© Simon Pauly
© Simon Pauly

Okka von der Damerau

– World management –

Whether in roles by Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi or with songs of Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schönberg: With her voluminous, nuance-rich mezzo-soprano and her clear, natural diction, the Hamburg born singer senses in every figure an authentic tone that builds a connection to her audience.

Highlights in Okka von der Dameraus career so far were her debut as Ortrud (Lohengrin) at the Stuttgart State Opera, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera under the baton of Zubin Mehta at the Bavarian State Opera and her participation at the Bayreuth Festival in Frank Castorf’s Ring.


Also her concerts with Zubin Mehta as Waldtaube in Schönberg’s Gurrelieder, as well as alto soloist in Gustav Mahler’s Lied von der Erde and in Mahler’s 2nd  and 3rd Symphony under Kent Nagano, Kirill Petrenko and Antonio Pappano were acclaimed by the audience and the press.


In Munich, she was celebrated for her Waltraute (Götterdämmerung), Erda (Rheingold, Siegfried) and Charlotte (Die Soldaten / Alois Zimmermann) under the baton of Kirill Petrenko, but also as Brangäne (Tristan and Isolde) under the baton of Simone Young.

In 2015, she made her debut at La Scala in Milan, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2016, and 2017 at the Vienna State Opera and the Semperoper Dresden.

Projects of the last seasons were, among others, her role debuts as Azucena (Il trovatore in concert at the Liceu Barcelona with Gustavo Dudamel and at Bavarian State Opera, as well as Fricka (Die Walküre) at De Nationale Opera in Amsterdam.


Okka von der Damerau is a regular guest at the most sought-after orchestras, such as Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the NDR Elbphilharmonieorchester 2018 the mezzo-soprano made her debut as Brangäne with the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst and performed with the Munich Philharmonic under the baton of Valery Gergiev.

In the 2018/19 season, the singer could be heard on the concert stage with Lili Boulanger’s Psalm CXXX under the baton of Edward Gardner at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, in Beethoven’s Missa solemnis with Kirill Petrenko, and at the Philharmonie Berlin with Staatskapelle Berlin in Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder.


2019 she was engaged at the Salzburg Festival with Kindertotenlieder under the baton of Daniel Barenboim and for Mahlers 2nd Symphony with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Furthermore, she was engaged by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Besides her opera career, Okka von der Damerau has great passion for Lieder. Her recording of Frank Martin’s song cycle Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke with the Philharmonia Zurich under Fabio Luisi received rave reviews.


Season 2020/2021 included Rusalka-Jezibaba in Madrid, Zauberflöte, Fledermaus, Ballo in maschera, Falstaff und Tristan in Munich, Walküre-Fricka in Vienna, Wesendonck-Lieder in Stuttgart.


In 2021/22 Okka von der Damerau was engaged as Waltraute in Götterdämmerung  at Deutsche Oper Berlin, as Ortrud/Lohengrin at Hamburg State Opera and in Trovatore and Tristan und Isolde at the Bavarian State Opera. She also had her role debut as Brünnhilde in Walküre at the Stuttgart Opera. This season ended with a new production of Wagner’s Ring at the Bayreuth Festival, where she took on the part of Erda.


The 2022/ 23 season sees her as Brangäne at the Paris Oper and as Brünnhilde at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. She will return to the Teatro alla Scala as Ježibaba (Rusalka). Her debut in the signature role of Aridane auf Naxos, which she will sing at the Bavarian State Opera, is also eagerly awaited


Okka von der Damerau was awarded with the Special Prize of the Jury at the 2006 International Vocal Competition for Wagnerian Voices in Venice. In 2013, she received the Festival Prize of the Munich Opera Festival.

March 2023 –  For the most recent biography, please contact Bartosz Jakobczak