Mariella Devia

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Mariella Devia
Mariella Devia.jpg
Born (1948-04-12) April 12, 1948 (age 74)
Alma materMilan Conservatory
Santa Cecilia Conservatory
OccupationOperatic soprano
Years active1973 - present

Mariella Devia (born 12 April 1948) is an Italian operatic soprano. After beginning her career as a lyric coloratura soprano, in the finale part of it she also enjoyed considerable success with some of the most dramatic roles in the bel canto repertoire.


Born in Chiusavecchia, Devia began her studies at the Milan Conservatory with Iolanda Magnoni, but she later followed her teacher to the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome where she graduated.[1] She made her stage debut at the Teatro Comunale in Treviso in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor in 1973[2] and quickly sang throughout Italy, making her debut at La Scala in Milan in 1987, as Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi.[3]

On the international scene, she appeared at the Metropolitan Opera from 1979 to 1994 as Lucia, Gilda, Nannetta, Despina and Konstanze,[4] and at Carnegie Hall as Lakmé, in 1979, and later as Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini, Giulietta, Elvira in I puritani and Adelia.[2] She made her debut at the Paris Opera (I puritani - Salle Favart)[5] and the Aix-en-Provence Festival (as Konstanze)[6] in 1987, and at the Royal Opera House in London in 1988 (again as Konstanze).[7]

She was a regular at the Pesaro Festival and at the Festival della Valle d'Itria in Martina Franca, where she collaborated in the resurrection of long neglected operas by Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and other bel canto composers. She is also admired for her Mozart performances in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, The Magic Flute, Così fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Idomeneo.[2]

In 2013, the day after her 65th birthday, she sang for the first time the role of Norma at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna with great success.[8] From then on she included the role of Norma in her usual repertoire along with the "Three Donizetti Queens", Maria Stuarda, Anna Bolena and Elisabetta from Roberto Devereux, which she had debuted between 2006 and 2011,[9] and with Lucrezia Borgia, first performed in 2001.[10]

On 5 June 2014, after a 15-year absence from the United States, she returned for a performance of Roberto Devereux at New York's Carnegie Hall with the Opera Orchestra of New York to great audience and critical acclaim.[11]

Devia bid farewell to the opera stage in May 2018 with three performances of Norma at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice,[12] where she was also awarded the 'Premio Una vita nella musica 2018', so joining "such prestigious figures as Daniel Barenboim, Ruggero Raimondi, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Karl Böhm, Carlo Maria Giulini, Yehudi Menuhin, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Carlo Bergonzi, among others to have received the prestigious award". Thenceforth she has only dedicated her career to singing concerts and teaching.[13]




  1. ^ Interview with Mariella Devia, "", 21 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Biography.
  3. ^ Archivio Teatro alla Scala
  4. ^ Mariella Devia (Metropolitan Opera Archives).
  5. ^ MémOpéra.
  6. ^ Karl-Josef Kutsch and Leo Riemens (editors), Großes Sängerlexikon, Munich, Saur 2003, ISBN 3-598-11598-9, Band 2, p. 1142.
  7. ^ ROH Collections Online.
  8. ^ Jack Buckley, "Mariella Devia's Norma", Seen and Heard International, 16 April 2013
    Gabriele Cesaretti, (in Italian) "Bologna – Teatro Comunale: Norma", OperaClick, undated
  9. ^ Precisely: 2006 at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Maria Stuarda (David Toschi, "Roma - Teatro dell'Opera: MARIA STUARDA - review", OperaClick, undated); 2007 at the Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, Anna Bolena (Ilaria Bellini, "Anna Bolena - review" Archived 13 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine,, undated); 2011 at the Opéra de Marseille, Roberto Devereux (Maurice Salles, "Honneur à Devia - review", Le magazine du monde lyrique, 22 November 2011).
  10. ^ Teatro Comunale di Bologna, 1 Mars 2001 (cf: Marina Amaduzzi, Devia: Canterò Lucrezia Borgia madre impura, "La Repubblica", 28 February 2001; Lola Galán, La soprano Mariella Devia triunfa en Bolonia con 'Lucrecia Borgia', "El País", 4 Mars 2001).
  11. ^ "From a Wistful Queen, Longing and Regret" by Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times, 6 June 2014
  12. ^ "A Mariella Devia il premio una vita nella musica 2018". Teatro La Fenice. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  13. ^ Francisco Salazar, Mariella Devia To Say Goodbye To Opera Stage With Major Prize and Artist Of Week: Legendary Soprano Mariella Devia Says Goodbye To Staged Opera, "Opera Wire", 18 April and 7 May 2018.
  14. ^ According to Devia herself it was her only breeches role (Mario Merigo, Mariella Devia - L'intervista, «Connessi all'Opera», 25 August 2016). To be precise, however, in 1975, at Sassari, she had also performed the role of page Oscar in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera (Ente Concerti Marialisa De Carolis Website; Gabriele Verdinelli, "Un ballo in maschera" al Teatro Comunale di Sassari (review of the 2016 performances), «GBOpera magazine», s.d.)


  • Le guide de l'opéra, les indispensables de la musique, R. Mancini & J-J. Rouveroux (Fayard, 1986) ISBN 2-213-01563-5
  • Biography of Mariella Devia, in the theatre programme for the performances of Roberto Devereux at the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, 2016, p. 98

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