Diana Damrau

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Diana Damrau
Diana Damra, Sopran (17162764382).jpg
Damrau in 2012
Born (1971-05-31) 31 May 1971 (age 48)
Günzburg, Germany
Alma mater Hochschule für Musik Würzburg
OccupationOpera singer (soprano)
Years active1995–present
TitleBavarian Kammersängerin (2007)
Nicolas Testé (m. 2010)
Awards Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art (2010)
Bavarian Order of Merit (2016)
Website diana-damrau.com

Diana Damrau (German pronunciation: [diːˈana ˈdamʁaʊ] ; born 31 May 1971 in Günzburg) is a German operatic soprano. She is particularly associated to works of Mozart, Strauss and the Italian bel canto repertory. Damrau is a Kammersängerin of the Bavarian State Opera.

Günzburg Place in Bavaria, Germany

Günzburg is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is a Große Kreisstadt and the capital of the Swabian district Günzburg. This district was constituted in 1972 by combining the city of Günzburg – which had not previously been assigned to a Kreis (district) – with the district of Günzburg and the district of Krumbach.

A soprano[soˈpraːno] is a type of classical female singing voice and has the highest vocal range of all voice types. The soprano's vocal range (using scientific pitch notation) is from approximately middle C (C4) = 261 Hz to "high A" (A5) = 880 Hz in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C) = 1046 Hz or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which often encompasses the melody. The soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, soubrette, lyric, spinto, and dramatic soprano.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Austrian composer of the Classical period

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the classical era.


Early life

Damrau was born in Günzburg, Bavaria, Germany, and began her operatic studies with Carmen Hanganu  [ de ] at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg. During her studies, she developed an edema on a vocal fold. [1] [2] After consulting with several doctors, she decided to undergo an alternative therapy without surgery. The treatment lasted about one and a half years. [3] After graduating from music conservatory she worked in Salzburg with Hanna Ludwig  [ de ].

The Hochschule für Musik Würzburg was founded in 1797 by Franz Joseph Fröhlich as Collegium musicum academicum. From 1921 to 1973 it was named Bayerisches Staatskonservatorium der Musik. The current name was given on 1 September 1973. It is located in three buildings. Helmut Erb has been president since 1 October 2007. The number of full-time students was about 650 in 2007.

Edema abnormal accumulation of fluid in the interstitium

Edema, also spelled oedema or œdema, is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the interstitium, located beneath the skin and in the cavities of the body, which can cause severe pain. Clinically, hyperaldosteronism, edema manifests as swelling. The amount of interstitial fluid is determined by the balance of fluid homeostasis and the increased secretion of fluid into the interstitium. The word is from Greek οἴδημα oídēma meaning "swelling". The condition is also known as dropsy.

Alternative medicine describes any practice that aims to achieve the healing effects of medicine, but which lacks biological plausibility and is untested or untestable. In some cases AM treatments are proven ineffective. Complementary medicine (CM), complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), integrated medicine or integrative medicine (IM), and holistic medicine are among many rebrandings of the same phenomenon. Alternative therapies share in common that they reside outside medical science, and rely on pseudoscience. Alternative medicine is distinct from experimental medicine, which employs the scientific method to test plausible therapies by way of responsible and ethical clinical trials, producing evidence of either effect or of no effect. Research into alternative treatments often fails to follow proper research protocol and denies calculalaton of prior probability, providing invalid results. Traditional practices become "alternative" when used outside their original settings without proper scientific explanation and evidence. Frequently used derogatory terms for the alternative are new-age or pseudo, with little distinction from quackery.


Damrau's first operatic engagements were in Würzburg and subsequently the Mannheim National Theatre and Oper Frankfurt. Since then, she has sung throughout the world at venues such as the Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Royal Opera House London, the Bavarian State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. She was invited to sing the title role in Salieri's Europa riconosciuta at the re-opening of La Scala, Milan in 2004, under the baton of Riccardo Muti. [4]

Mannheim National Theatre theatre and opera company in Mannheim, Germany, with a variety of performance spaces

The Mannheim National Theatre is a theatre and opera company in Mannheim, Germany, with a variety of performance spaces. It was founded in 1779 and is one of the oldest theatres in Germany.

