German soprano Diana Damrau has managed a career of musical diversity.
The soprano, born on May 31, 1971 in Bavaria, Germany, kicked off her operatic studies with Carmen Hanganu at the Hochschule Musik Würzburg. Despite dealing with an edema on a vocal fold, the soprano would kick off her career in Würzburg, Mannheim, and Oper Frankfurt.
She has since gone on to perform at all the major opera houses around the globe, making some history along the way. She was the first soprano to sing both the Queen of the Night and Pamina in separate performances of a single run of “Die Zauberflöte” at the Met Opera. She performed in the world premiere of “A Harlot’s Progress.”
Damrau has put together a distinguished recorded legacy, even championing the music of the oft-neglected Meyerbeer.
Damrau’s early career was dominated by her work in the operas of Mozart, where her wide range made her the perfect fit for the Queen of the Night and Konstanze in “Die Entführung aus dem Serail.” Her Queen of the Night is considered by many to be one of the greatest ever. Damrau, a tremendous actress, explores the anger and violent nature of the mythical monarch, her vocal displays aligning perfectly with her physicality. She performed it in over 15 productions throughout her career.
Her prime years were dedicated to the bel canto repertoire where she became an iconic “Lucia di Lammermoor,” combining her vocal technique with equally magnificent acting skills.
Watch and Listen
Here is a glimpse of Damrau’s fearless and violent Queen of the Night from “Die Zauberflöte.”
And here is a look at her incredible vocal and acting abilities in “Lucia di Lammermoor.”