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Sam Smerkolje Award 2020

Sabina Cvilak

About Sabina

Maribor-born soprano Sabina Cvilak enrolled at the University of Music and Visual Arts in Graz, in the class of prof. Annemarie Zeller at the department of Solopetje, where she graduated with honors in 2004. Already during her studies, she won some competitions and became a regular guest at the city theater in Leoben, where she made her debut in Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro, Léhar's operetta Tsarjevič, Kálmán's operetta Countess Marica and Albert Lortzing's comic opera Wild Hunter.


She attracted public attention especially after her Viennese debut in Bloch's opera Macbeth, which was performed as part of the Vienna Festive Weeks. In the 2004/2005 season, she was a scholarship recipient of the Karajan Fund and a member of the Vienna State Opera, where she performed in the operas Daphne, Rhine Gold, Valkyrie, Twilight of the Gods, The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Aladdin, Love Potion, etc.


She performed the role of Liù from Puccini's opera Turandot at the Hamburg State Opera, and later also in Singapore and at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki. Among the more prominent roles are Micaëla from Bizet's opera Carmen, Fiordiligi in Mozart's opera Così fan tutte and Marguerite in Gounod's Faust (with the latter roles she made her debut at the Opera SNG Maribor). In the following years, she received excellent critical responses as Mimì in Puccini's opera La bohème, Liù in Turandot, Desdemona in Othello, Nedda in the opera I Pagliacci, Marinka in The Bartered Bride and for her solo parts in Mahler's Second and Eighth symphonies, in the German Requiem of Johannes Brahms, Britten's War Requiem, Strauss's Four Last Songs, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Bach's passions, Mozart's masses and other vocal-instrumental works. At the invitation of the famous tenor Plácido Domingo, she made her debut as Mimì at the National Opera in Washington in the 2007/2008 season and received excellent reviews; the success was followed by renewed invitations, namely for the roles of Liù and Micaële, which she also portrayed on the stage of the Los Angeles Opera.


In the 2010/2011 season, she performed as Mimì in the operas in Cologne, Palma de Mallorca, Helsinki and Hong Kong, as Desdemona in the Palm Beach Opera, as Mařenka in Valencia and as Micaëla in Pamplona. He collaborates with many symphony orchestras (Philharmonics in Monte Carlo, Dresden, Belgrade, Bratislava, Zagreb, Netherlands Philharmonic, National Orchestra of France, London Symphony Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, etc.), and is also a regular guest of many music festivals, such as the Vienna Celebration Days , festivals in Aix en Provence and in Savonlinna, as well as prominent music theaters and concert venues (Vienna State Opera, Theater an der Wien, Stadtstheater Wiesbaden, Hong Kong Opera, Malmö Opera, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Royal Albert Hall, London Barbican , Avery Fischer Hall in New York, etc.). After the successful performance of Rossini's Little Solemn Mass with the tenor Andrea Bocelli, she is a regular companion on his concert tours in Asia, Great Britain and elsewhere in Europe, recently they performed the opera Andrea Chenier in the Teatro silenzio where she performed as Maddalena. She also dabbles in more modern opera repertoire - she performed as Kitty in the opera Doctor Atomic by contemporary American composer John Adams and recently as Miriam in the new Slovenian opera Marpurgi in Maribor. She performed several newly created works as part of her solo concerts.

Her engagements include roles such as Thais (Thais), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Tatjana (Eugene Onegin), Elisbetta (Tannhäuser) and Cho-Cho-san (Madama Butterfly), Blanche de la Force (Conversations of the Carmelites), Freia (Gold of the Rhine), Sieglinde (Valkyrie), Gutrune (Twilight of the Gods), Arabella, Jenufa (Jenufa), Katja Kabanova, Maddalena (Andrea Chenier), Amelia (Simone Boccanegra), Kate (Titanic ), Marica (Countess Marica)

Sabina Cvilak is a permanent member, soloist  of the Maribor Opera Ensemble and recipient of the Glazer Award and the Prešeren Fund Award.

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