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Diana Damrau
Diana Damra, Sopran (17162764382).jpg
Damrau in 2012
Born (1971-05-31) 31 May 1971 (age 50)
Günzburg, Bavaria, West Germany
Alma materHochschule für Musik Würzburg
OccupationOpera singer (soprano)
Years active1995–present
(m. 2010)
AwardsBavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art
Bavarian Order of Merit

Diana Damrau (German: [diːˈana ˈdamʁaʊ]; born 31 May 1971) is a German soprano. She has been successful in coloratura soprano roles, especially admired as the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos. She has gradually proceeded into 19th-century Italian bel canto repertoire, singing roles such as Violetta in La traviata and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. Damrau is also known as a lieder singer.

Educated at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg, she had been engaged at the opera companies in Würzburg, Manneheim, and Frankfurt. Since beginning her freelance career in 2002, she has been performing on leading stages frequently, such as the Bavarian State Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera. She also leads concert performances with French bass-baritone Nicholas Testé, whom she married in 2010.

Early life

Damrau was born in Günzburg, Bavaria on 31 May 1971. She was inspired to become an opera singer after watching Zeffirelli's 1983 film of La traviata, which featured Plácido Domingo and Teresa Stratas.[1] She began her operatic studies with Carmen Hanganu [de] at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg. During her studies, she developed an edema on a vocal chord.[2][3] After consulting with several doctors, she decided to undergo an alternative therapy without surgery. The treatment lasted about one and a half years.[4] After graduating from music conservatory she worked in Salzburg with Hanna Ludwig.


Early career

Damrau made her operatic debut in 1995 as Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro at the Mainfranken Theater Würzburg. In the next two years, she was engaged at the same theatre, featuring as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, and then as the Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute, her debut in that role, and in the world premiere of Salieri's Cublai, gran kan de' Tartari (1998).[5] Next, she performed with the Mannheim National Theatre and Oper Frankfurt for two years each. She made her Bavarian State Opera debut in 1999 with Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, and her Vienna State Opera debut with the Queen of the Night in 2000.[6] In 2001, she made her Salzburg Festival debut, portraying the Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos.[6] She returned in the next 6 editions primarily for Mozart roles, such as The Magic Flute (Queen of the Night, 2002), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Blonde, 2003; Konstanze, 2004), The Marriage of Figaro (Susanna, 2007).[7][8] In the 2006 edition, which celebrated Mozart's 200th anniversary, she played the Queen of the Night in the premiere of Pierre Audi's production of The Magic Flute, and Fauno in Ascanio in Alba.[9][10]

Since 2002, she embarked a freelance career, and had frequent engagements with the Bavarian State Opera in roles such as Adele in Die Fledermaus, Marzelline in Fidelio, and the Queen of the Night. She returned to the Vienna State Opera in the role of Small Woman in the world premiere of Cehra's Der Riese vom Steinfeld.[11] In 2003, she made her Royal Opera, London debut, appearing in David McVicar's new production of The Magic Flute,[12] and returned in two consecutive seasons in Arabella (Fiakermilli), Ariadne auf Naxos (Zerbinetta), and the world premiere of Maazel's 1984.[13][14][15] She took on the role of Konstanze in Die Entführung for the first time at the Opera Frankfurt, and repeated the role the next year in Salzburg. In March 2004, she sang the role of Zdenka in Arabella for the first time and followed by Konstanze in Munich.[16] In December she was invited to sing the title role in Salieri's Europa riconosciuta, conducted by Riccardo Muti, for the reopening of La Scala in Milan.[17]

In 2005, Damrau portrayed Gilda in the premiere of Doris Dörrie's controversial production of Rigoletto in Munich,[18] and later made her Metropolitan Opera debut in New York City in the role of Zerbinetta.[19] In February 2006, she sang her first Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro at La Scala.[20] She then repeated Susanna at the Vienna State Opera, and then premiered in a new Die Entführung, co-production with the Burgtheater.[21][22] In autumn, she sang Zerbinetta at the Teatro Real. She then starred in two Met production premieres in 2006/07: The Barber of Seville (Rosina), and Die ägyptische Helena (Aithra).


She made Metropolitan Opera history in the 2007/08 season by appearing as both Pamina and the Queen of the Night in different performances of the same run, after which she retired from playing the Queen,[23] a role that she had sung in more than 15 productions. In the 2008/09 season she returned to Royal Opera, London for Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel and Adina in L'elisir d'amore. She returned to Vienna State Opera for Rosina in September 2009, and then debuted in two roles: Marie in La fille du régiment (San Francisco Opera), Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Grand Théâtre de Genève).[24][25] In January 2011, she debuted in the role of Elvira in I puritani in Geneva.[26] She portrayed all four heroines in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann in a new production at the Bavarian State Opera premiered in October 2011.[27] She also performs roles in the lyric soprano repertoire, including the title role in Manon, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier.

