Diana Damrau

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Diana Damrau
Diana Damrau 2012.jpg
Diana Damrau, 2012
Background information
Born(1971-05-31) May 31, 1971 (age 43)
Günzburg, Germany
GenresClassical, operatic
Occupation(s)Opera singer
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Diana Damrau
Diana Damrau 2012.jpg
Diana Damrau, 2012
Background information
Born(1971-05-31) May 31, 1971 (age 43)
Günzburg, Germany
GenresClassical, operatic
Occupation(s)Opera singer

Diana Damrau (born 31 May 1971) is a German soprano opera singer. She is Kammersängerin of the Bavarian State Opera.


Damrau was born in 1971 in Günzburg, Bavaria, Germany, and began her operatic studies with Carmen Hanganu (de) at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg. During her studies, she got into a crisis because of 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). Her first operatic engagements were in Würzburg and subsequently the National Theatre Mannheim 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 Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta at the re-opening of La Scala, Milan in 2004, under the baton of Riccardo Muti.

The Queen of the Night from Mozart's The Magic Flute has been Damrau's most frequently performed role to date, as she has been engaged to perform it in over 15 productions at houses including Covent Garden, the Salzburg Festival, the 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. 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. Other coloratura roles in her repertoire include Zerbinetta, Lucia, Elvira, Rosina, Gilda, Adina,[disambiguation needed] Marie, Linda and Aminta. She also performs roles in the lyric repertoire including Manon, Donna Anna, Gretel and Pamina.

Damrau has furthered her exploration of the bel canto repertoire in recent years with highlights including new productions of Rossini's comic opera Le comte Ory at the Metropolitan Opera and the title role in Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix at the Liceu, Barcelona. She has since returned to the Metropolitan Opera as both Adina and Rosina and brought her portrayal of Donizetti's Lucia 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 created the title role in the world premiere of A Harlot's Progress, an opera written for her by young British composer Iain Bell based on the etchings of William Hogarth, at Vienna's Theater an der Wien. In March 2014 she sang in La sonnambula at the Metropolitan Opera.

As well as performing in operas, Damrau is a regular on the concert stage. She has performed Lieder repertoire at Vienna's Musikverein, at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, La Scala, the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Austria, and both the Munich and Salzburg Festivals. 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[edit]

Damrau is married to French bass-baritone Nicolas Testé. They have two sons, born in 2010 and 2012.

Key performances[edit]

NB: * indicates a new production of the piece


AdèleRossiniLe comte Ory
AdèleJ. StraussDie Fledermaus
AdinaDonizettiL'elisir d'amore
AithraR. StraussDie ägyptische Helena
AminaBelliniLa sonnambula
AmintaMozartIl re pastore
AmintaR. StraussDie schweigsame Frau
ÄnnchenWeberDer Freischütz
Antonia, Giulietta, Olympia, StellaOffenbachLes contes d'Hoffmann
Donna AnnaMozartDon Giovanni
ElviraBelliniI puritani
EuropaSalieriEuropa riconosciuta
FaunoMozartAscanio in Alba
FiakermilliR. StraussArabella
GretelHumperdinckHänsel und Gretel
Gym instructor/drunken womanLorin Maazel1984
Königin der NachtMozartDie Zauberflöte
KonstanzeMozartDie Entführung aus dem Serail
LindaDonizettiLinda di Chamounix
LuciaDonizettiLucia di Lammermoor
MarieDonizettiLa fille du régiment
Moll HackaboutIain BellA Harlot's Progress
PaminaMozartDie Zauberflöte
RosinaRossiniIl barbiere di Siviglia
SophieR. StraussDer Rosenkavalier
Small womanFriedrich CerhaDer Riese vom Steinfeld
SusannaMozartLe nozze di Figaro
ViolettaVerdiLa traviata
ZdenkaR. StraussArabella
ZerbinettaR. StraussAriadne auf Naxos


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:

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ Diana Damrau: Star, mother, manager. Interview for Augsburger Allgemeine, November 18, 2011. German.
  2. ^ Diana Damrau.Voice in danger. Die Welt, December 22, 2007.
  3. ^ Interview by D. Damrau for Tagesspiegel. Retrieved on January 17, 2015. German.
  4. ^ "Opera Awards 2014". The International Opera Awards. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  5. ^ http://www.echoklassik.de/en/klassik-klassik-ohne-grenzen-preis-2014_3/

External links[edit]