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Dolora Zajick

Dolora Zajick(born 24 March 1952) is an American mezzo-soprano opera singer who specializes in the Verdian repertoire. Zajick has been described as having "one of the greatest voices in the history of opera".[1]

Early life

Born in Salem, Oregon, but raised in Nevada, Zajick was a pre-med student at the University of Nevada, Reno and member of the Nevada Opera chorus, when her talent was first noticed. She studied voice with Ted Puffer, conductor of Nevada Opera, whom she credits with developing her vocal technique[2] and guiding her in career moves, especially early in her performing career.[3]

She graduated from the University of Nevada with a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in music before going to New York for further music studies at the Manhattan School of Music. In 1982 she won the Bronze Medal at the 7th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the only non-Soviet medalist that year and the first American musician to place in the contest in over twelve years. After this and graduating from the Manhattan School of Music, she was offered a place in the San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, she debuted with the San Francisco Opera as Azucena in Il Trovatore in 1986, which launched her to international acclaim.

Career

Zajick, performing one of her signature roles, the gypsy woman Azucena in Il Trovatore, Berlin, July 2016

In addition to the role of Azucena, Zajick is well known for her interpretations of Amneris and Eboli (in Verdi's Aida and Don Carlos respectively). Zajick has also performed in other Verdi roles, including Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. She has also appeared as the Princess in Cilèa's Adriana Lecouvreur, Marfa in Moussorgsky's Khovanshchina, Ježibaba in Dvořák's Rusalka, Joan of Arc in Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans, Santuzza in Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma, Dalila in Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila, the title role in Massenet's Hérodiade and Léonor in Donizetti's La favorite.

In 2005, she created the role of Elvira Griffiths in Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. In recent years, while continuing to sing her established repertoire, she has added the roles of the Countess in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades,[4] La Zia Principessa in Puccini's Suor Angelica, made her Wagner debut as Ortrud in Lohengrin,[5][6][7] her Poulenc debut as Madame de Croissy in Dialogues des Carmélites),[8] and her Britten debut as Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw.

Composer

In August, 2014 Zajick’s first public composition, an opera scene titled "Roads to Zion" was premiered at The Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph in San Jose, CA. The work was written for performance during the celebrations by the Carmelite Order of the 500th anniversary of the birth of St Teresa of Avila and is available in a commercial recording. It sets a text derived from Psalm 84 and is in three parts: 1) "A Soul Yearns", 2) "A Soul Takes Flight" and 3) "A Soul Returns". The first and third parts contain dialogues between soloists and choir, while the middle movement is purely instrumental.

Reviewers praised the "accomplished vocal and instrumental writing ... that delivered its message in a resonant, almost beatific, glow"[9] and noted that "this music created an intense experience. Its impressive orchestration and unified architectural design made it a most fascinating piece".[10]

A second work, "Birdsong", was premiered by Chanticleer in March 2015 at the 2nd National Youth Choral Festival in San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall. This piece is a setting of a poem from the anthology I Never Saw Another Butterfly.

Recordings

Recording dates are used, rather than release dates.

CD

DVD and streaming video

  • 1988: Verdi's Il trovatore (Azucena) with Eva Marton as Leonora. Metropolitan Opera, James Levine. Met Opera on Demand SD streaming video; also Deutsche Grammophon DVD
  • 1989: Verdi's Aida (Amneris) with Aprile Millo as Aida. Metropolitan Opera, James Levine. Met Opera on Demand SD streaming video; also Deutsche Grammophon DVD
  • 1996: James Levine 25th Anniversary Gala, Metropolitan Opera, James Levine. Deutsche Grammophon DVD
  • 1998: Pavarotti's 30th Anniversary Gala. Metropolitan Opera, James Levine. Met Opera on Demand SD streaming video
  • 2008: Verdi's Don Carlo (Eboli) Teatro alla Scala Orchestra and Chorus, Daniele Gatti. Hardy Classic Video
  • 2009: Verdi's Aida (Amneris) with Violeta Urmana as Aida. Metropolitan Opera, Daniele Gatti. Met Opera on Demand HD streaming video; Decca DVD
  • 2011: Verdi's Il trovatore (Azucena) with Sondra Radvanovsky as Leonora. Metropolitan Opera, Marco Armiliato. Met Opera on Demand HD streaming video; also Deutsche Grammophon DVD
  • 2014: Dvořák's Rusalka (Jezibaba) with Renée Fleming as Rusalka. Metropolitan Opera, Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Met Opera on Demand HD streaming video
  • 2015: Verdi's Il trovatore (Azucena) with Anna Netrebko as Leonora. Metropolitan Opera, Marco Armiliato. Met Opera on Demand HD streaming video

Notes

  1. ^ Midgette, Anne (February 21, 2007). "A Mezzo-Soprano Who's Determined to Do It Her Way, With or Without Star Turns". The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "Powerhouse. Mezzo Dolora Zajick Always Delivers," Matthew Gurewitsch, Opera News, March 1996.
  3. ^ "That Rare Vocal Bird, a True Verdi Mezzo", The New York Times, February 11, 1990.
  4. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (March 13, 2011). "Betting on Not-So-Sure Things: Love and a Trick to Win at Cards". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Gregson, David (November 29, 2010). "Los Angeles Opera presents Wagner's Lohengrin". Opera West.
  6. ^ Laura Furones. "What is in a name? Lohengrin at the Teatro Real in Madrid". www.bachtrack.com.
  7. ^ review by Jose M. Irurzun. "Lohengrin Still Showing Mortier's Influence". seenandheard-international.com.
  8. ^ "A chilling Dialogues of the Carmelites from Washington National Opera". DC Theatre Scene. 23 February 2015.
  9. ^ "St. Teresa Honored in Dolora Zajick's Roads to Zion".
  10. ^ "Opera Today : Dolora Zajick Premieres Composition". www.operatoday.com.
  11. ^ "Home Page - Carmel of Reno". Carmel of Reno.

External links

Media related to Dolora Zajick at Wikimedia Commons


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