Diana Damrau

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Diana Damrau
Diana Damra, Sopran (17162764382).jpg
Damrau in 2012
Born (1971-05-31) 31 May 1971 (age 49)
Günzburg, Bavaria, West 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: [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.


Early life

Damrau was born in Günzburg. 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. [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 ].


Damrau made her opera debut in 1995 as Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro at the Mainfranken Theater Würzburg. In the next two years, she was engaged in the theatre with the first engagement being Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and then her first Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute . She went on engaging with the Mannheim National Theatre and Oper Frankfurt for two years each. In 1999, she debuted at the Bavarian State Opera as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos , and at the Vienna State Opera in 2000 as the Queen of the Night. In 2001, she debuted at the Salzburg Festival, performing in Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos. She then returned in following editions as Queen of the Night and Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail . [4] In 2003, she made her London Royal Opera House debut in David McVicar's new production of The Magic Flute. [5] In 2004, she was invited to sing the title role in Salieri's Europa riconosciuta conducted by Riccardo Muti at the re-opening of Milan's La Scala. [6] In 2005, she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera New York as Zerbinetta.

In 2006, she premiered in a new Magic Flute production as the Queen of the Night at the Salzburg Festival. [7] She 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] a role which she had been engaged to perform in over 15 productions. Another notable engagement was her portrayal of all four heroines in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann in a new production at the Bavarian State Opera in October 2011. [9] Other coloratura roles in her repertoire include 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 The Marriage of Figaro .

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 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. [12] In March 2014 she sang in La sonnambula at the Metropolitan Opera. She returned to The Marriage of 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]

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

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 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. [19] They have two sons, Alexander and Colyn, born respectively in October 2010 and October 2012. [20] [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 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:

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


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