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Julia Hamari (Contralto, Mezzo-soprano)

Born: November 21, 1942 - Budapest, Hungary

The Hungarian mezzo-soprano (and contralto), Julia [originally: Júlia] Hamari, studied to play piano as a child. However, she turned to train her voice with the Turkish singing teacher Fatime Martins and Jenö Sipos in Budapest. She continued her training at the Budapest Academy of Music finishing with diploma as both singer and a singing teacher. In 1964 she won the Erkel international singing competition in Budapest. She then completed her studies from 1964 to 1966 at the Stuttgart Hochschule für Musik.

In 1966 Julia Hamari made her debut as a soloist in J.S. Bachís Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) in Vienna under Karl Richter. In the same year she sang the Alto Rhapsody of Johannes Brahms under Vittorio Gui in Rome. Thus launched a shining career in the concert hall for the young artist. As an oratorio and Lieder singer she appeared all over the world with great successes. She sang with important conductors as Herbert von Karajan, Sergiu Celibidache, Rafael Kubelík, Georg Solti, Karl Böhm und Pierre Boulez. In 1967 she made her USA debut as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Her sovereign control of the singing technics arise with special success in the classical arias for coloratura alto. On the concert podium she performed works of J.S. Bach, L.v. Beethoven, Gustav Mahler, Monteverdi, George Frideric Handel, Mozart, Rossini and Verdi.

In addition Julia Hamari mastered an extensive opera repertoire, from which numerous roles on records were taken up. She made her opera debut in 1967 at the Salzburg Festival as Mercedes in Georges Bizet's Carmen, and the following year she appeared in Stuttgart as Carmen. Since then has appeared, primarily with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, in various Baroque and Classical operas. During the season 1973-1974 she was engaged at the Deutschen Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg.

Julia Hamariís international career brought her under Herbert von Karajan to the Salzburg Festival and with Mozart and Rossini roles to the most important opera houses of the world, such as Milanís La Scale, Londonís Covent Garden, and Vienna State Opera. In 1979 she appeared at the Glyndebourne Festival as Celia in La fedeltŕ premiata by J. Haydn. In 1980 she could be heard at the Maggio musicale Florenz as Orpheus by Gluck, in 1984 at the Dallas Opera as Dorabella in Cosě fan tutte, in 1984 at the San Francisco Opera and in 1986 at the Grand Opéra Paris as Angelina in La Cenerentola by Rossini. In April 1982 she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in New York as Rossiniís Rosina (Il Barbiere Di Siviglia) [2 seasons (1981-82, 84-85), 16 performances, 2 works]. There she sang Dorabella, and later Despina in Cosě fan tutte. At the Opera House of Cologne she appeared as Sesto in La clemenza di Tito by Mozart, at the Covent Garden Opera London as Cherubino in Nozze di Figaro, at Milanís La Scala and the Staatsoper Stuttgart as Sinaide in Rossiniís Mosč in Egitto. On the occasion of her 50th Birthday she sang in 1992 in Budapest concert performance of Belliniís opera I Capuleti ed I Montecchi the role of Romeo. Among her important operatic roles are Cherubino, Dorabella, Cerenentola, Carmen and Octavian.

Julia Hamari is one of the leading oratorio and Lieder performers of her generation, known for her musicality and rich, full tone. Her concert and Lieder repertoire extends from Monteverdi to Verdi. She is particularly admired for her Bach performances and has sung the alto part in almost 30 of Helmuth Rilling's recordings of the complete Bach cantata and a dozen of Bach Cantatas with Karl Richter, as well as numerous recordings of Bachís vocal works with other conductors.

Since 1989 (or 1993) Julia Hamari has been Professor at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart.

Julia Hamari participated in numerous recordings: Electrola (Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) by J.S. Bach), DGG (Fatime in Oberon by Weber, Il matrimonio segreto by Cimarosa, Giulio Cesare by G.F. Handel, Roméo et Juliette by Berlioz, Mozartís Requiem, Mass in C major by L.v. Beethoven), RCA (Ernani by Verdi), Philips (Tito Manlio by Mozart, Bach Cantatas), HMV (Cavalleria rusticana, I Puritani by Bellini, 9th Symphony of L.v. Beethoven), CBS (Mass in B minor (BWV 232) and Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) by J.S. Bach), Hungaroton (Title role in Orpheus by Gluck, Stabat Mater by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Don Sanche by Franz Liszt, Mosč in Egitto by Rossini), Telefunken (Prima la musica by A. Salieri), RCA (9th Symphony of L.v. Beethoven), Decca (Hänsel und Gretel, Eugen Onegin, Meistersinger), Teldec (Czipra in Zigeunerbaron); Topaz-Video (Eugen Onegin from the Munich opera, 1972).

Source: Mostly from Bakerís Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); AMG Website (by Ann Finney); Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (October 2003); OPERAlamance Mailing List (by Walter R. Lonis, November 2004); blog 'Karl Richter in München' [Photos]
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2001, October 2003, November 2004); Willem van Erk (December 2006 - Photo)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Wolfgang Gönnenwein


BWV 244

Diethard Hellmann


BWV 159

György Lehel


BWV 245

Karl Münchinger


BWV 80, BWV 245

Karl Richter


BWV 9, BWV 17, BWV 27, BWV 33, BWV 100, BWV 102, BWV 105, BWV 137, BWV 148, BWV 178, BWV 187, BWV 244 [4th - DVD], BWV 245 [3rd - DVD]

Helmuth Rilling


BWV 35, BWV 42, BWV 43, BWV 45, BWV 54, BWV 63, BWV 69, BWV 75, BWV 77, BWV 79, BWV 81, BWV 87, BWV 98, BWV 100, BWV 114, BWV 159, BWV 164, BWV 170, BWV 171, BWV 174, BWV 177, BWV 183, BWV 188, BWV 193
BWV 232, BWV 244, BWV 245 [2nd], BWV 248, BWV 249

Frigyes Sándor


BWV 161, BWV 169, BWV 244

Peter Schreier


BWV 207, BWV 214

Helmut Winschermann


BWV 74, BWV 128, BWV 134, BWV 147, BWV 173

Links to other Sites

Musikhochschule Stuttgart/Fachgruppe Gesang [German]

Julia Hamari (AMG)
Karl Richter in München [German]

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 06:20