005 she made her role debut as Susanna in a new production of Le Nozze di Figaro and returned in 2016 in another new production of the piece, but on this occasion as La Contessa.
"Vocally, her phrasing choices were marvelously precise, fresh and personal — and all of a piece with her physical portrayal of the character. [...]Damrau masterfully maintained melodic continuity without sacrificing effect. This was acting of Shakespearean caliber."
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 worldwide renowned venues. She enjoys a close artistic partnership with pianist Helmut Deutsch 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 Warner/Erato (formerly EMI/Virgin Classics), 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.
On the occasion of her album Grand Opera which is dedicated to the works of Giacomo Meyerbeer, Diana Damrau was awarded with the OPUS Klassik as Female Singer of the Year. Further on, in February 2018, Diana Damrau performed in the most renowned concert halls in Europe interpreting together with tenor Jonas Kaufmann and pianist Helmut Deutsch Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch. The according live album was released by Warner/Erato. Themed VERDIssimo, she toured Europe again in spring 2018.
In 2018, Diana Damrau made her debut in the title role in Maria Stuarda at the Opernhaus Zürich and starred as Violetta Valéry in a new production of La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as being “Artist in Residence” at the Barbican Centre London.
In 2019 she embarked on a tour of the Four last songs by Richard Strauss in collaboration with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, which culminated at Carnegie Hall in New York, marking Maestro Jansons last performance before he passed away. Her album featuring this performance, as well as other Lieder by Richard Strauss with Helmut Deutsch at the piano, was released on December of 2019 and won the OPUS Klassik Award for Vocal soloist recording.
In 2020, she made her role debut as Ophélie in a concert version of Thomas’ Hamlet at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, her role debut as Amalia in Verdi’s I Masnadieri at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and appeared in the livestreamed Met Opera At-Home Gala with Nicolas Testé, and the Met Stars LIVE from the Royal Palace of Caserta with tenor Joseph Calleja, in which she sung excerpts from Puccini’s Tosca for the first time. She was also named as a recipient of the 15th Annual OPERA NEWS Awards.
Diana Damrau’s 2020/21 season has been sadly affected by COVID-19 cancellations, with the exception of the Royal Affairs concerts in Sofia and the livestreamed performance of the same program from Hanover, as well as her performances as the title role in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at the Opernhaus Zürich in a special production in which the conductor, orchestra, and chorus livestreamed their performance from a different building to the opera house, and only the soloists sung on stage. The premiere of these performances was livestreamed worldwide.
Performances cancelled due to the global pandemic include her recital at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda and her role debut as Imogene in Il Pirata in the same venue, a VERDIssimo concert in California and the majority of the Royal Affairs tour.
Her latest solo album, Tudor Queens, released on October 2020, showcases the central characters in operas by Donizetti: Anne Boleyn (Anna Bolena), Mary, Queen of Scots (Maria Stuarda), and Elizabeth I (Roberto Devereux), joined by Sir Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra and Chorus of Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
In December of 2020, Ms. Damrau participated in the Opernhaus Zürich’s Curtain Call series, in which she worked with the young artists of the Opernhaus Zürich’s International Opera Studio during a three-day Lieder workshop, and joined them in a Lieder recital afterwards. Excerpts from the workshop were livestreamed, as well as the full recital.
In January of 2021, barring further cancellations, Ms. Damrau will make her role debut as Gräfin Madeleine in Richard Strauss’ Capriccio at the Opéra National de Paris, and she’s expected to join pianist Helmut Deutsch in a recital tour. Any other upcoming engagements for 2021 will be announced in the News section.