Martina Serafin was born in Vienna to parents who were singers. She studied at the Vienna Conservatory with Zadeka and then with Otto Edelman. Here she debuted very young in the operetta’s repertoire of F. Lehar, J. Strauss and E. Kalman. As far as the operatic repertoire concerned, she debuted in the Mozart’s Trilogy as Fiordiligi/ Donna Elvira/ Countess of Almaviva in Graz, where she was a member of the ensemble and then in Stuttgart. At the Oper Stuttgart she sang also as Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohéme, Marschallin in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre (under the baton of L. Zagrosek) and Elsa in Lohengrin (S. Soltesz conducting).
Nowadays her repertoire ranges from G. Puccini to R. Strauss, from G. Verdi to R. Wagner. She is particularly renowned for her interpretation of the role of Tosca, which she has sung for companies including: Teatro dell’Opera in Rome (G. Gelmetti/ F. Zeffirelli), Maggio Musicale in Florence (Z. Mehta), Covent Garden London (A. Pappano), Arena di Verona (M. Armiliato/ H. De Ana), La Scala in Milan (N. Luisotti), Caracalla (R. Palumbo/P. Pizzi), Paris Opéra (D. Oren/P. Audi), Vienna State Opera (P. Carignani/ O. Schenk), Deutsche Oper Berlin, Liceu Barcelona, Melbourne, Beijing (Cina), Montecarlo for the Prince Albert and in a DVD recording with R. Bruson at the Teatro Greco in Taormina.
Her appearances in other Italian repertory include: Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at the La Fenice in Venice (R. Palumbo/ G. Vick), Festival Pucciniano in Torre del Lago (A. Veronesi) and at the Hamburg State Opera; Maddalena in Andrea Chénier at the Zurich Opera (N. Santi), at the Wiener Staatsoper (M. Armiliato), at the Teatro Bellini in Catania and then in Cagliari (G. Del Monaco); Turandot (R. Chailly) with the Orchestra of La Scala in Milan and then at the Festival Pucciniano and again in Rome at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, at the Arena di Verona (D. Oren/ F. Zeffirelli), in Oman (P. Domingo), for the opening of the Petruzzelli in Bari (R. De Simone), at the Festival Pucciniano (M. Scaparro) and in Genoa (G. Montaldo), in Zurich (G. Del Monaco), in Bilbao (J. Mauceri); Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at the Wiener Staatsoper (S. Ozawa/ F. Zeffirelli); Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro in Los Angeles (P. Domingo) and Fiordiligi in Così Fan Tutte in Stuttgart (L. Zagrosek).
Among Verdi’s repertoire: Verdi’s Requiem in Montecarlo (G. Gelmetti); Abigaille (Nabucco) for the Chorégies d’Orange (P. Steinberg/ J. P. Scarpitta), at the Liceu in Barcelona (D. Oren/ D. Abbado) and at the Arena di Verona; Elizabeth of Valois (Don Carlo) at the La Scala (F. Luisi); recently she has sang in Macbeth at the Liceu in Barcelona and at the Wiener Staatsoper.
In the german repertoire she is one of the most acclaimed soprano, in roles such as: Sieglinde (Die Walküre) at the Metropolitan in New York (F. Luisi), at the Wiener Staatsoper (S. Rattle) and again in Wien under F. Welser- Moest, in Zurich and Paris (P. Jordan) and in Berlin, Amsterdam, Toulouse, Barcelona and Tokyo; Elsa (Lohengrin) in Palermo (H. De Ana), Dresden, Stuttgart and Bologna (D. Gatti); Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) at the Opera in Rome (R. Carsen) and in Amsterdam (N. Lehnoff); Isolde (Tristan und Isolde) in a concert version at the Ravello Festival with the orchestra of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. Moreover she sang Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) at the Metropolitan in New York, Wiener Staatsoper and in San Francisco (D. Runnicles), Toulouse (N. Joel), Barcelona, Stuttgart, München and Amsterdam; Schumann’s Genoveva in Palermo; Marie in Wozzeck in Essen; Lisa in the Tchaikovsky’s Pikovaja Dama at the Wiener Staatsoper (S. Ozawa), in Barcelona (K. Petrenko) and in Bologna (M. Jurowski); Smetana’s Die verkaufte Braut in Zurich and Bologna (under M. Jurowski).
She has appeared in recital at the many leading European venues with Lieder of F. Schubert, R. Schumann, in Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, in the Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder under Z. Mehta with the Wiener Philharmoniker at Musikverein, Wien.
Among her most recent engagements: Manon Lescaut at the Berlin Deutsche Oper; Lohengrin (Elsa), Rimskij- Korsakov’s The snow Maiden (Kupava) at the Opera National de Paris; Turandot at the San Francisco Opera, at the Metropolitan in New York, at the Festival in Torre del Lago, at the Zürich Opernhaus; Nabucco in Montecarlo and at La Scala in Milan; Tosca at the Royal Opera House in London and at the Wiener Staatsoper; Turandot in Zurich
Plans include: Tristan und Isolde (Isolde) and Tosca in Paris; La Gioconda in Brüxelles; Die Walküre in Amsterdam; Tosca in Wien; Der Ring des Nibelungen (Brünhilde) in Paris.
© Gino Di Paolo