Biography

Matching “steely vocalism with lyricism and pathos” (The Financial Times) while being “capable of total relinquishing” and boasting “glistening high notes” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), María José Siri figures among today's leading sopranos in a repertoire comprising many of Verdi's and Puccini's title heroines as well as iconic Verismo roles. 

Ms Siri rose to international fame when triumphing in the inauguration of the Teatro alla Scala's 2016/2017 season, making her debut in the title role of Madama Butterfly conducted by Riccardo Chailly. She immediately became one of the most requested interpreters of the role of Cio-Cio-San, taking the Japanese Geisha to many prestigious opera houses, such as the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera Munich and the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Among her other recent successes figure the title role of a new production of Francesca da Rimini under the baton of Fabio Luisi and Messa per Rossini led by Riccardo Chailly at the Teatro alla Scala, Leonora in Il trovatore at the Vienna State Opera, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera at the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Elisabetta di Valois in Don Carlo at the Palau de les Arts of Valencia and the Teatro Comunale of Bologna, the title role of Manon Lescaut at the Teatro Regio of Turin, Teatro San Carlo in Naples and the Grand Théâtre of Geneva, Tosca at the Semperoper Dresden and Deutsche Oper Berlin, Madama Butterfly at the Macerata Opera Festival, Maddalena di Coigny in Andrea Chénier at the Teatro dell'Opera of Rome and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Verdi's Messa da Requiem on tour with La Scala and Riccardo Chailly at the Bol'šoj Theatre of Moscow, with the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Marek Janowski at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, at the Teatro del Maggio in Florence led by Myung-Whun Chung and at the Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires.

Current and future engagements include Odabella in a new staging of Attila conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti at the Teatro Regio of Parma (Verdi Festival 2018), the title role of Manon Lescaut at the Hamburg State Opera, Maddalena di Coigny in Andrea Chénier and the title role of Manon Lescaut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, the title role of Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House of Muscat, the title role of Manon Lescaut in a new production conducted by Riccardo Chailly at La Scala, Tosca at the Teatro Carlo Felice of Genoa and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera at the Mai Festival of Wiesbaden.

The Uruguayan soprano began her vocal studies at the ENAL Montevideo, completing them at the Paris Conservatory and with Ileana Cotrubas in Nizza and Vienna. Ms Siri performed her first operatic roles on the stages of her native country and in Argentina, making her career breakthrough in Europe in 2008 as Leonora in Il trovatore at the Teatro Carlo Felice of Genoa under the musical direction of Bruno Bartoletti. 

Engagements since then have led her to the most important international opera theatres and festivals worldwide, including the Teatro alla Scala (title role of Aida conducted by Daniel Barenboim), the Vienna State Opera (Tosca and Maddalena di Coigny in Andrea Chénier), the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona (Mimì in La bohème), the Berlin State Opera (Tatiana in Evgenij Onegin and Tosca), the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Tosca), La Monnaie Brussels (Amelia in Un ballo in maschera), the New National Theatre Tokyo (Tosca and Andrea Chénier), the Palau de les Arts Valencia (Manon Lescaut conducted by Plácido Domingo, Aida), the ABAO Bilbao (Elisabeth de Valois in the French version of Don Carlos), the Teatro Comunale of Bologna (Leonora in Il trovatore, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera and Odabella in Attila conducted by Michele Mariotti), the Teatro Regio Turin (Tosca, Andrea Chénier, Amelia in Simon Boccanegra and Desdemona in Otello conducted by Gianandrea Noseda), the Teatro San Carlo of Naples (Mimì in La bohème and the title role of Suor Angelica), the Maggio Musicale Florence (Aida), the Teatro La Fenice Venice (Il trovatore), the Monte-Carlo Opera (Nedda in Pagliacci conducted by Pinchas Steinberg), the Hamburg State Opera (Aida), the Semperoper Dresden (Mimì in La bohème), the Mikhailovsky Theatre Saint Petersburg (Rachel in La Juive), the Bregenz Festival (Aida and Andrea Chénier), the Macerata Opera Festival (Norma) and the Arena of Verona (Aida in three different stagings every season since 2013, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni).

Maria José Siri is the recipient of 2017 Oscar della Lirica in the category Best Soprano.

September 2018