As the title character in the American Premiere of Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio at the Minnesota Opera, Adriana Zabala was recently praised by The Wall Street Journal as showing “tremendous stamina and boy-like flair.” The New York Times hailed her as “a vivid, fearless presence,” and the L.A. Timesas “extraordinary” for her portrayal of the Barbarian Girl in the American premiere of Philip Glass’ Waiting for the Barbarians with the Austin Lyric Opera. Ms. Zabala enjoys a vibrant and unique career that includes opera, song repertoire, new works, concert, oratorio, and cabaret. She performs extensively throughout the United States and internationally, and served for five years as Artistic Director of the Southeastern Festival of Song. Ms. Zabala is a proud member of the voice faculty at the University of Minnesota, where, in addition to her thriving studio, she teaches graduate vocal literature, administrates a program of collaboration between the Minnesota Opera and the University of Minnesota, teaches a Freshman Seminar called Shakespeare in Film and Music, and is inaugurating a Global Seminar called Vive les Arts!in Paris in the summer of 2013.
Recent engagements include the role of Dorabella with Opera Saratoga, Annina in Der Rosenkavalier with The Minnesota Orchestra, recitalist with the Salzburg International Chamber Music Concerts, soloist with The Jerusalem Symphony, the role of Isabella Linton in Wuthering Heights with Minnesota Opera, and appearances in Messiah with both The Jacksonville Symphony and The Phoenix Symphony.
Within the last few seasons Ms. Zabala has been seen on the stages of The Seattle Opera, The Minnesota Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, the Wildwood Festival, The Syracuse Opera, the Arizona Opera, the Lyric Opera of San Antonio, Opera Carolina, the Lake George Opera, and Opera Pacific. She has also been a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Spokane Symphony, the Syracuse Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, the Madison Symphony, the New York Festival of Song, and at the Caramoor International Music Festival with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has appeared in recital in the Barns at Wolf Trap, the The Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage,The Dallas Museum of Art, Ventford Hall in Lenox, MA, and in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Recent highlights include Ms. Zabala’s European debut under Maestro Lorin Maazel as Mercedes in Carmen at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain, her Carnegie Hall debut on a concert with pianist and composer Gregg Kallor, premiering Exhilaration, Kallor’s settings of nine Emily Dickinson poems, her critically acclaimed portrayal of the Barbarian Girl in the American Premiere of Phillip Glass’ Waiting for the Barbarians with the Austin Lyric Opera, and appearing as the alto solist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Bryn Terfel as Elijah.
She also made her Canadian debut with Opera Lyra Ottawa as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, sang the title role in La Cenerentola with the Atlanta Opera, returned to Opera Carolina as Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and celebrated the release and critical success of the compact disc Exhilaration: Dickinson and Yeats Songs. Opera News Online raved “Kallor has found a wonderful exponent in Adriana Zabala, a gifted, agile mezzo-soprano. Kallor knows how to make these words sing, and Zabala gives perfect flight to them. Singing with uncommon clarity and natural beauty, she seems to be deep inside both the poems and Kallor’s musical realizations.”
Adriana Zabala was born in Georgia and raised in Miami, Caracas, Venezuela, and Lake Jackson, Texas. She received her undergraduate degree from Lousiana State University, was a Fulbright Scholar in Salzburg, Austria, studying German Lieder at the Mozarteum, and earned her masters degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Ms. Zabala was an Artist Resident for two seasons with the Minnesota Opera, where she performed the roles of Cherubino, Annina, and Rosina, among others. She spent the following season as a Young Artist with the Seattle Opera, singing the title role in La Cenerentola. Ms. Zabala is an alumna of the apprentice programs at the Berkshire Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, Operafestival di Roma, and the Wolf Trap Opera Company.
Ms. Zabala is managed by Ana de Archuleta at ADA Artist Management & Representation in New York. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two daughters.