Júlia Várady (Hungarian: Várady Júlia, born Júlia Tözsér, September 1, 1941) is a German soprano of Hungarian origin born in Nagyvárad, Hungary (today Oradea, Romania). Starting out as a mezzo-soprano, Várady is being considered as the only true soprano assoluta after Maria Callas.
Life and career
In 1970, she joined the Frankfurt-am-Main Opera and thereafter sang mostly in Western Europe. In 1973, she moved from Frankfurt to the Bayerische Staatsoper (the Bavarian State Opera) in Munich and later joined the Deutsche Oper Berlin. She has appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London; at the Vienna State Opera; at the Metropolitan Opera in New York; at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan; at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires; at the Opéra Bastille in Paris and at the Salzburg, Munich and Edinburgh festivals. In 1978, she created the role of Cordelia at the premiere of Aribert Reimann's opera Lear with the Bayerische Staatsoper.
She was married to the German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau from 1977 until his death in 2012. In 1998, she retired from opera. She is currently a guest professor at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin.
Here are most of the roles Julia Varady sang and played in staged opera performances. Roles she sang in the studio (such as the Empress in Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten) or in concert (such as Leonore in Beethoven's Fidelio, and Fidelia in Giacomo Puccini's Edgar) are not included.
- Julia Varady: Song of Passion - DVD (documentary and recordings of live performances) EMI Classics
- Richard Strauss: Arias from Salome, Ariadne, Danae, Capriccio - CD. Bamberg Symphony, Fischer-Dieskau, conductor, Orfeo
- Giacomo Puccini: Arias from Madama Butterfly, Tosca, La bohème, La rondine, Gianni Schicchi, Manon Lescaut, Turandot, Suor Angelica - CD, 1995. Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Marcello Viotti, conductor, Orfeo
- Pjotr Tchaikowsky: Arias from Eugene Onegin, The Maid of Orleans, Mazeppa, The Sorceress (The Enchantress), The Queen of Spades, Iolanta - CD, 2000. Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Roman Kofman, conductor, Orfeo
- Richard Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder and arias from Tristan und Isolde, Götterdämmerung - CD, 1997. Desutches Symphony Orchestra, Fischer-Dieskau, conductor, Orfeo
- Verdi Heroines: Arias from Nabucco, II Trovatore, La Traviata, Un Ballo In Maschera, La Forza Del Destino - CD, 1995. Munich Bavarian State Orchestra, Fischer-Dieskau, conductor, Orfeo
- J.S. Bach: Coffee Cantata, Peasant Cantata - CD, London 11/1981, Julia Varady (Soprano), et al., with Academy of St. Martin-In-The-Fields, Phillips Digital Classics
- Mozart/Strauss Lieder - CD, Berlin, 1991, with Elena Bashkirova, piano, Orfeo
- Rosenthal, H. and Warrack, J. (eds.), "Varady Julia", The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera, 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 1979. p. 519
- Julia Varady section of Julia Varady und Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau website, in German and English
- Short biography of Julia Varady, with some differences from the above