German coloratura soprano Diana Damrau was born in Gunzberg in 1971 and trained at the Hochschule für Musik in Würzberg, and sang her first roles at the city’s Mainfranken Theater. Endowed with a sizeable voice of prodigious agility and a diamantine high register, her signature-role is Mozart’s Queen of the Night, which she has performed at houses including La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, the Bavarian State Opera, the Vienna State Opera and Covent Garden (productions from the latter two venues are available on DVD). Her repertoire also includes Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La Traviata, Leïla in Les pecheurs de Perles, Lucia di Lammermoor, Humperdinck’s Gretel, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Susanna and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro and Elvira in I puritani, all available on DVD.
Damrau is a Warner Classics and Erato artist, and her discography for the label includes Mozart opera and concert arias (‘intelligently planned and superbly executed’ – BBC Music Magazine, Strauss orchestral lieder with Christian Thielemann and the Münchner Philharmoniker (‘Damrau’s artistry is a combination of vocal noblesse, emotional warmth and instinctive intelligence’ – Financial Times), Liszt songs with Helmut Deutsch, and an all-Meyerbeer recital entitled Grand Opera (‘Damrau’s easy grace, brilliant tone and pliant expressiveness is everywhere’ – The Guardian).
She is married to the French bass-baritone Nicolas Testé.
Further Reading: Diana Damrau
Recording of the Week, Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch from Jonas Kaufmann, Diana Damrau and Helmut Deutsch
The German tenor, soprano and pianist have a ball with Wolf's 46 miniatures on love, loss and fickleness, recorded live in concert in Essen last year.
Katherine enjoys a new staging of Bizet's glorious exotic opera, starring Diana Damrau, Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien.