The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage ( in Santa Monica continued The Celebrity Opera Series on March 12 with husband and wife opera duo soprano Diana Damrau and bass-baritone Nicolas Testé. The couple performed an evening of arias, duets and love songs, in concert with orchestra conducted by Pavel Baloff.  Damrau lit up the stage with her coquettish and dramatic style.

Part of The Celebrity Opera Series, the event was made possible by support from The Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, an organization dedicated to enriching the cultural life of Los Angeles.

Damrau will soon be making her L.A. Opera debut opposite Testé and Italian tenor Vittorio Grigòlo.  Last spring, she appeared in concert with Grigòlo at The Broad Stage, who himself returns to the venue on April 18, following his L.A. Opera The Tales of Hoffmann dates, March 25 to April 15.

Earlier this year, Damrau received rave reviews for her role as Juliette in Bartlett Sher’s new production of Gounoud’s Romeo et Juliette at The Metropolitan Opera opposite Grigòlo. 

One of today’s most sought-after interpreters of song, Damrau has been performing on the world’s leading opera stages for two decades. Her vast repertoire spans both lyric soprano and coloratura roles, including the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor (La Scala, Bavarian State Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House), Manon (Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera) and La Traviata (La Scala, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Opéra national de Paris and Bavarian State Opera) as well as Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte (Metropolitan Opera, Salzburg Festival, Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera House).

Most recently, Testé sang the role of Zuniga in Bizet’s Carmen, at The Metropolitan Opera Stage. In 2015, he performed the role Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, marking his company debut at San Francisco Opera. The French bass-baritone studied piano, bassoon and music history in Paris before embarking on a career as a singer. He studied at the Opéra National de Paris and Centre de Formation Lyrique. In 1998, he was awarded with the Second Prize at the “Voix Nouvelles” competition.

Testé regularly performs in many renowned opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera New York, Staatsoper Munich, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opéra National de Paris, Teatro San Carlo Naples, Grand Théâtre Geneva, Teatro La Fenice, as well as at the Glyndebourne Festival and Chorégies d’Orange.

The Broad Stage continues to present an impressive roster of renowned classical artists and world-class opera singers with the underwriting support of the Rigler-Deutsch Foundation.  Next up, Grigòlo!

Photo credit: Ben Gibbs

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