Photo: Christine Schneider
Guest of the National Theatre Opera.
Born in Lithuania, Violeta Urmana was first acknowledged as a mezzo-soprano and became world famous for her interpretation of roles such as Kundry in Wagner’s Parsifal and Eboli in Verdi’s Don Carlos. Besides many other parts she sang these two roles in nearly all important opera houses and with conductors like Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Betrand de Billy, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, James Conlon, James Levine, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Christian Thielemann, Franz Welser-Möst.
After making her debut in the part of Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre at the Bayreuther Festspiele her real soprano debut took place in 2002 in the title role of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide conducted by Riccardo Muti for the season opening of Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Since then she made several highly successful debuts as a soprano: Lady Macbeth (Verdi: Macbeth) in Sevilla, Isolde (Wagner: Tristan und Isolde) in Rome, the title role of Ponchielli’s La Gioconda and Leonora (Verdi: La forza del destino) in London as well as 2005 the title roles of Puccini’s Tosca in Florence and Los Angeles, of Strauss‘ Ariadne auf Naxos at the New York Metropolitan Opera. She had a huge success in her debuts as Bellini’s Norma in Dresden, as Elisabetta (Verdi: Don Carlo) in Turin, as Verdi’s Aida at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and Amelia (Un ballo in maschera) in Florence and in the title role of Iphigénie en Tauride in Valencia.
Her operatic plans include Ariadne auf Naxos in Berlin and New York, Macbeth in Paris and Bilbao, Aida in Vienna, Milan, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and New York, Tristan und Isolde in Wien, Tosca in Chicago and New York, her debut as Odabella in Verdi’s Attila in New York, La forza del destino in Barcelona, Santuzza (Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana in Hamburg) and others.
As a concert and recital singer Violeta Urmana performs a large repertoire from Johann Sebastian Bach to Alban Berg in all important music centres in Europe, the United States and Japan.
Violeta Urmana has recorded the title role of La Gioconda conducted by Marcello Viotti, excepts from Tristan und Isolde and from Götterdämmerung conducted by Antonio Pappano, Azucena in Verdi’s Il trovatore conducted by Riccardo Muti, Cuniza in Verdi’s Oberto conducted by Sir Neville Marriner, Beethoven’s 9th symphony conducted by Claudio Abbado, Berlioz’ La mort de Cléopâtre conducted by Bertrand de Billy, Zemlinsky’s Maeterlinck-Lieder and Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol conducted by James Conlon, Mahler’s 2nd symphony conducted by Kazushi Ono as well as Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Rückert-Lieder conducted by Pierre Boulez. She has recorded a song recital – dvds are available of many of her operatic productions. She took the role of Kundry in Tony Palmer's film The Search for the Holy Grail. In 2002 in London she received the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award for singers.
Update: February 2009