Oper Frankfurt Opera companies in Frankfurt, Germany

The Oper Frankfurt is one of the leading opera companies in Europe, and voted best "Opera house of the year" several times since 1996. Opera in Frankfurt am Main has a long tradition, with many world premieres such as Franz Schreker's Der ferne Klang in 1912, Fennimore und Gerda by Frederick Delius in 1919, and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana in 1937. Frankfurt's international recognition began in the Gielen Era, 1977 to 1987, when Michael Gielen and stage directors such as Ruth Berghaus collaborated.

Vienna State Opera Opera house in Vienna, Austria

The Vienna State Opera is an Austrian opera house and opera company based in Vienna, Austria. It was originally called the Vienna Court Opera. In 1920, with the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Austrian Republic, it was renamed the Vienna State Opera. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from its orchestra.

The Queen of the Night from Mozart's The Magic Flute had been Damrau's most famous and most frequently performed role, as she had been engaged to perform it in over 15 productions at houses including the Salzburg Festival, [5] [6] Covent Garden, [7] Vienna State Opera, Oper Frankfurt and the Bavarian State Opera. Damrau made Metropolitan Opera history in the 2007/08 season by appearing as both Pamina and Queen of the Night in different performances of the same run, after which she retired the Queen character. [8] Another notable engagement was her portrayal of all four heroines in Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann in a new production at the Bavarian State Opera in October 2011. [9] Other coloratura roles in her repertoire include Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos , Elvira in I puritani , Marie in La fille du régiment , and Aminta in Il re pastore . She also performs roles in the lyric soprano repertoire including the title role in Manon , Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier , Donna Anna in Don Giovanni , Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel , Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro .

<i>The Magic Flute</i> opera by Mozart

The Magic Flute, K. 620, is an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. The work is in the form of a Singspiel, a popular form during the time it was written that included both singing and spoken dialogue. The work was premiered on 30 September 1791 at Schikaneder's theatre, the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, just two months before the composer's premature death.


The word coloratura is originally from Italian, literally meaning "coloring", and derives from the Latin word colorare. When used in English, the term specifically refers to elaborate melody, particularly in vocal music and especially in operatic singing of the 18th and 19th centuries, with runs, trills, wide leaps, or similar virtuoso-like material. Its instrumental equivalent is ornamentation. It is also now widely used to refer to passages of such music, operatic roles in which such music plays a prominent part, and singers of these roles.

<i>Ariadne auf Naxos</i> opera by Richard Strauss

Ariadne auf Naxos, Op. 60, is an opera by Richard Strauss with a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Combining slapstick comedy and consummately beautiful music, the opera's theme is the competition between high and low art for the public's attention.

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 [10] and the title role in Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix at the Liceu. [11] She has since returned to the Metropolitan Opera as both Adina in L'elisir d'amore and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia 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 A Harlot's Progress , an opera by composer Iain Bell based on the etchings of William Hogarth, at Theater an der Wien. [12] In March 2014 she sang in La sonnambula at the Metropolitan Opera. She returned to Le nozze di Figaro at La Scala debuting as the countess with the run premiering on 26 October 2016 [13] where she received acclaim for her legato, phrasing, and interpretation of aria "Dove sono" in act 3. [14]

Bel canto —with several similar constructions —is a term with several meanings that relate to Italian singing.

<i>Le comte Ory</i> opera by Gioachino Rossini

Le comte Ory is a comic opera written by Gioachino Rossini in 1828. Some of the music originates from his opera Il viaggio a Reims written three years earlier for the coronation of Charles X. The French libretto was by Eugène Scribe and Charles-Gaspard Delestre-Poirson adapted from a comedy they had first written in 1817.

