Okka von der Damerau
Okka von der Damerau was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 2006 International Singing Competition for Wagner Voices in Venice, and in 2013 she received the Festival Prize at the Munich Opera Festival. A native of Hamburg, whether in operas by Richard Wagner or Giuseppe Verdi or in the Lieder of Gustav Mahler or Arnold Schönberg, she uses her voluminous but nuanced mezzo-soprano and clear, natural diction to create the authentic sound for every figure which binds her audience to her. Highlights in her career include her début as Ortrud (Lohengrin) at Stuttgart State Opera, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera under Zubin Mehta at the Bavarian State Opera, and her performances in the Ring at the Bayreuth Festival. Other performances acclaimed by public and critics are her concerts with Zubin Mehta as the Wood Dove in Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder, and alto soloist in Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and his 2nd and 3rd symphonies under Kent Nagano, Kirill Petrenko and Antonio Pappano. The Munich public applauded her as Waltraute (Götterdämmerung), Erda (Das Rheingold, Siegfried) and Charlotte (Die Soldaten) under Kirill Petrenko, and as Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) under Simone Young. She débuted at Milan’s La Scala in 2015, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2016 and the Wiener Staatsoper and Dresden’s Semperoper in 2017. Recent projects include her role début as Azucena (Il Trovatore) at Theater St. Gallen and the Bavarian State Opera, and as Fricka (Die Walküre) at the Dutch National Opera. Okka von der Damerau performs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. In 2018 she débuted as Brangäne with the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst and gave a concert with the Munich Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev. She débuted at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2017 as Erda (Das Rheingold, Siegfried).