Praised for her “phenomenal, concise and clear voice” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), “great projection” (Bachtrack) and commended for the “ warmth and poise” of her sound (Seen and Heard International), Turkish-German singer Deniz Uzun brings her unique cultural background and artistry to each role she performs.
Turkish-German mezzosoprano Deniz Uzun is a graduate of Bloomington’s Jacobs School of Music/Indiana University and was a recent winner of the Elizabeth Connel Prize 2022 and the Eva Marton Prize 2021. She was a Member of the Young Artist Program of the Bavarian State Opera where she’s been praised from the Sueddeutsche Zeitung for her “..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 slender body.”
23/24 season includes a return to the Dallas Symphony as Fricka and Waltraute in the Ring Cycle - the first semi staged concert version in US history, as well as a return to the celebrated Barrie Kosky production at Komische Oper Berlin as Olga in Eugene Onegin where she jumped in 21/22 in several performances. Deniz proudly makes her debut with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester in Verdi’s Messa die Requiem under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst and with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra in Mendelssohn’s Drei geistliche Gesänge under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis as well as with the MÁV Symphony Orchestra in Elgar’s Sea Picture under the baton of Róbert Farkas.
Highlights in Deniz’ 22/23 season include her debut at Müpa Budapest as Waltraute in Götterdämmerung under the baton of Ádám Fischer; a return to Opernhaus Zürich to debut as Luigia in Viva La Mamma alongside Ambrogio Maestri; her role and house debut as Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova under the baton of Fabio Luisi and her role debut as Una Donna in Intolleranza 1960 as the season opening at Komische Oper Berlin.
Passionate in the Lied- and concert genre Deniz performed recently at the revived Festival Capuchos 2023 in Portugal alongside pianist David Santos with songs by Berlioz, Brahms, Korngold, Berg, Marx, A. Mahler, Montsalvage and Gershwin where she received huge recognition from the Scherzo Magazine for her "impeccable French, without the slightest hint of a German accent, this singer, whom we did not know, acts as a revelation: at ease in all registers, she knows how to put her very homogeneous voice, with a beautiful round and dark timbre to the times, at the service of expression, fine and sensitive..as a result, it is on an opera stage that we dream of hearing her now.“
In the season 2020/21 she gave three recitals accompanied by pianist Yulia Levin titled „Opera goes Folk“ with songs by Ravel, Schostakovic, Rodrigo and Kodaly as part of the Zurich Opera House’s alternative program. Highlights in previous seasons have included title roles such as Dido in Dido and Aeneas at Teatro Massimo Palermo, Carmen at Landestheater Salzburg, Zanetto in a semi staged concert series in Switzerland, Hänsel in Hänsel and Gretel, L’Enfant in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Ronja in Ronja die Räubertochter, Jacob in Gold! as well as Zelim in La Verità in Cimento at Opernhaus Zürich.
Deniz is a former member of the ensemble of Opernhaus Zürich (2016-21) and Komische Oper Berlin (2022/23) where her roles included Sonyetka in LadyMacbeth from Mzensk, Krista in Sec Makropulos, Bradamante in Alcina, Emilia in Otello, Olga in Eugene Onegin, Ino in Semele, Page in Salome, Lucilla in Scala di Seta, Meg Page in Falstaff and Third Lady in Magic Flute.
In the past Deniz has performed a wide range of repertoire for Mezzosoprano and Contralto such as Florence Pike in Albert Herring at Bayerische Staatsoper, a Liederabend with Tobias Truniger at Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg with Srnka and Mozart songs, Rachmaninov songs as part of the ballet Anna Karenina at Tel Aviv Opera, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana at the Jurmala Music Festival in Latvia, Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, Ruggiero in Alcina and Gertrude in Hänsel and Gretel with Indiana University Opera and Ballet, Annina in La Traviata and Isabella in Italiana in Algeri for children at Baden Baden Festspielhaus, Beethoven 9 with Danish Radio Symphony, Cyprus Symphony Orchestra and Irish National Symphony Orchestra, Page in Salome with Dallas Symphony, Third Maid in Elektra at Salzburger Festspiele and Isaura in Tancredi at Festival de Beaune.
Throughout the course of her career Deniz has worked with conductors such as Fabio Luisi, Ádám Fischer, Franz Welser-Möst, Nello Santi, Simone Young, Oksana Lyniv, Kirill Petrenko, Vladimir Jurowski, Jakup Hrůša, Jérémie Rhorer, Vasily Petrenko, Markus Poschner, Gianandrea Noseda and William Christie, as well as with directors Barrie Kosky, Calixto Bieito, Robert Carsen, Andreas Homoki, Dmitri Tcherniakov, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Nina Russi and Marie-Ève Signeyrole.
To this day, Deniz is intensively engaged with the genre Lied, especially in the French, German and Russian repertoire. She loves trying out different arrangements 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 with Tobias Truniger on the piano. During the Covid-Pandemic Deniz Uzun created with Yulia Levin a series of concerts named „Opera goes Folk“ at the Opernhaus Zürich, which included songs by Rodrigo Joaquín, Schostakowitsch, Kodaly etc.
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. Most recently she performed at Komische Oper Berlin with Kardes Türküler in February 2022. In August 2022 Deniz will present a colourful program with the title „Bosporus ride- honey&blood“ at the world music festival Inselsommer in Ludwigshafen, Germany alongside Jon Wassermann (guitar, lute) and Onur Calfskin (clarinet).
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.