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Read the full interview on Opera News.

This season, soprano Diana Damrau sings her first Met performances of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda.

“EVERYBODY THINKS it’s a glamorous life,” says Diana Damrau. “But the glamour is for the audience. Backstage, it’s gone.” I catch the German soprano by phone at a decidedly unglamorous moment. It’s 2:30 pm her time, and she is parked in her car waiting to pick her kids up from their school in suburban Zurich. She has made it a priority to establish a stable family life with her husband, bass-baritone Nicolas Testé, and their two sons; in fact, the reason the couple has chosen to settle in Zurich is that its central location puts them both within striking distance of their engagements throughout Europe.

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“In seelenvollem Klang spürte Diana Damrau jeder Nuance dieser herrlichen Lieder nach. Dabei wirkte ihr Gesang niemals plakativ, sondern immer natürlich und dadurch intim, persönlich. Wunderbar war ihre gefühlte und sehr differenzierte Textdurchdringung. Damrau erlebte jeden Takt so, als würde er gerade im Moment entstehen. Vorbildlich war ihre vokale Kolorierung und die Klarheit ihrer Intonation. Jeder Ton war ein edler und zugleich müheloser Ausdruck eines tief empfindenden Menschen, der sich singend artikulieren muss. Die Stimme floss mühelos durch alle Lagen, so dass sich der besondere Zauber dieser herrlichen Komposition ideal entfalten konnte”

Online Merker

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Juliette in Milan

“Il soprano tedesco emerge per una vocalità luminosa e tornita, di buon peso e dalla timbrica cremosa, complessivamente omogenea in tutta la gamma. Nell’attesa arietta “Je veux vivre” le messe di voce sono puntuali e sul fiato, i legati adamantini, i virtuosismi nell’insieme fluidi e puntuti; nell’aria “Viens, amour, ranime mon courage”, risolta con efficacia, pregnanza e pathos […] Vero animale da palcoscenico, servendosi di un fraseggio espressivo e di un’intensa mimica facciale e del corpo, la Damrau giganteggia per la musicalità e per le sue spiccate doti attoriali, delineando una Juliette in progress, inizialmente fanciulla timida, ingenua e infantile e, via via, più matura, impetuosa e determinata.”

Connessi all’opera

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SWR

Beim Silvesterkonzert der Berliner Philharmoniker wird auch Diana Damrau an der Seite von Dirigent Kirill Petrenko stehen. In der Sendung „SWR2 Zur Person“ war die deutsche Star-Sopranistin zu Gast.

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“Starting with Richard Rodgers’ If I Loved You from Carousel (1945) and Bernstein’s I Feel Pretty from West Side Story, Damrau demonstrated her refined grasp of the Broadway idiom, embracing the melodic lines and witty lyrics with thorough understanding of the medium. The playful joy of I Feel Pretty was conveyed with admirable vocal and stage presence, whereas If I Loved You was clad in apt melancholy.

With Weill’s Foolish Heart from One Touch of Venus (1943) and Harold Arlen’s Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz (1939), both heard on the second half of the evening, things clicked seamlessly, leading to memorable takes on both classics. The musical communication between the Damrau and Petrenko was ever charming, to a delightful effect.

Yet, it was Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns from A Little Night Music (1972-73) that brought the house down, with its subtle solo line, accompanied by the soft hue of the strings, gently colored by winds and brass.”

Adventures in Music

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“Een liedrecital in een grote zaal: het is vrijwel ondoenlijk. Diana Damrau en Antonio Pappano maakten er woensdagavond in het Concertgebouw toch wat moois van. Met de Vier letzte Lieder van Strauss kregen ze het kuchende en reutelende publiek zelfs even helemaal stil.”

Opera Magazine

“Vervolgens beklommen Damrau en Pappano de trap van betovering in een nachtelijke Berg en een nazomerende Strauss. Elk lied was een trede omhoog. Er daalde een stille roes neer over de voordien nog driftig kuchende zaal. De pianoklanken, waarmee Pappano de slotregel van ‘Im Abendrot’ omlijstte, waren van bovenaardse schoonheid.”

NRC

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“Joining the orchestra was Diana Damrau, lending her highly elegant soprano to the works. The first song, “Spring,” opened with a rather somber introduction from the strings, reaching a peak during Damrau’s soulful, sustained tones. […]

The second song, September,” featured a tranquil, repeated theme from the strings, over which Damrau displayed a number of enchanting vocal roulades as she outlined the languid, observational phrases of the text, such as “Summer trembles at the thought that the end is near.” This number made a lovely showcase of Damrau’s vocal delicacy, 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. […]

The legato phrases were wonderfully handled by Damrau as the piece slowly transitioned to a darker, more nightly, atmosphere, with the return of the lark trills punctuating it ever so softly towards a peaceful conclusion.”

Operawire

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Euronews

Die deutsche Sopranistin Diana Damrau und der französische Harfenist Xavier de Maistre haben eine perfekte Ergänzung beim Enescu Musikfestival in Bukarest geboten.

Sie ist in Bayern in Süddeutschland geboren und gehört heute zu den weltbesten Sopranistinnen. Er kommt aus dem französischen Toulon und begann im Alter von 9 Jahren Harfe zu spielen. Bevor er jedoch professioneller Harfenist wurde, studierte er an der Sciences Po Paris sowie der London School of Economics.

Doch was sind die Herausforderungen bei dieser Kombination – eine Sopranistin mit einer so kraftvollen Stimme, begleitet von den zarten Klängen der Harfe.

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Warner Classics’s recording of Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch, featuring Diana Damrau and Jonas Kaufmann with Helmut Deutsch at the piano, has been shortlisted for a 2019 Gramophone Classical Music Awards: Solo Vocal.

The Awards ceremony takes place in London at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms on October 16. Individual tickets and tables for the ceremony are available to purchase here.

Presented with Apple Music, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s Polska Music programme and Medici TV, this year’s Awards Ceremony will be streamed live from the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms by Medici TV at 6.30pm (UK time).

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