Adriana Zabala

Adriana Zabala is acclaimed for operatic, concert and recital performances throughout the U.S. and abroad. The New York Times has hailed her as “a vivid, fearless presence,” and the L.A. Times as “an extraordinary, vibrant mezzo-soprano.” In addition to traditional operatic roles such as Cherubino and Rosina, Ms. Zabala has created characters in distinctive new works such as Sister James in Cuomo and Shanley’s Doubt (recently broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances), Rosie Cheney in Puts and Campbell’s The Manchurian Candidate, Erminella in Musto and Campbell’s Volpone, the title character in Aldridge and Garfein’s Sister Carrie, Manja in Cohen and Brevoort’s Steal a Pencil for Me, and Lucy Talbott in Bolcom and Campbell’s Dinner at Eight. 

In U.S. premieres, the mezzo was heard as Amore in L’Albore di Diana, the title role in Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, and received international acclaim for her role in Glass’ Waiting for the Barbarians with Austin Opera. She recently joined Arizona Opera as Paula in Florencia en el Amazonas, reprised the role with both San Diego and Madison Opera, sang Nicklausse in Les Contes D’Hoffmann, also with Madison Opera, and sang the role of Joanna in the revival of Carly Simon’s Romulus Hunt with Nashville Opera. She made her role debut as Mary Johnson in Spears’ Fellow Travelers with Minnesota Opera, and reprised the role with Madison Opera. Ms. Zabala made her European operatic debut in Valencia, Spain under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel at the Opera Palau des Arts, and returned the following season for two productions conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta. 

 She has been a soloist with the New York Festival of Song, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New Jersey Symphony, the Jerusalem Symphony, the Jacksonville Symphony, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Elijah with Bryn Terfel, among others. Recent engagements include Mahler’s Symphony no.2 with The Minnesota Orchestra and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, The Mozart Requiem with both the Florida Bach Festival and the Jacksonville Symphony, the world premiere of Jeffrey Van’s Reaping the Whirlwind with the Susquehanna Valley Chorale, the title role in Annelies, an Anne Frank Oratorio, with both the Minnesota Oratorio Society and at Montclair State University, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 with Handel & Haydn Society of Boston, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with both the Colorado Symphony and with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In recital, Ms. Zabala has performed at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Barns at Wolf Trap, with the Source Song Festival, and on the Salzburg International Chamber Music Series, among many others. Her collaboration with composer and pianist Gregg Kallor is highly praised for their recording and performances of his compositions on the CD Exhilaration: Dickinson and Yeats Songs. Zabala and Kallor have performed this program in New York City, Minneapolis, and Salzburg, and on the Tuesday Musical of Akron guest artist series. Additional recent recordings include unpublished songs of Louis Durey, and world premiere recordings of Pauline Viardot’s Le Dernier Sorcier, and song cycles of Dominick Argento. Zabala also plays the title role in the chamber music play, Nadia, about the legendary pedagogue, conductor, and composer Nadia Boulanger. 

 Recent engagements include the role of Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera Colorado, the world premiere of Paola Prestini and Mark Campbell’s The Miraculous Adventure of Edward Tulane, Orestes in La Belle Hélène with the Lakes Area Music Festival, Mary in Fellow Travelers with Madison Opera, Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw with On Site Opera in New York City, her role debut as Madeline in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers with the Berkshire Opera, and a reprisal of the role of Paula in the European premiere of Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas with Opera Tenerife in Spain. Zabala was a guest artist at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival on Luciano Berio’s Beatles Songs, and gave a recital entitled I do not doubt I am to meet you again on the Yale Faculty Artist series with collaborative pianist JJ Penna. She was also a guest with the Yale Camerata, conducted by Dr. Felicia Barber, as the soloist in John Corigliano’s Fern Hill. In the coming season Zabala will reprise the title role of Nadia Boulanger in NADIA: A Chamber Music Play at the American Church in Paris.  

 Adriana Zabala was born in Georgia and raised in Florida, Venezuela, and Texas. She is an alumna of apprentice programs at Tanglewood, Minnesota Opera, Seattle Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Ms. Zabala was an Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Minnesota, where she taught applied voice, graduate vocal literature, and Vive les Arts!, a Global Seminar in Paris. She is currently an Associate Professor of Voice at the Yale School of Music. 

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