Deniz Uzun gave her first concert at the tender age of 6. Supported from an early age, her performances regularly took place both on the opera stage of the Nationaltheater Mannheim, and at concert events in Germany and abroad. At 16, she attended the Precollege of the University of Music in Karlsruhe, before completing her Song and Concert studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Mannheim under the guidance of Prof. Snezana Stamenkovic. The mezzo-soprano has been working with Oylun Erdayi on her vocal development since 2013 and includes Sherman Lowe as her vocal mentor since 2020.
Throughout her college years, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and a fellowship from the Georgina Joshi Foundation enabled her to study at the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana, from which she graduated with an Artistic Diploma under the guidance Prof. Carol Vaness in 2015. She celebrated her first successes with the role of “Isabella” in L’Italiana in Algeri and “Ruggiero” in Alcina.
Deniz was given a further insight into the professional world at the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie in Nuremberg, led by Edith Wiens. Furthermore, during her studies she was regularly engaged by then Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, first in the Young Artist Program together with the Berliner Philharmonie in Cendrillon, later in Rolando Villazon’s new production of La Traviata and in the title role of L ́Italiana in Algeri for children. She was chosen to become a member of the opera studio at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and her acting talents soon became recognized. Her interpretation of “Florence Pike” in a new production of Albert Herring was described in a review by the Süddeutsche Zeitung as follows: “Uzun [...] has an already obvious presence. One always pays attention to her. Hearing her, her alto voice is almost a phenomenon, concise, clear and of a volume that you don't associate with such a slim body”.
The young Mezzo-soprano was an ensemble member of Zurich Opera House from the 2016/17 to the 2020/21 season, where she appeared in leading roles such as Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), the Child (L'Enfant et les sortilèges), Zelim in Vivaldi's La verità in cimento, Jacob in Leonard Evers' Gold! and Ronja in Jörn Arnecke’s Ronja Räubertochter, as well as Lucilla (La scala di seta), Ino (Semele), Sonetka (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk), Page (Salome), Krista (Die Sache Makropulos), Alisa (Lucia di Lammermoor) and with Rachmaninov songs in the ballet Anna Karenina. As part of the Zurich Opera House's alternative program due to the pandemic, she gave three recitals in the 2020/21 season titled “Opera goes folk”.
Guest engagements brought her to the Munich Opera Festival, Salzburger Festspiele, the new Jūrmala Festival in Latvia and to the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv with the Zurich Ballet, as well as concerts with Cyprus Symphonie, the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg, the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Deniz Uzun has won prizes in several international competitions. Most recently she received in 2021 the Eva Marton Special Prize in the 4th Eva Marton Competition and the Elena Obraszova Prize at the Tenor Viñas Competition in Barcelona, Spain. She received two special Prizes including concert and opera engagements as the only Mezzo-soprano in the Belvedere Singing Competition 2018. In 2015 she was in the Grand Finals of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in New York City performing at the Metropolitan Opera- having become the first Turkish-born participant in the finals of the competition, she was awarded the “Best Young Singer” Prize in Istanbul by the Semiha Berksoy Foundation in 2016 and the “Leyla Gencer Prize (Golden Orphée)” by the Académie Nationale du Disque Lyrique in Paris.
2021/22 season includes exciting role debuts in title roles, such as Dido in Dido and Aeneas a new production at Teatro Massimo in Palermo, followed by Zanetto by Mascagni in a private tour production starting in Zurich and in the spring season Deniz will make her role and house debut as Carmen in a new production at Landestheater Salzburg under the direction of Jacopo Spirei and under baton of Gabriel Venzago. She will return to the Dallas Symphony in her role debut as Olga (Eugene Onegin) alongside Nicole Car and Etienne Dupuis under the baton of Fabio Luisi. Deniz will also appear as a finalist of the prestigious Paris Opera Competition 2022 where she will perform scenes from operas staged by Florence Alayrac and accompanied by Orchestre Prométhée under the baton of Pierre Michele-Durand at Palais Garnier.
At the start of the 2022/23 season, she will join the ensemble of the Komische Oper Berlin, where she will debut in roles such as Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Una Donna (Intolleranza 1960) and Oreste (La Belle Hélène). Future seasons also include guest engagements with exciting role debuts as Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Luigia (Viva La Mamma) and Fricka (Rheingold and Walküre).
In the course of her career Deniz has worked with conductors such as Fabio Luisi, Marco Armiliato, William Christie, Tomáš Hanus, Jakup Hrůša, Vladimir Jurovski, Gianandrea Noseda, Kirill Petrenko, Vasily Petrenko, Nello Santi, Markus Poschner, Simone Young and Franz Welser-Möst, as well as with directors; Calixto Bieito, Robert Carsen, Jan Essinger, Andreas Homoki, Barrie Kosky, Nina Russi, Dmitri Tscherniakov and Krzysztof Warlikowski.
To this day, Deniz is intensively engaged with the genre Lied, especially the French, German and Russian repertoire. She loves trying out different castings in her free time, such as songs by Schubert and Ravel with harp and works by Bizet, Caccini and de Falla with guitar. Her musical career has also been notably shaped in particular by contemporary music, for example with the world premiere in 2004 of To infinity by Rolf Rudin which was inspired by letters written by Vincent van Gogh; later by the works of Aribert Reimann, Wolfgang Rihm and Christian Dachez. In 2017 she performed 13 songs inspired by postcards written by Jurek Becker and composed by Miroslav Srnka in concerts in Munich and at the Salzburg Mozarteum.
Since her early youth she has not only been inspired by classical music, but also by an eclectic mix of genres, cultures and eras including such bands as Air, Radiohead and System of a Down. The sounds of Eastern European folk music, including Turkish Folk Poetry, as well as Yiddish and Sephardic songs let her repertoire grow in various directions. Her passion for world music peaked in the years 2009 to 2013 through numerous appearances with her international band Alyuvar.
A musical career like hers would not be possible without the support of the following mentors to whom a special thanks is due here: Oylun Erdayi, Annette Grossmann, Snezana Stamenkovic, Wolfgang Brendel, Andreas Poulimenos, Corradina Caporello, Kevin Murphy, Edith Wiens, Tobias Truninger, Carrie-Ann Matthesson and last but certainly not least Yulia Levin.