“Even among this strong ensemble cast, the Rosina of Adriana Zabala was a particular delight. She was a high-spirited, attractive little minx, and it was easy to see why the Count should be so smitten. Zabala’s singing was equally effective. Her voice has a pleasant timbre and is well controlled throughout her ample range. Her acting was particularly alive to each possible nuance: for example, her expression of delighted astonishment at learning Almaviva’s true identity was priceless.” – Luther Wade, Opera News
As the title character in the American Premiere of Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio at the Minnesota Opera, Adriana Zabala was praised by The Wall Street Journal as showing “tremendous stamina and boy-like flair.” The New York Times hailed her as “a vivid, fearless presence,” and the L.A. Times as “extraordinary” for her portrayal of the Barbarian Girl in the American premiere of Philip Glass’ Waiting for the Barbarians with the Austin Lyric Opera.
Ms. Zabala enjoys a vibrant and unique career that includes opera, song repertoire, new works, concert and oratorio. The 2014-15 season brought an exciting role debut as Joanna in Carly Simon’s opera Romulus Hunt with Nashville Opera and the world premiere of The Manchurian Candidate with Minnesota Opera, as well as concert appearances with the Jacksonville Symphony and the Winter Park Bach Festival for Mozart’s Requiem, the Minnesota Orchestra for Mahler’s Second Symphony, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Quad City Symphony, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Back Bay Chorale. Ms. Zabala also recently created the role of Sister James in Minnesota Opera’s world premiere of Doubt, and was seen as Cherubino in Florentine Opera’s Le nozze di Figaro. The 2015-2016 season includes returns to Arizona Opera as Paula in Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas, the New Jersey Symphony for Handel’s Messiah, the Quad City Symphony for Mahler’s Second Symphony, and her debut with Angels & Demons Productions as Cherubno in Le nozze di Figaro. Future seasons include the title role in Sister Carrie with Florentine Opera, Amore in L’abore di Diana and Lucy Talbot in Dinner at Eight both with Minnesota Opera.
Within the last few seasons, Ms. Zabala has been seen with Seattle Opera, Florentine Opera, Minnesota Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Saratoga, Minnesota Orchestra, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, the Madison Symphony, the New York Festival of Song, and at the Caramoor International Music Festival amonag others.
Recent highlights include Ms. Zabala’s European debut under Maestro Lorin Maazel as Mercedes in Carmen at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain, her Carnegie Hall debut on a concert with pianist and composer Gregg Kallor, premiering Exhilaration, Kallor’s settings of nine Emily Dickinson poems, her critically acclaimed portrayal of the Barbarian Girl in the American Premiere of Phillip Glass’ Waiting for the Barbarians with the Austin Lyric Opera, and appearing as the alto soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Bryn Terfel as Elijah.
She also made her Canadian debut with Opera Lyra Ottawa as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, sang the title role in La Cenerentola with the Atlanta Opera, returned to Opera Carolina as Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and celebrated the release and critical success of the compact disc Exhilaration: Dickinson and Yeats Songs. Opera News Online raved “Kallor has found a wonderful exponent in Adriana Zabala, a gifted, agile mezzo-soprano. Kallor knows how to make these words sing, and Zabala gives perfect flight to them. Singing with uncommon clarity and natural beauty, she seems to be deep inside both the poems and Kallor’s musical realizations.”
Recent engagements have included Hansel with Austin Lyric Opera, Dorabella with Opera Saratoga, Rosina with Sugar Creek Symphony and Song, a return engagement to the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Carmen and Salome, under the direction of Zubin Mehta, the role of Isabella Linton in Wuthering Heights with the Minnesota Opera, and a concert of Spanish songs on the Salzburg International Chamber Music series.
Ms. Zabala was born Georgia and raised in Miami, Caracas, Venezuela, and Lake Jackson, Texas. She received her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University, was a Fulbright Scholar in Salzburg, Austria, studying German Lieder at the Mozarteum, and earned her masters degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Ms. Zabala was a Resident Artist for two seasons with the Minnesota Opera, where she performed the roles of Cherubino, Annina, and Rosina, among others. She spent the following season as a Young Artist with the Seattle Opera, singing the title role in La Cenerentola. Ms. Zabala is an alumna of the apprentice programs at the Berkshire Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, Operafestival di Roma, and the Wolf Trap Opera Company. She Zabala lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two daughters.