Currently in residence as a company member at Opernhaus Zürich, mezzo-soprano Deniz Uzun continues to garner acclaim for her committed performances and warm, expressive sound.  



about deniz uzun


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. The mezzo-soprano has been working with Oylun Erdayi on her vocal development since 2013.


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. There she received 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 Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, led by Edith Wiens. Furthermore, during her studies she was regularly engaged by the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, first in the Young Artist program together with the Berliner Philharmonie in the production Cendrillon, later in the new production of Rolando Villazon‘s La Traviata and in the title role 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. The 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.”


As a member of the Zurich Opera House since the 2016/17 season, Deniz has flourished in roles such as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, L'Enfant in L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, Ronja in Ronja the Robber's Daughter, Jacob in Gold, Lucilla in Scala di Sieta, Zelim in Vivaldi's rarely performed opera La Verita in Cimento, as well as in Lady Macbeth von Mzensk Sonyetka and Krista in Vec Makropulos . Another highlight was her role as Ino in a production of Semele, with Cecilia Bartoli in the title role.


Guest engagements led her to the new Jūrmala Festival in Latvia under the direction of Aleksandrs Antonenko and to concerts with Fabio Luisi in Copenhagen and Dallas. In the 2020/2021 season, roles such as Bradamante in Alcina and Olga in Eugene Onegin are planned at the Zurich Opera House. Future engagements will take her again to the Dallas Symphony, Salzburg Festival and Handel Festival Karlsruhe.


Deniz Uzun has been awarded several distinguished prizes during competitions. Most recently she received two special prizes at the Belvedere Competition, including an engagement at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In 2015 she was in the Grand Finals of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in New York City - 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.


In the course of her career Deniz has worked with conductors such as Marco Armiliato, William Christie, Tomáš Hanus, Jakup Hrůša, Vladimir Jurovski, Gianandrea Noseda, Kirill Petrenko, Vasily Petrenko, Nello Santi, Markus Poschner, and Simone Young, as well as with directors; Calixto Bieito, Robert Carsen, Jan Essinger, Andreas Homoki, Barrie Kosky, Nina Russi and Dmitri Tscherniakov.

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"Deniz Uzun could prove again that she is a big win for the ensemble."

das opernmagazin


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.