20 QUESTIONS WITH: Soprano Diana Damrau

Classic Arts Features   20 QUESTIONS WITH: Soprano Diana Damrau
Contributing to this installment of our informal Q&A is the much in-demand "non-diva" Diana Damrau. The busy soprano is performing two different comedic roles at the Met this month and prepares to sing Lucia in Berlin and Konstanze in Barcelona during the coming weeks.


The dazzling German soprano Diana Damrau has won international acclaim for both for the uncommon (some would say breathtaking) agility of her voice and her vivid, penetrating acting. She is currently singing two comedic roles at New York's Metropolitan Opera (Marie in Donizetti's Fille du R_giment and Rosina in Rossini's Barbiere di Siviglia), and she returns to the United States in May to sing Oph_lie in Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet at Washington Opera.

Her new release from Virgin Classics, with whom she records exclusively, is COLORaturaS, a wide-ranging collection of opera arias that was named Opera News' "Editor's Choice" recording for February 2010.


1. A few works of classical music that you adore:

Verdi's La Traviata; Bizet's Carmen; Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet

2. Classical music recordings that you treasure:

Callas' Traviata; Turandot with Pavarotti and Sutherland

3. Favorite non-classical musicians and/or recordings:

Alannah Myles; Anastacia; Tiziano Ferro; Whitesnake; John Butler

4. Music that makes you cry _ any genre:

it can happen with any genre, any piece, any time when it collides with personal matters...

5. Definitely underrated work(s) or composer (s):


Diana Damrau in Il Barbiere di Siviglia
photo by Ken Howard

6. Possibly overrated work(s) or composer (s):

Out of respect to art and the creative process, I wouldn't say such a thing. Art and music always stay subjective and a question of taste.

7. Live music performance (s) you attended _ any genre _ that you'll never forget:

My first rock concert: Bonfire; Arabella in London with Hampson and Mattila

8. A few relatively recent films you love:

Das Leben der Anderen

9. A few films you consider classics:

As Good As It Gets; Traviata by Zeffirelli

10. A book (or two) that is important to you (and why):

Eat, Pray, Love _ it helped

11. Thing(s) about yourself that you're most proud of:

I did everything by myself... also the mistakes

12. Thing(s) about yourself that you're embarrassed by:

I can't remember names!!

13. Three things you can't live without:

iPod, telephone and computer

14. "When I want to get away from it all I..."

Go out into nature, best on horseback

15. "People are surprised to find out that I..."

If I would tell you, the surprise is gone :-)

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16. "My favorite cities are..."

Paris, Vienna and Geneva

17. "I have a secret crush on..."

Bruce Willis

18. "My most obvious guilty pleasure is..."


19. "I'd really love to meet..."

Carlos Saura

20. "I never understood why..."

Opera-singers must be "divas"


For a calendar of all performance dates, visit www.diana-damrau.com

Past installments of 20 (PLUS) QUESTIONS:

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein

Pianist David Fray

Violinist Sarah Chang

Pianist Ingrid Fliter

Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato

Pianist Yefim "Fima" Bronfman

Soprano Sandrine Piau

Soprano Natalie Dessay

Harpsichordist and Conductor Christophe Rousset

Guitarist Xuefei Yang

Tenor Giuseppe Filianoti

Soprano Nicole Cabell

Pianist Jonathan Biss

Tenor Ian Bostridge

Soprano Danielle de Niese

New-Music Sextet eighth blackbird

Composer and Violinist Mark O'Connor

Composer Jake Heggie

Composer Ricky Ian Gordon

Pianist David Greilsammer


Albert Imperato, a music promoter who co-founded 21C Media Group in January 2000, writes frequently about the arts for various publications and blogs.

His new series, 20 (PLUS) QUESTIONS, is his take on (and nod to) Vanity Fair's "Proust Questionnaire."

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