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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.

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

Early lifeEdit

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].


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]

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.

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]

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]

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 lifeEdit

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 performancesEdit

  • 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)
  • 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 awardsEdit

  • 1999: Prizewinner at the 7th International Mozart Competition, Salzburg
  • 1999: Voted "Young Singer of the Year" in a critics' survey in the magazine Opernwelt
  • 2004: Recipient of the "Star of the Year" by the Munich Abendzeitung
  • 2005: Recipient of the "Rose of the Year" by the Munich Tageszeitung (tz)
  • 2006: Named "Bavarian of the Year" by the Bayerischer Rundfunk
  • 2007: Awarded the EON prize for culture
  • 2007: Named Bavarian Kammersängerin[22]
  • 2007: Featured on the cover of both March 2007 edition of Opera News and May 2007 edition of Opera
  • 2008: Named "Singer of the Year 2008" by the magazine Opernwelt, appearing on the cover of the magazine's 2008 yearbook
  • 2008: Awarded the German Record Critics' Award for her album Arie di Bravura
  • 2010: Appointed the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art[23] – the highest recognition awarded by the State of Bavaria for artistic merit, awarded on 17 November 2011[24]
  • 2010: Awarded the Würzburg Cultural Prize[25]
  • 2011: Awarded the Echo Klassik Award for her album Poesie
  • 2011: Awarded "Musical Ambassador of the Günzburg district" (Musikalische Botschafterin des Landkreises Günzburg)[26]
  • 2014: Named "Female Singer of the Year" in the International Opera Awards 2014.[27]
  • 2014: Awarded the Klassik ohne Grenzen prize for her album Forever of the Echo Klassik award[28]
  • 2016: Appointed the Bavarian Order of Merit,[29] awarded on 12 July 2017[30]
  • 2018: Awarded "Female Singer of the Year" for her Meyerbeer album of the Opus Klassik award[31]


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:

  • 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)


Role Composer Opera
Adèle Rossini Le comte Ory
Adele J. Strauss Die Fledermaus
Adina Donizetti L'elisir d'amore
Aithra R. Strauss Die ägyptische Helena
Amina Bellini La sonnambula
Aminta Mozart Il re pastore
Aminta R. Strauss Die schweigsame Frau
Ännchen Weber Der Freischütz
Anne Dindon Herman La Cage aux Folles
Antonia Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann
Contessa Rosina Almaviva Mozart Le nozze di Figaro
Donna Anna Don Giovanni
Eliza Doolittle Loewe My Fair Lady
Elvira Bellini I puritani
Europa Salieri Europa riconosciuta
Fauno Mozart Ascanio in Alba
Fiakermilli R. Strauss Arabella
Gilda Verdi Rigoletto
Gretel Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel
Giulietta Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann
Gym instructor/drunken woman Lorin Maazel 1984
Königin der Nacht Mozart Die Zauberflöte
Konstanze Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Johanna Barker Sondheim Sweeney Todd
Juliette Gounod Roméo et Juliette
Leila Bizet Les pêcheurs de perles
Linda Donizetti Linda di Chamounix
Lucia Lucia di Lammermoor
Manon Massenet Manon
Marguérite Gounod Faust
Marguérite di Valois Meyerbeer Les Huguenots
Maria Stuarda Donizetti Maria Stuarda
Marie La fille du régiment
Marzelline Beethoven Fidelio
Moll Hackabout Iain Bell A Harlot's Progress
Norina Donizetti Don Pasquale
Olympia Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann
Ophélie Thomas Hamlet
Pamina Mozart Die Zauberflöte
Philine Thomas Mignon
Rita Donizetti Rita
Rosina Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia
Sophie R. Strauss Der Rosenkavalier
Stella Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann
Small woman Friedrich Cerha Der Riese vom Steinfeld
Susanna Mozart Le nozze di Figaro
Violetta Verdi La traviata
Zaide Mozart Zaide
Zdenka R. Strauss Arabella
Zerbinetta Ariadne auf Naxos


