A 2018 nominee for “Singer of the Year” honors in Europe’s premiere opera journal, Opernwelt, Nina Tarandek has been a valuable member of the Oper Frankfurt Ensemble, singing a wide variety of repertoire since joining the company during the 2012/2013 season.  Among her most notable roles are Angelina (Rossini’s La Cenerentola), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Sesto (Giulio Cesare in Egitto) which she performed with Andreas Scholl, Dorabella (Così fan tutte), and Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro).

In addition to her work at Oper Frankfurt, the distinguished mezzo-soprano is a sought after guest for other international stages.  Ms Tarandek has performed at Semperoper Dresden, in Vienna at both Theater an der Wien and Volksoper Wien, at the Opernfestspielen St. Margarethen, Theater Freiburg, Staatstheater Darmstadt, Vilnius City Opera, and Teatro Teresa Carreño Caracas.

Ms Tarandek’s interpretation of La Malaspina, the female lead in Sciarrino’s Luci miei traditrici, made a great impression at Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte Montepulciano for the Italian premiere of the piece, in a co-production with Oper Frankfurt.  The production would ultimately be released on CD by Stradivarius, and on DVD by EuroArts.  She has also enjoyed great success as Cherubino, in the summer of 2011 at Oper Klosterneuburg in Vienna, and in 2017 under the musical direction of Rubén Dubrovsky at Staatstheater Darmstadt.  Ms Tarandek’s debut at the Semperoper came in 2012 in Dido and Aeneas.  During that same year she sang Mercédès in Carmen at the Opernfestspielen St. Margarethen, and went on a Germany-wide tour of Verdi’s Requiem with the NRW Landesjugendorchester.  She would be called upon during the 2016/2017 season to sing Sesto at Theater Freiburg.

Nina is also involved in concert singing and has performed with the hr-Sinfonieorchester in their traditional New Year’s Concert in the Kurhaus in Wiesbaden; the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, performing Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the direction of Leopold Hager during the Festival de Musica Religiosa de Cuenca in Spain; the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, in the Rudolfinum, in a gala performance titled “Tribute to Jarmila Novotna”; and with the Vienna Philharmonic in China.  In 2011 she performed a song recital in Abu Dhabi.  Future concert engagements include The Cunning Little Vixen with the BR Sinfonieorchester under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst at the Münchner Gasteig, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the Weissensee Klassik Festival, as well as a song recital at the Chamber Music Festival in Čakovec, Croatia.

The Croatian mezzo-soprano studied voice with Uta Schwabe and Julia Conwel at the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien, completing her Master’s Degree with Honors in 2011.  She also studied Song and Oratorio with Kammersängerin Birgid Steinberger and Carolyn Hague.  During her studies she participated in Master Classes with artists such as Matthias Goerne, Angelika Kirschlager, Bernarda Fink, and Rudolf Piernay.  In 2006 she won First Prize at the Fidelio Competition in Vienna.

Ms Tarandek made her debut at the Volksoper Wien as a Lehrbub in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg during her time at University.  In addition to that, she also sang Dorabella in Così fan tutte at Teatro Teresa Carreño Caracas with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, and Nancy in Britten’s Albert Herring at Theater Akzent in Vienna.  In 2009 Ms Tarandek created the title role in the world premiere of Christoph Ehrenfellner’s Mae Mona, a role which had been composed specifically for her, in the Musikwerkstadt Wien, and debuted at Theater an der Wien in Henze’s Der Prinz von Hamburg with conductor Marc Albrecht and director Christof Loy.

Nina began working in the Opera Studio at Oper Frankfurt during the 2009/2010 season.  Her first roles in Frankfurt were Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Carmela in La vida breve, and Zweite Magd in Claus Guth’s production of Daphne which won the German opera prize, DER FAUST.  Ms Tarandek’s debut at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt came in La Rondine in 2010.

Nina Tarandek’s repertoire encompasses roles from a wide variety of styles and epochs, including Waltraute in Die Walküre, Aloès in Charpentier’s L’Étoile, Tebaldo in Don Carlo, Flora in La Traviata, Die Wirtstochter in Humperdinck’s Königskinder, Antonia in d’Albert’s Tiefland, Kate in Britten’s Owen Wingrave, Die Dunkle Dame in Reimann’s Die Gespenstersonate, Nineta in Les Vêpres Siciliennes, Lapák the dog in The Cunning Little Vixen, Anna Kennedy in Maria Stuarda, Ilona in the world premiere of Michael Langemann’s Anna Toll, and Anna-Maria Himmelhuber in Oper Frankfurt’s production of Ernst Krenek’s three one-acts, Der Diktator; Schwergewicht, oder Die Ehre der Nation; and Das geheime Königreich which, in 2018, was awarded the International Opera Awards’ prize for Rediscovered Work.

Ms Tarandek’s 2018/2019 season includes reviving the roles of Flora in La Traviata (alongside Željko Lučić) and Waltraute in Die Walküre under the musical direction of Sebastian Weigle, as well as new productions of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta (with Asmik Grigorian) and Verdi’s La forza del destino.  Her concert at the Kasseler Musiktagen will include, among other pieces, Wagner’s Wesendonk Liedern, accompanied by the Frankfurt String Sextet.  Further concert engagements will take her to the Lauterbach Hochhaus-Konzerten, and to the hr-Sendesaal.  She will also be honored to take part in a gala concert at the National Theater in Varaždin, where she will sing with the Zagreb Philharmonic under the direction of Pavle Dešpalj.  The Summer of 2019 will see Ms Tarandek return to the St. Margarethen Festival where she will be singing the Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Karsten Januschke conducting and Cornelius Obonya directing.  Looking forward to 2020, Ms Tarandek will be performing Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in the Wiener Musikverein with the Wiener Virtuosen.

© Nina Tarandek, Mezzosoprano 2019