Designation ceremony of Ms Violeta Urmana as a UNESCO Artist for Peace
The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova will designate the famous Lithuanian opera singer, Ms Violeta Urmana as a UNESCO Artist for Peace. This title will be bestowed upon Ms Urmana in recognition of her unerring efforts to promote culture as a vehicle for dialogue and mutual understanding, her dedication to issues that are in line with UNESCO’s Global Priority Africa, and her profound commitment to the ideals and aims of the Organization.
Born in Lithuania, Violeta Urmana is one of the most highly sought-after singers of dramatic German and Italian repertoire.
At the very beginning of her career, Violeta Urmana made a name for herself worldwide as a highly acclaimed Kundry in Parsifal and as Eboli. In recent years she has played such parts as Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Leonora in La Forza del Destino, Lady in Macbeth, Odabella in Attila, the title roles of Aida, La Gioconda, Medea, Tosca, Norma, Iphigénie en Tauride and Ariadne auf Naxos, Brünnhilde in Siegfried, Sieglinde in Die Walküre and Isolde.
Violeta Urmana is a regular guest at the world’s major opera houses - the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Opéra National de Paris, Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Vienna State Opera, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London - and at the festivals of Bayreuth, Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, Edinburgh and the BBC Proms.
She has worked with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Bertrand de Billy, Pierre Boulez, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, James Conlon, James Levine, Jesús López Cobos, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Sir Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Franz Welser-Möst and Christian Thielemann.
As a highly acclaimed concert and recital singer Violeta Urmana performs music by Mahler, Richard Strauss, Schoenberg, Berlioz, Wagner and Verdi in the most famous concert halls of Europe, the United States of America and Japan.
Among her future plans are Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana in Milan and New York, a song recital at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Eboli in Don Carlo in Buenos Aires, Santuzza in New York, Kundry in Parsifal and Amneris in Aida in Vienna, Judit in concert performances of Duke Bluebeard’s castle in Vienna, Amneris at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as many concerts throughout Europe.
Many CD and DVD recordings document her career: La Gioconda, Il Trovatore, Oberto, Un Ballo in Maschera, Aida, La Forza del Destino, Macbeth, Don Carlo, Andrea Chenier, Siegfried, Parsifal, Cavalleria Rusticana, Verdi’s Requiem singing both the soprano and alto part, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Rückert-Lieder, Zemlinsky’s Maeterlinck-Lieder, Berlioz’ La mort de Cléopâtre, Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Stravinsky’s Rossignol, songs by R. Strauss, Berg, Liszt and her CD Puccini ritrovato. She is Kundry in Tony Palmer’s film The Search for the Holy Grail.
Violeta Urmana has received many awards: in London the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for singers, in Vienna the title Österreichische Kammersängerin. Her homeland of Lithuania has given her its most important award: the order, third class, "Grand Duke Gedeminas of Lithuania". The Lithuanian University for Music and Theatre in Vilnius has awarded her an honorary degree.
In 2014 she was awarded the Commendatore dell'Ordine della Stella d'Italia by the Italian State President Giorgio Napolitano.