American mezzo-soprano TAMARA GURA has been hailed as a "stand-out" by the Financial Times, working her way into the "highest league of mezzo-sopranos" Neues Deutschland. She is gaining international attention for her "velvet-toned mezzo" Opera Magazine, her "dazzling coloratura" Süddeutsche Zeitung and her "deeply emotional singing" Opernwelt. She is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most exciting mezzos of her generation- "a true stage animal" Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Engagements have already taken the young singer to some of Europe's most prestigious opera houses including the Hamburg State Opera, English National Opera London, Semperoper Dresden, Opernhaus Zürich, Gran Teatre Liceu Barcelona, Dutch National Opera, Salzburg Haus fur Mozart, Tokyo, Aalto-Theater Essen, Munich Cuvilliés Theater, Staatstheater Wiesbaden, the Händel Festspiele Karlsruhe and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma in leading roles such as Carmen, Isabella, Adalgisa, Ariodante, Orfeo, Cenerentola, Radamisto, Pauline, Dorabella, Rosina, Orlofsky, Maddalena and Hermia.
Her varied and extensive repertoire encompasses the leading baroque, Mozart, and bel canto roles, as well as the French and German romantic roles and cutting edge contemporary operas.
"Convincing, moving, with dark intensity" Salzburger Nachrichten, "Excellent" The Times, “beautifully even tone” Opernglas, "terrific comic actress" Opera News,"vocally and theatrically brilliant" Süddeutsche Zeitung, "first-rate" Opera, "Gura's deeply emotional singing made time stand still for nearly ten minutes" Opernwelt, "technical mastery" Drehpunktkultur "a sensation... a discovery " Der neue Merker
The 2017/18 season included her debut at the Liceu in Barcelona in "Il Viaggio a Reims", a role debut as Nicklausse in "Les contes d'Hoffmann" in Salzburg, a significant role debut as Adalgisa in "Norma" at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden, and the title role in “La Cenerentola” at the Festival of the Aegean in Greece. Concert performances included a gala with Sugi Opera in Seoul, Alto Soloist in Tippett's "A Child of Our Time" in Bangkok, and a concert of Mozart concert arias in London's Cadogan Hall with Christian Zacharias leading the English Chamber Orchestra and broadcast live for BBC Radio 3. Highlights of the 2018/19 season include her debut at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples as Sméraldine in "L'amour des trois oranges", a further role debut as Bradamante in Händel’s “Alcina" at Opernhaus Bern under the direction of Nickolaus Habjan, culminating in a tour through Swiss cities including Zürich, New Year Concerts with the Munich Philharmonic, a return to the role of Carmen in New York under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, Pauline in Pique Dame at the Opera Festival in Heidenheim under the baton of Marcus Bosch, future productions as Bradmante in “Alcina”, a Handel CD Recording, and further performances in Italy and Germany.
2016-17 engagements included a much heralded role debut as Isabella in "L'Italiana in Algeri" at the Deutsches National Theater Weimar, in a new production by Tobias Kratzer, as well as a revival of the role of Carmen at the Staatstheater Darmstadt following a highly successful premiere the previous season. (This production was nominated by the prestigious magazine Opernwelt as “Best Performance 2016.) Further season highlights included the title role of Carmen at the Aalto- Theater Essen, a return to Teatro dell'opera di Roma as Gymnasiast (Schoolboy) in William Kentridge's "Lulu" in a co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, Carmen in Wiesbaden, and Dorabella in a new production of "Cosi fan tutte" at the Central City Opera Festival in Colorado.
In the 2015/16 season, she performed the role of Cenerentola in a new production with staging by Brigitte Fassbaender in Munich at the Cuvilliés Theater, debuted as Donna Elvira in Salzburg, and gave her much anticipated debut as Carmen in a new production by Faust prize winning director Sandra Leupold and conducted by music director Will Humburg at the Staatstheater Darmstadt. She portrayed Sesto at the Semperoper Dresden under the baton of Alessandro DeMarchi, as well as Ariodante at the Aalto-Theater Essen under the musical direction of Christopher Moulds and Matthew Halls. For this role, she was named as best singer by the reviewer Christoph Zimmermann (Opera London) Link to Die Welt:Best Singer article.
Highlights from previous seasons include:
Rosina in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” Semperoper Dresden
Orfeo in “Orfeo ed Euridice” Antwerp, Staatstheater Wiesbaden
Hermia in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” English National Opera London,
Radamisto in “Radamisto”- Händel Festpiele Karlsruhe
Zemlinsky concerts Spoleto Festival Italy (Conductor: James Conlon)
Hermia in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Teatro dell’opera di Roma (Conductor:James Conlon, Staging: Paul Curran)
Maddalena in “Rigoletto” Salzburg Haus fur Mozart (Staging:Amélie Niermeyer)
Tangia in “Le Cinesi” (Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis)
Vagaus in “Juditha Triumphans” (Conductor: George Petrou)
Magdalena in “La Resurrezione” (Combattimento Consort, Jan Wilhelm de Vriend)
Piacere in “Il Trionfo del Tempo e del disinganno” (Händel Festspiele Karlsruhe)
She has worked with conductors such as Nello Santi, James Conlon, Simone Young, Ingo Metzmacher, Stefan Soltesz, Leo Hussain, and Vladimir Fedoseyev. She has also worked with stage directors such as Christof Loy, Christopher Alden, Grischa Asagaroff, Paul Curran, Peter Konwitschny, and Uwe Eric Laufenberg.
Alongside her freelance work, she was a resident soloist at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe, Germany, where she interpreted leading roles such as Idamante, Dorabella, Cherubino, Radamisto, Rosina, Orlofsky, Sesto, Zerlina, Hänsel, Wellgunde, and Bersi. She received particular acclaim for her command of baroque style in the title role in Handel's “Radamisto” at the Karlsruhe Händel Festival.
Immediately following the completion of her BM in voice in the USA, she became a member of the prestigious Opera Studio of the Hamburg State Opera and has returned there to sing as a guest. Roles in Hamburg in over 100 performances there include Sesto, Annio, Pauline, Zaida in Christof Loy's "Il Turco in Italia", Amore/Valletto in "L'incoronazione di Poppea", Blumenmädchen, and Gymnasiast in Peter Konwitschny's new production of "Lulu"- a role she repeated for the Holland Festival.
Tamara was born in the USA to a family of Polish, Italian descent. From early childhood she had lessons in dance (tap,jazz, ballet), voice, piano and theater. Tamara received her musical training in the USA. She was the winner of a Metropolitan Opera National Council Award, a Semans Art Fund Grant for Foreign Study in Salzburg and was chosen by Eva Wagner-Pasquier to be part of the Académie européenne de musique in Aix-en-Provence.