Biography

Matching “steely vocalism with lyricism and pathos” (Financial Times), while being “capable to completely dive into her characters”, boasting “glistening high notes” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), Maria José Siri figures among today's most polyhedral sopranos in a repertoire comprising many of the 19th and 20th century Italian opera heroines from Verdi to Puccini, Belcanto and Verism which she has performed at venues such as the Teatro alla Scala, Wiener Staatsoper, Gran Teatre del Liceu, New National Opera Tokyo, Teatro Colón, Semperoper Dresden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin, Munich and Hamburg moreover, the Arena di Verona Festival among others.

Most recently, she experienced a big success at Musikverein Graz as the ruthless Abigaille on Nabucco’s concert version besides Placido Domingo. As well as Lucrezia Contarini on her tigress-demanding personality on I due Foscari at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino confirming Ms Siri as one of the most important Verdi dramatic heroines leading soprano. She caused a stir at the Vienna State Opera as Elisabetta di Valois in Don Carlo and Abigaille in Nabucco, which she has also sung at the Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari in October and at the Maggio Musicale in Florence for her role debut alongside Plácido Domingo in October 2020. This 2021/2022 season, she also performed the title role of Tosca in a new production at the Teatro Comunale of Bologna and Leonora di Vargas in a new production of La forza del destino in Liège. At the Arena di Verona Festival 2021, she sang the title role of Aida and in the Gala Domingo Opera Night. A high point of this season was the new verism role debut of Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, with “a powerful voice, with a dense timbre, secure high notes, but also showing us on this occasion to be able to modify her inflection as to represent a scream, which is the mark of Verismo vocality. Impulsive and warm in her duet with Turiddu” (L’Arena). In 2021, she also sang the tragic protagonist of Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in a new staging conducted by Daniel Harding, proving “to be an interpreter of the highest order, not only for her lush vocality but also for an emission that ideally recalls Tebaldi’s full and resounding sound” (Opera Áctual). The star soprano debuted the role of the famous French actress in 2020 at the Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari, also reprising it in 2021 at the Las Palmas Opera, where she made history as the first female singer to encore an aria (“Io son l'umile ancella”) in the great history of the Spanish theatre. 

Siri Cio Cio San debut triumphed at the inauguration of Teatro alla Scala 2016/17 season in the original Madama Butterfly’s version led by Riccardo Chailly. Other iconic Puccini characters in her repertoire include the title roles of Manon Lescaut, Tosca, Suor Angelica, Giorgetta in Il tabarro and Anna in Le villi. She was also acclaimed as the title heroines of Francesca da Rimini and Manon Lescaut at La Scala, where other appearances have included her house debut as Verdi's Aida, a part she has sung more than 150 times all over the world, from Hamburg to Tokyo, São Paulo, Verona, Moscow, Buenos Aires and even in front of the Giza Pyramids. Ms Siri's Verdi repertoire includes more than eleven roles, from the early dramatic coloratura warriors such as Abigaille in Nabucco, Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari or Odabella in Attila, to titles such as Il trovatore, Simon Boccanegra, Un ballo in maschera, La forza del destino, Don Carlo and Otello. Another iconic soprano role of Ms Siri's repertoire is Bellini's Norma, which she performed for the first time in Macerata, receiving praise for her artistic authority, establishing “a perfect connection to the great old days of real singing personalities” (Concerti). Maria José Siri collaborates with the most important conductors as Bruno Bartoletti, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Riccardo Chailly, Daniel Oren, Pinchas Steinberg, Fabio Luisi, Marco Armiliato, and Myung-Whun Chung among others. 

Born in Uruguay to Italian ancestors, Maria José Siri began her vocal studies at the ENAL Montevideo, completing them at the Paris Conservatory and with the great soprano Ileana Cotrubas. Awarded “Oscar della Lirica” in the category Best Soprano of the year in 2017. Maria José Siri opera debut happened in 2002, making her career breakthrough in Europe in 2008 as Leonora in Il trovatore at the Teatro Carlo Felice of Genoa. 

June 2022