<i>Linda di Chamounix</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti and Gaetano Rossi

Linda di Chamounix is an operatic melodramma semiserio in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Gaetano Rossi. It premiered in Vienna, at the Kärntnertortheater, on 19 May 1842.

She took up the title role in Maria Stuarda at Zürich Opera House in April 2018. [15] In 2019 she debuted as Ophélie in Hamlet in concert performances at the Liceu in March and Deutsche Oper Berlin in June. [16] [17]

<i>Maria Stuarda</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Maria Stuarda is a tragic opera, in two acts, by Gaetano Donizetti, to a libretto by Giuseppe Bardari, based on Andrea Maffei's translation of Friedrich Schiller's 1800 play Maria Stuart.

Zürich Opera House opera house

Zürich Opera House is an opera house in the Swiss city of Zürich. Located at the Sechseläutenplatz, it has been the home of the Zürich Opera since 1891, and also houses the Bernhard-Theater Zürich. It is also home to the Zürich Ballet.

Liceu opera house in Barcelona, Spain

The Gran Teatre del Liceu, or simply Liceu in Catalan, is an opera house on La Rambla in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The Liceu opened on 4 April 1847. The adjacent Liceu metro station is named for the theatre.

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. [18] She has performed Lieder repertoire 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 Carl Orff's Carmina Burana , Mozart's Great Mass in C minor , Requiem and Exsultate, jubilate as well as Handel's Messiah . She has performed with such esteemed 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. [19] They have two sons, Alexander and Colyn, born in October 2010 [20] and October 2012. [21]

Key performances

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 alongside Adrianne Pieczonka on mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča's first solo release with Deutsche Grammophon; together, they perform the trio finale from Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier .

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


DVDs are available of her performances in the following operas:

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


AdèleRossini Le comte Ory
AdeleJ. Strauss Die Fledermaus
AdinaDonizetti L'elisir d'amore
AithraR. Strauss Die ägyptische Helena
AminaBellini La sonnambula
AmintaMozart Il re pastore
AmintaR. Strauss Die schweigsame Frau
ÄnnchenWeber Der Freischütz
Anne DindonHerman La Cage aux Folles
AntoniaOffenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann
Contessa Rosina AlmavivaMozart Le nozze di Figaro
Donna Anna Don Giovanni
Eliza DoolittleLoewe My Fair Lady
ElviraBellini I puritani
EuropaSalieri Europa riconosciuta
FaunoMozart Ascanio in Alba
FiakermilliR. Strauss Arabella
GildaVerdi Rigoletto
GretelHumperdinck Hänsel und Gretel
GiuliettaOffenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann
Gym instructor/drunken womanLorin Maazel 1984
Königin der NachtMozart Die Zauberflöte
Konstanze Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Johanna BarkerSondheim Sweeney Todd
JulietteGounod Roméo et Juliette
LeilaBizet Les pêcheurs de perles
LindaDonizetti Linda di Chamounix
Lucia Lucia di Lammermoor
ManonMassenet Manon
MarguériteGounod Faust
Marguérite di ValoisMeyerbeer Les Huguenots
Maria StuardaDonizetti Maria Stuarda
Marie La fille du régiment
MarzellineBeethoven Fidelio
Moll HackaboutIain Bell A Harlot's Progress
NorinaDonizetti Don Pasquale
OlympiaOffenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann
OphélieThomas Hamlet
PaminaMozart Die Zauberflöte
PhilineThomas Mignon
RitaDonizetti Rita
RosinaRossini Il barbiere di Siviglia
SophieR. Strauss Der Rosenkavalier
StellaOffenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann
Small woman Friedrich Cerha Der Riese vom Steinfeld
SusannaMozart Le nozze di Figaro
ViolettaVerdi La traviata
ZaideMozart Zaide
ZdenkaR. Strauss Arabella
Zerbinetta Ariadne auf Naxos

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