Angela Maria Blasi - Detailed Biography

Angela Maria Blasi is one of today’s leading lyric sopranos. Since her Salzburg Festival debut as Pamina in the legendary production of "The Magic Flute" (conductor: James Levine, stage-direction: Jean Pierre Ponnelle), her international career has led her to the main European opera-houses and festivals such as Munich, Vienna, Genf, Zürich, London, Milan, Florence, Hamburg and Berlin. She continues to work with conductors Gerd Albrecht, Semyon Bychkov, Sir Colin Davis, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Antonio Pappano, Michel Plasson, Georges Pretre, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Simone Young.

The New York born Italian-American soprano Angela Maria Blasi pursued her musical education and training in Los Angeles, California. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola Marymount University, she studied vocal technique and interpretation with teachers Dennis Parnell, Jack Metz, Martial Singhier and David Romano. She started her career in Andrew Lloyd Webbers Musical "Evita" touring the west coast of America between 1980 and 1982.

After winning a prize in the ‘Metropolitan Opera Competition’ she became a steady member of the Wiesbaden State Theatre in 1982. Two years later she was already in demand as Pamina at the Teatro alla Scala di Milano and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and sang numerous guest-performances in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Zürich and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin followed by her debut again as Pamina at the Salzburg Festival in 1985.

The same year she joined the Bavarian State Opera where she was highly acclaimed for her interpretations of Micaëla in Bizet’s "Carmen", Musetta and Mimì in Puccinis "La Bohème" and Liù in "Turandot". In Munich she also sang Regina in Hindemith’s "Mathis der Maler"and Nedda in Leoncavallo’s "I Pagliacci" as well as some of Mozarts most famous women: Pamina in "The Magic Flute", Susanna in "Le nozze di Figaro", Zerlina and Donna Elvira in "Don Giovanni".

In 1994 Angela Maria Blasi was honoured with the prestigious title of "Bavarian Kammersängerin" by the Bavarian Ministry of Culture. In February 2000 she was highly acclaimed by both international press and audiences for her interpretation of Marguerite in a new Bavarian State Opera production of Gounod’s "Faust", directed by David Pountney and conducted by Simone Young. The year 2000 also marked her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Pamina in the "The Magic Flute".

Numerous opera-performances have made the artist welll-known in all parts of the world. She appeared as Juliette in Gounod’s "Roméo et Juliette" at the Washington Opera , Liu at the Grand Theatre du Geneve , Zdenka at both Vienna State Opera and in a new-production of "Arabella" at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1989. She also interpreted the role of Aminta in Mozart’s "Il re pastore" at Salzburg’s Mozart-Week; this production with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner was also recorded for CD, TV and video.

Her interpretation of Mimì in a new-production of Puccini’s "La Bohème" at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (stage-direction by Jonathan Miller) as well as Liù at the first opera-performances ever at the Forbidden City of Beijing ( with Teatro Comunale di Firenze under the musical direction  of Zubin Mehta) are just some of the numerous highlights of Ms. Blasi's career.

Angela Maria Blasi is also highly respected as an outstanding concert-soloist. Mozart’s, Brahms’ and Verdi’s Requiem belong to her main repertory as well as Bach’s passions, Haydn’s oratorios, Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis", Richard Strauss’ orchestral songs, Bruckner’s f-Minor-Mass and Gustav Mahler’s symphonies. Many video- and CD-productions demonstrate the versatility of this artist.

She can be heard on studio-recordings for the labels Telefunken (Bach’s h-Minor-Mass und Haydn’s "The Seasons" conducted by Harnoncourt), Teldec (Bach’s "St. John’s Passion" and religious music by Mozart with Harnoncourt), RCA (Mozart’s Requiem and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 under Sir Colin Davis), and DGG (Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 under Sinopoli. She has recorded Mozart’s opera "Il re pastore" with Sir Neville Marriner for Philips and Musetta in Puccini’s "La Bohème" with James Conlon for Erato; the latter was also published in a film-version directed by Luigi Comencini.

Important concert engagements have included Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 both with Lorin Maazel at the Vienna State Opera and with Giuseppe Sinopoli at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Beethoven’s "Missa Solemnis" with the Vienna Philharmonic under the direction of Franz Welser Möst in the Vatican City in Rome, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Lorin Maazel and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Osaka and Tokyo. She appeared recently in concerts in Luxemburg, Brussels, Cologne, London, Paris, Vienna, Zurich, Leeds, Lisbon and Athens singing music by Schubert, Schumann, Rossini, Beethoven, Brahms, Strauss, Mahler, Chausson, Barber, Bernstein and Weill for radio-broadcasts and CD-releases as well.

The recent opera-seasons offered Ms. Blasi new operatic challenges: She sang the role of Conception in Ravel’s "L’heure espagnole" for the first time at Brussels La Monnaie, followed by her first Ellen Orford in Britten’s "Peter Grimes" at the Opéra de Montpellier and her first Cio-Cio San in Puccini’s "Madama Butterfly" in Sydney, for which she was celebrated with standing ovations. Ms Blasi recently made her debut as Agathe in Weber’s "Der Freischütz" and Vivetta in Cilea’s ‘L’Arlesiana in Montpellier. She again received rave reviews for her interpretation of Cio Cio San in the mesmerizing new Robert Wilson production of "Madama Butterfly" in February 2004 at the Los Angeles Opera under the baton of Kent Nagano.

Updated August 2006