Critically acclaimed Mezzo-Soprano Okka von der Damerau is considered one of the most compelling artists of her generation.
In the 2015-16 season Okka von der Damerau returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper in three new productions: in her role debut as Ulrica in Verdi´s Un ballo in Maschera conducted by Zubin Mehta and directed by Johannes Erath, as Magdalena in Wagner´s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg conducted by Kirill Petrenko and directed by David Bösch, and as Abbess in Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel conducted by Vladimir Jurowski and directed by Barrie Kosky. Her other roles in Munich include the Third Lady in Mozart´s Die Zauberflöte, Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Mary in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer. Other highlights this season include her debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra singing Bruckner´s Te Deum under the baton of Riccardo Muti and with the Hong Kong Philharmonic singing Grimgerde in Wagner´s Die Walküre under Jaap van Zweden. She can also be heard in concert in Munich singing Mozart’s Requiem with the Münchner Philharmoniker and Waldtaube in Schönberg’s Gurrelieder with the Bayerisches Staatsorchester, both conducted by Zubin Mehta, and appears with the Bamberger Symphoniker singing Beethoven´s Symphony No. 9 under Pietari Inkinen. In future seasons Okka von der Damerau will make her house debuts at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and at the Vienna State Opera.
In the 2014-15 season, Ms. von der Damerau returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper singing Erda in Wagner´s Das Rheingold, Grimgerde in Walküre, Waltraute/First Norn in Götterdämmerung and Geneviève in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. She could be heard singing the Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of Enoch zu Guttenberg, in Munich and Frankfurt, and Verdi’s Requiem with the Rundfunkchor and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin under Simon Halsey. Ms. von der Damerau made her house debut at Teatro alla Scala as Charlotte in Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten in a new production by Alvis Hermanis, under the baton of Ingo Metzmacher. She appeared in Strauss’ Die Ägyptische Helena in the role of the Allwissende Muschel at Oper Frankfurt, and could be heard as the soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and at the Staatskapelle Berlin under Zubin Mehta, also having sung Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with him at the Verbier Festival.
In 2013-14 at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Ms. von der Damerau was featured in roles such as Charlotte in the production of Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten, Mary in Der fliegende Holländer, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and in concert as soloist in Mahler’s Symphony Nr. 3 with the Bayerisches Staatsorchester under Kirill Petrenko at Munich's Nationaltheater and the Konzerthaus in Berlin. Making two house debuts in Berlin in one season, she appeared at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Floßhilde in Das Rheingold, in performances conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and Donald Runnicles, as well as at the Staatsoper Berlin in the role of the Page in Salome under Zubin Mehta. In concert, she appeared in Munich as soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 at the Philharmonie am Gasteig with the Chor und Orchester der Klang Verwaltung under Enoch zu Guttenberg. At the 2014 Bayreuth Festival, she sang celebrated performances as Floßhilde in Das Rheingold; the First Norn and Floßhilde in Götterdämmerung; and Grimgerde in Walküre in Frank Castorf's production of Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Kirill Petrenko.
Ms. von der Damerau made her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich in the 2008-09 season and has been a permanent member of the ensemble since 2010-11. In past seasons she made an impression in Wagner roles such as Floßhilde in Das Rheingold, Grimgerde in Die Walküre, Mary in Der fliegende Holländer, and as Flower Girl in Parsifal. She has also taken the stage at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Hänsel in Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Dryad in Richard Strauss´ Ariadne auf Naxos, La Voix de la Tombe in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Barmaid in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Emilia in Verdi's Otello. She was also a vocal soloist in performances by the Bavarian State Ballet featuring the music of Gustav Mahler´s Das Lied von der Erde and Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Bavarian State Orchestra under Kent Nagano in concert at the Vatican in Rome.
In season 2006-07 Ms von der Damerau joined the permanent ensemble of the Hannover State Opera, where she would remain through season 2009-10, singing roles such as Erda in Das Rheingold, Maddalena in Verdi´s Rigoletto, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Suzuki and in the world premiere of Ed Rushton’s Die fromme Helene.
In 2013 she received the Festspielpreis of the Münchner Opernfestspiele for her exceptional performance in the previous year’s Opernfestspiele. In February 2006 she received the Special Prize of the Jury in the "Young Wagner Voices" competition which took place in Venice. Born in Hamburg, Okka von der Damerau studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock, Germany, the Opernschule Stuttgart, and the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, graduating in 2006. While still studying, she performed her first guest engagements with the Volkstheater Rostock and Theater Freiburg.