Damrau has furthered her exploration of the bel canto repertoire with highlights including new productions of Rossini's comic opera Le comte Ory at the Metropolitan Opera[28] and the title role in Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix at the Liceu.[29] She has since returned to the Metropolitan Opera as both Adina in L'elisir d'amore and Rosina in The Barber of Seville and brought her portrayal in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor to Berlin and Vienna. Following the birth of her second child in autumn 2012, Damrau returned to the stage with a new production of Verdi's Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera in February 2013; this was followed by her role debut in the title role of Verdi's La traviata in the same house. In October 2013, she sang in the world premiere of Iain Bell's A Harlot's Progress at the Theater an der Wien.[30] In March 2014 she sang in La sonnambula at the Metropolitan Opera. She debuted in the role of Countess d'Almaviva in the new production of The Marriage of Figaro at La Scala, which premiered on 26 October 2016.[31]

She took up the title role in Maria Stuarda at the Zürich Opera House in April 2018.[32] In 2019 she debuted as Ophélie in Hamlet in concert performances at the Liceu and later at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.[33][34]

Concert career

As well as performing in operas, Damrau is a regular on the concert stage. She performed alongside Plácido Domingo at the concert program "3 Orchester und Stars" in Munich to mark the opening of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[35] She has performed lieder at Vienna's Musikverein, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, La Scala, the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, the Kissinger Sommer and both the Munich and Salzburg Festivals, especially with Xavier de Maistre as her accompanist. Her concert repertoire includes Mozart's Great Mass in C minor, Requiem and Exsultate, jubilate as well as Handel's Messiah. She has performed with conductors as James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Leonard Slatkin, Pierre Boulez, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Jesús López Cobos.

Personal life

Damrau married French bass-baritone Nicolas Testé in May 2010.[36] They have two sons, Alexander and Colyn, born respectively in October 2010 and October 2012.[37][38]

Key performances

  • La Scala: Europa riconosciuta* (Europa), The Marriage of Figaro (Susanna), La traviata* (Violetta), Lucia di Lammermoor (Lucia)
  • Metropolitan Opera: La sonnambula (Amina), La traviata (Violetta), The Magic Flute (Queen of the Night and Pamina), Ariadne auf Naxos (Zerbinetta), Il barbiere di Siviglia* (Rosina), Die ägyptische Helena* (Aithra), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Konstanze), Lucia di Lammermoor (Lucia), Rigoletto* (Gilda), La fille du régiment (Marie), Le comte Ory* (Adèle), L'elisir d'amore (Adina), Manon (Manon), Les pêcheurs de perles (Leila), Roméo et Juliette (Juliette)
  • The Royal Opera: The Magic Flute* (Queen of the Night), Arabella* (Fiakermilli), Ariadne auf Naxos (Zerbinetta), 1984* (Gym Instructor / Drunken Woman), Hänsel und Gretel* (Gretel), L'elisir d'amore (Adina), La traviata* (Violetta)
  • Vienna State Opera: Die Fledermaus (Adele), Rigoletto (Gilda), Ariadne auf Naxos (Zerbinetta), Der Riese vom Steinfeld* by Cerha (Small Woman), The Marriage of Figaro (Susanna), Die Entführung aus dem Serail* (Konstanze), The Magic Flute (Queen of the Night), Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina), Manon (Manon), Lucia di Lammermoor (Lucia)
  • Salzburg Festival: Die Entführung aus dem Serail* (Blondchen / Konstanze), Ascanio in Alba* (Fauno), The Magic Flute* (Queen of the Night), The Marriage of Figaro (Susanna)
  • Bavarian State Opera, Munich: Les contes d'Hoffmann* (Olympia/Antonia/Giulietta/Stella), Die schweigsame Frau* (Aminta), The Magic Flute (Queen of the Night), Die Entführung aus dem Serail* (Konstanze), Arabella (Zdenka), Ariadne auf Naxos*(Zerbinetta), Rigoletto* (Gilda), The Marriage of Figaro (Susanna), Der Rosenkavalier (Sophie), Fidelio (Marzelline), Der Freischütz (Ännchen), Die Fledermaus (Adele), Lucia di Lammermoor* (Lucia)

NB: * indicates a new production of the piece

Honours and awards


Early recordings include Verdi's canzoni, Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn, and Schumann's Myrthen, Op. 25, with the Telos label and live recordings of her summer 2005 Liederabend at the Salzburg Festival and her summer 2006 Liederabend at the Schubertiade are released on the Orfeo label.

