Artist Profile: Dolora Zajick, A Major Verdi Mezzo Of the Late 20th & Early 21st Century

By David Salazar

Dolora Zajick is one of the famed Verdi mezzos of the late 20th and early 21st century.

Born on March 24, 1952, Oregon, she actually started off as a pre-med student at the University of Nevada before switching over to voice. She wound up graduating from the University of Nevada with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s music. From there, she went to the Manhattan School of Music.

In 1982, she won the Bronze Medal in the International Tchaikovsky Competition becoming the first American to place in the contest in 12 years. From there she was a member of the Merola Program and in 1986, she made her debut at the San Francisco Opera in “Il Trovatore.”

In 1988 she made her Met Opera debut in the same opera and would go on to an international career.

She has a large recorded legacy on both CD and DVD. Anne Midget called her “one of the greatest voices in the history of opera” in an article for the New York Times.

In addition to her work as a singer, Zajick has become a prominent teacher of voice, specifically with the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices. She is also a composer, her first public work dating to August 2014.

Signature Roles

When it comes to Zajick, you don’t have to look further than the operas of Verdi, specifically “Aida” and “Il Trovatore.” They have been the touchstone operas of her career and the roles that she has become vastly associated with. At the Met Opera, she was the go-to in both roles for decades.

Read More on Zajick

An Interview With the Mezzo

A Look At Her Non-Verdi Roles

Watch and Listen

Here is a video showcasing her vocal talent.

Here is a look at her Amneris.


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