  1. ^ Sabinsky-Wolf, Holger (18 November 2011). "Diana Damrau: Weltstar, Mutter, Managerin" [Diana Damrau: Star, mother, manager]. Augsburger Allgemeine (Interview) (in German).
  2. ^ Kausch, Martina (22 December 2007). "Diana Damrau, ein Weltstar aus Schwaben" [Diana Damrau, a world star from Swabia]. Die Welt.
  3. ^ von Baumbach, Marie. "Boing, fliegt mir die Krone runter". Der Tagesspiegel (Interview) (in German). Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  4. ^ Popham, Peter (8 December 2004). "Europa Riconosciuta, La Scala, Milan". The Independent. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Die technischen Tricks des Zauberflötenreich-Zirkus" [The technical tricks of the Magic Flute Empire Circus]. Wiener Zeitung. 31 July 2002. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  6. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (7 August 2006). "Mozart's Singspiels and 'The Magic Flute' at the Salzburg Festival". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Ashley, Tim (27 January 2003). "Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera House, London". The Guardian. Seckerson, Edward (20 January 2003). "Review: Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera House". The Independent.
  8. ^ Midgette, Anne (28 October 2007). "One Voice for Innocence and Experience". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  9. ^ Thiel, Markus (25 October 2011). "Bayerische Staatsoper: Diana Damrau singt in „Hoffmanns Erzählungen" vier Rollen". Münchner Merkur.
  10. ^ da Fonseca-Wollheim, Corinna (25 March 2011). "The Met serves up a sexy, inspired cast in delightfully theatrical "Le Comte Ory"". The Classical Review.
  11. ^ Irurzun, José M. (3 January 2012). "Barcelona Rarity: Damrau and Flórez can't Salvage Linda di Chamounix". Seen and Heard International.
  12. ^ Brug, Manuel (23 October 2013). "Mädchen, die fallen, und Mädchen, die schießen". Die Welt.
  13. ^ "Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)". La Scala. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  14. ^ Verga, Renato (28 October 2016). "A vaudevillian Le nozze di Figaro from Frederic Wake-Walker at La Scala". Bachtrack.
  15. ^ Schacher, Thomas (9 April 2018). "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.
  16. ^ Irurzun, José M. (8 March 2019). "An Outstanding Cast Leads the Liceu's Revival of Hamlet". Seen and Heard International.
  17. ^ Waltenberger, Ingobert (25 June 2019), "BERLIN/ Deutsche Oper: HAMLET", Online Merker (in German)
  18. ^ "Placido Domingo und Diana Damrau als Opernstars bei "3 Orchester und Stars"". 6 June 2006.
  19. ^ Kircher, Helmut (8 July 2010). "Neue Rolle: Diana Damrau als Mutter und Ehefrau". Augsburger Allgemeine.
  20. ^ "In einer Reihe mit den ganz Großen" [In a row with the greats]. Augsburger Allgemeine. 2 November 2010.
  21. ^ Kircher, Helmut (15 October 2012). "Diana Damrau um einen „Goldschatz" reicher". Augsburger Allgemeine.
  22. ^ "Eine Ehre für Diana Damrau". Main-Post. 6 July 2007.
  23. ^ "Träger des Bayerischen Maximiliansorden für Wissenschaft und Kunst". Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  24. ^ "Seehofer verlieh Orden an Kameramann Ballhaus" [Seehofer awarded Orden to cinematographer Ballhaus]. Main Post. dpa. 17 November 2011.
  25. ^ "Kulturpreis für Kammersängerin Diana Damrau" (in German). Antenne Bayern. 5 July 2010.
  26. ^ "Diana Damrau ist „Musikalische Botschafterin des Landkreises Günzburg"". Augsburger Allgemeine. 7 November 2011.
  27. ^ "Opera Awards 2014". The International Opera Awards. Archived from the original on 2014-04-12. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  28. ^ "Echo Klassik (2014): Diana Damrau". Archived from the original on 30 November 2018.
  29. ^ "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. 8 July 2016.
  30. ^ Wittl, Wolfgang (12 July 2017). "Feierstunde: Engagement, das anstecken soll". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German).
  31. ^ "Juan Diego Florez & Diana Damrau Win Big At Opus Klassik Awards". OperaWire. October 2018.

External linksEdit