Damrau also appears on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi's release of Mozart's Zaide in the title role, and performs in the trio finale from Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier alongside Adrianne Pieczonka on Elīna Garanča's first solo release with Deutsche Grammophon.

Since 2007 Damrau has had an exclusive recording contract with EMI/Virgin.


DVDs are available of her performances in the following operas:

  • Rossini's Le comte Ory (Metropolitan Opera)
  • Verdi's Rigoletto (Semperoper Dresden, Metropolitan Opera)
  • Strauss's Rosenkavalier (Baden Baden)
  • Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel (Covent Garden)
  • Mozart's The Magic Flute (Covent Garden, Salzburg Festival)
  • Mozart's Ascanio in Alba (Salzburg Festival)
  • Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Oper Frankfurt)
  • Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Liceu)
  • Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro (La Scala)
  • Lorin Maazel's 1984 (Covent Garden)

Streaming videos are available at Met Opera on Demand of her performances in the following operas:

  • Rossini's Le comte Ory (9 April 2011)
  • Verdi's Rigoletto (16 February 2013)
  • Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles (16 January 2016)
  • Gounod's Roméo et Juliette (21 January 2017)
  • Verdi's La traviata (15 December 2018)

Opera roles

Roles which have been fully performed on stage or in studio.[54]


  1. ^ "Halte Wien unbedingt die Treue!". Wiener Zeitung. 2006-08-10. Retrieved 2021-01-19.
  2. ^ Sabinsky-Wolf, Holger (2011-11-18). "Diana Damrau: Weltstar, Mutter, Managerin" [Diana Damrau: Star, mother, manager]. Augsburger Allgemeine (Interview) (in German).
  3. ^ Kausch, Martina (2007-12-22). "Diana Damrau, ein Weltstar aus Schwaben" [Diana Damrau, a world star from Swabia]. Die Welt.
  4. ^ von Baumbach, Marie. "Boing, fliegt mir die Krone runter". Der Tagesspiegel (Interview) (in German). Retrieved 2015-01-17.
  5. ^ "Mad About Music: Diana Damrau". Mad About Music. 2007-12-02. WQXR-FM.
  6. ^ a b "Diana Damrau: Biographie, Diskographie". Klassik Heute (in German). Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  7. ^ "Die technischen Tricks des Zauberflötenreich-Zirkus" [The technical tricks of the Magic Flute Empire Circus]. Wiener Zeitung. 2002-07-31. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  8. ^ Hanssen, Frederik (2003-07-29). "Im Anfang war der Zweifel". Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  9. ^ "Die Zauberflöte, zweiter Start". Wiener Zeitung. 2006-08-01.
  10. ^ "Mit der Scheibtruhe zum Hochzeitsfest gekarrt". Wiener Zeitung. 2006-08-05.
  11. ^ Weinzierl, Ulrich (2002-06-17). "Grotesker Kreuzweg: "Der Riese vom Steinfeld"". Die Welt. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  12. ^ Seckerson, Edward (2003-01-20). "Review: Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera House". The Independent. Ashley, Tim (2003-01-27). "Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera House, London". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Clements, Andrew (2004-05-24). "Arabella, Royal Opera House, London". The Guardian.
  14. ^ Lyall, Sarah (2004-06-24). "A Svelte Soprano Pleases, but Fans Play Down Size". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Clements, Andrew (2005-05-04). "1984, Royal Opera House, London". The Guardian.
  16. ^ "Diana Damrau singt in "Arablla" und die "Entführung aus dem Serail" an der Bayerischen Staatsoper" (Press release). Bavarian State Opera. 2004-03-24. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  17. ^ Popham, Peter (2004-12-04). "Europa Riconosciuta, La Scala, Milan". The Independent. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  18. ^ ""Rigoletto" in München: Opernskandal von Doris Dörrie". Rheinische Post. afp. 2005-02-22.
  19. ^ Gurewitsch, Matthew (2005-09-18). "I'll See Your High G and Raise You an A Flat". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  20. ^ Vela del Campo, Juan Ángel (2006-02-10). "Luz de Strehler, luz de Mozart". El País.
  21. ^ Wiesinger, Rainhard (2006-04-20). "Wien: Le nozze di Figaro". Online Musik Magazin.
