Life and career
Renata Pokupić was attending School of Arts in Zagreb where she studied sculpture and afterwards graduated and obtained her Master of Music from the Music Academy of Zagreb, where she studied with Zdenka Žabčić-Hesky. Soon after graduation she won two first prizes from The 36th Antonín Dvořák International Voice Competition in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, as well as two special prizes from the same competition. She reached finals of the 8th International Mozart Competition in Salzburg and the Competizione dell' Opera in Dresden in 2002.
Pokupic holds numerous awards among which are the Le Cercle International des Amis et Mecenes du Chatelet award (International Circle of Friends and Patrons of Théâtre du Châtelet, CIAM) and the Orlando for the best performance at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival 2004 with the Purcell Quartet, award Milka Trnina and is the member of the International Women's Forum. A versatile artist, Renata was given one of the main roles in the film All the Best by Snježana Tribuson and won the award Breza for the best debutante from the Pula Film Festival 2016.
Recent engagements include Idamante in Mozart Idomeneo for Opera Vlaanderen, Irene Theodora with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Nerone L’incoronazione di Poppea with the Academy of Ancient Music, an Italian programme with Nash Ensemble at Wigmore Hall, CPE Bach’s Magnificat with the Insula Orchestra, and Beethoven Symphony No.9 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Pokupić also joined Roger Vignoles for a recital at the Danube Festival of Song.
Other highlights include Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro, Siebel Faust and Irene Tamerlano at Royal Opera House Covent Garden, title role Cendrillon for Opéra de Lille, Dorabella Così fan tutte for Washington National Opera, and Nerone Agrippina in Antwerp, Lille, Dijon and Beaune. She has also sung Cherubino for Washington National Opera, Opera Vlaanderen, Gulbenkian Lisbon, and Los Angeles Opera; Octavian Der Rosenkavalier for Minnesota Orchestra, Bradamante Orlando Furioso for Oper Frankfurt, Sesto La clemenza di Tito for Chicago Opera Theater, Annio La clemenza di Tito for Opéra de Lyon and the title role in Cavalli Eliogabalo at Grange Park Opera.
Much in demand on the concert platform, she recently made her Australian debut as Marguerite La damnation de Faust with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, sang Berlioz Roméo et Juliette with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Dvorak Stabat Mater with Collegium Vocale Gent as well as DSO Berlin. She has also sung Schubert Mass in E flat with Orchestre de Paris and Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, Haydn Scena di Berenice with Hofkapelle Esterházy, Handel Joshua with Handel Festival Göttingen, Rossini and Respighi arias with Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Cecilio in Anfossi’s Lucio Silla at Mozarteum Salzburg with Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, Bruckner Mass in F minor with Orchestre de Paris, St Matthew Passion with the Bach Choir, Tirinto Imeneo with the Academy of Ancient Music and an extensive tour of ‘Tribute to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson’ with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Previously she sang Davide Penitente at Festival de Saint-Denis, St Matthew Passion with Rotterdam Philharmonic, Haydn Paukenmesse, Mozart Coronation Mass and Haydn Stabat Mater with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Mozart Requiem at the BBC Proms, and appeared in Le Concert d’Astrée’s 10th anniversary concert. In previous seasons she has also sung Alcina Orlando Furioso with Ensemble Matheus in Madrid, Beethoven Symphony No.9 with Orchester Beethoven Bonn, Mahler Symphony No.2 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Pulcinella with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Mozart and Rossini arias with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Haydn The Creationwith Northern Sinfonia, Angel Elijah with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bach Christmas Oratorio with Ensemble Matheus, and Pergolesi Stabat Mater with Les Talens Lyriques.
Renata works with such leading conductors as Kurt Masur, Kazushi Ono, Kent Nagano, Ingo Metzmacher, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Louis Langreé, Fabio Biondi, John Eliot Gardiner, William Christie, Paul McCreesh, Jérémie Rhorer, Emmauelle Haïm, Christophe Rousset, Carlo Rizzi, Jean-Christoph Spinosi, Laurence Cummings and Christian Curnyn.
An accomplished recitalist, Pokupić works regularly with the internationally acclaimed Roger Vignoles. They have appeared together at the Wigmore Hall, The Frick Collection New York, Danube Festival, Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Petworth Festival, Bath Mozartfest, Delft Chamber Festival, and the Great Hall in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. Their recent programmes have included works by Mahler, Tomášek, Brahms, Britten, Schumann and Faure. They also have recently released an album of songs by Václav Tomášek for Hyperion Records.
- W. A. Mozart: LES MYSTÈRES D ISIS, PARIS, 1801, Le Concert Spirituel, Flemish Radio Choir, Diego Fasolis, conductor. Glossa
- Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek (1774-1850): Songs, Renata Pokupić (mezzo-soprano), Roger Vignoles (piano). Hyperion
- G. F. Handel: JOSHUA: NDR Chor, Göttingen Festival Orchestra, Laurence Cummings, conductor. Accent Records
- G. F. Handel: FLAVIO: Early Opera Company, Christian Curnyn, conductor. Chaconne/Chandos.
- I. Stravinsky: L’OISEAU DE FEU, PETROUCHKA, LE SACRE DU PRINTEMPS, PULCINELLA. Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Yakov Kreizberg, conductor. OPMC Classics.
- B. KUNC, B. BRITTEN & B. BERSA: AFTER THE CROSSING, with Đorđe Stanetti, piano. Cantus.
- Les Troyens, Hector Berlioz, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Monteverdi Choir and Susan Graham, among others
- Operngala - 16. Festliche Operngala für die AIDS-Stiftung, conducted by Andriy Yurkevych, Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin