Vivica Genaux

Voice/Instrument: Mezzo soprano


Vivica Genaux (born in Fairbanks, Alaska) is an American mezzo-soprano. Her father, an American of Belgian-Welsh descent, was a biochemistry professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and her mother, Mexican-born of Swiss-German extraction, was a language teacher. She has sung in major operas such as The Barber of Seville at the Metropolitan Opera, L'italiana in Algeri at Opéra National de Paris, and La Cenerentola with Dallas Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper.

Education and singing career

Ms. Genaux studied with the late Nicola Rossi-Lemeni and Virginia Zeani at Indiana University Bloomington and currently studies with Claudia Pinza (daughter of bass Ezio Pinza). She began her professional career specializing in charming portrayals of Rossini comic heroines (Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri, Angelina in La Cenerentola). She has performed these roles more than two hundred times with many of the major U.S. opera companies (including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, San Diego, and Pittsburgh Operas), as well as in Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, Dresden, Munich, Montreal, Tel Aviv, Verona, Santiago and Perth.

Her role as the hero in Handel's "Arminio" was her first baroque role, and she continues to expand her repertoire, which currently includes 28 roles, 20 of which are pants roles (a woman—often a mezzo-soprano—playing a male character).


Prior career highlights have included: Brussels (La Monnaie) and Paris (Champs-Elysées) for Hasse’s Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra, led by long-time mentor, conductor René Jacobs; the recently rediscovered Alessandro Scarlatti oratorio La Santissima Trinità in Paris, Palermo and Lyon, which marked her first collaboration with Fabio Biondi and his Europa Galante; Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice at the Los Angeles Opera; a Weill Hall recital at New York’s Carnegie Hall; Rosinas at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper and the Metropolitan Opera; the Opéra National de Paris (Barbiere and Alcina); a concert at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin with René Jacobs and the Akademie für Alte Musik performing music from their “Arias for Farinelli” CD; Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Paris and Hong Kong with Kurt Masur and the Orchestre National de France; Rinaldo in Montpellier and Innsbruck; Minnesota Opera for Lucrezia Borgia, I Capuleti ed i Montecchi and Semiramide; Urbain in Les Huguenots for the opening of the new opera house in Bilbao; Hassem in Donizetti’s Alahor in Granata in Seville; Selimo in Hasse’s Solimano at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin; Juno/Ino in Handel's Semele at New York City Opera; and seven appearances at the Caramoor Festival. 

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