  22. ^ Tosic, Ljubisa (2006-05-03). "Gefühlsnahkampf im Serail". Der Standard.
  23. ^ Midgette, Anne (2007-10-28). "One Voice for Innocence and Experience". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  24. ^ Scheinin, Richard (2009-10-14). "Virtuoso Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez and German soprano Diana Damrau wowed audience at S.F. Opera". The Mercury News.
  25. ^ Schacher, Thomas (2009-12-14). "Die verpasste Deutung". Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
  26. ^ "I Puritani - Genève". 2011-01-29.
  27. ^ Thiel, Markus (2011-10-25). "Bayerische Staatsoper: Diana Damrau singt in "Hoffmanns Erzählungen" vier Rollen". Münchner Merkur.
  28. ^ da Fonseca-Wollheim, Corinna (2011-03-25). "The Met serves up a sexy, inspired cast in delightfully theatrical "Le Comte Ory"". The Classical Review.
  29. ^ Irurzun, José M. (2012-01-03). "Barcelona Rarity: Damrau and Flórez can't Salvage Linda di Chamounix". Seen and Heard International.
  30. ^ Brug, Manuel (2013-10-23). "Mädchen, die fallen, und Mädchen, die schießen". Die Welt.
  31. ^ "Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)". La Scala. Archived from the original on 2019-09-24.
  32. ^ Schacher, Thomas (2018-04-09). "In Maria Stuarda kommt es zum Streit zweier Königinnen – und zweier Sopranistinnen" [In "Maria Stuarda" there is a quarrel between two queens - and two sopranos]. Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
  33. ^ Irurzun, José M. (2019-03-08). "An Outstanding Cast Leads the Liceu's Revival of Hamlet". Seen and Heard International.
  34. ^ Waltenberger, Ingobert (2019-06-25), "Berlin/ Deutsche Oper: Hamlet", Online Merker (in German)
  35. ^ "Placido Domingo und Diana Damrau als Opernstars bei "3 Orchester und Stars"". 2006-06-06.
  36. ^ Kircher, Helmut (2010-07-08). "Neue Rolle: Diana Damrau als Mutter und Ehefrau". Augsburger Allgemeine.
  37. ^ kih (2010-11-02). "In einer Reihe mit den ganz Großen" [In a row with the greats]. Augsburger Allgemeine.
  38. ^ Kircher, Helmut (2012-10-15). "Diana Damrau um einen "Goldschatz" reicher". Augsburger Allgemeine.
  39. ^ Weiß, Hermann (2004-10-24). "Diana Damrau". Die Welt. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  40. ^ "Kulturpreis Bayern der E.ON Bayern AG: Grandioses Feuerwerk an Unterhaltung". Bayerische Gemeindezeitung. 2007-11-12.
  41. ^ "Eine Ehre für Diana Damrau". Main-Post. 2007-07-06.
  42. ^ "Träger des Bayerischen Maximiliansorden für Wissenschaft und Kunst". Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  43. ^ "Seehofer verlieh Orden an Kameramann Ballhaus" [Seehofer awarded Orden to cinematographer Ballhaus]. Main Post. dpa. 2011-11-17.
  44. ^ "Kulturpreis für Kammersängerin Diana Damrau" (in German). Antenne Bayern. 2010-07-05.
  45. ^ "Diana Damrau ist "Musikalische Botschafterin des Landkreises Günzburg"". Augsburger Allgemeine. 2011-11-07.
  46. ^ "Opera Awards 2014". The International Opera Awards. Archived from the original on 2014-04-12. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  47. ^ "Echo Klassik (2014): Diana Damrau". Archived from the original on 2015-05-09.
  48. ^ Scheder, Sophia (2015-06-09). "Kammersängerin trägt sich ins Goldene Buch der Stadt ein". Würzburg Erleben.
  49. ^ "Terminhinweis: Ministerpräsident Seehofer zeichnet 45 Persönlichkeiten mit dem Bayerischen Verdienstorden aus" [Appointment: Prime Minister Seehofer honors 45 personalities with the Bavarian Order of Merit] (Press release) (in German). Bavarian State Government. 2016-07-08.
  50. ^ Wittl, Wolfgang (2017-07-12). "Feierstunde: Engagement, das anstecken soll". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German).
  51. ^ "Juan Diego Florez & Diana Damrau Win Big At Opus Klassik Awards". OperaWire. 2018-10-16.
  52. ^ "(33034) Dianadamrau". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  53. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  54. ^ "Repertoire - Diana Damrau". Retrieved 2020-11-10.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 August 2021, at 10:40
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