Cora Burggraaf mezzo soprano

The Dutch mezzo soprano Cora Burggraaf graduated with distiction at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. She continued her studies in London at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. She has been the recipient of many prizes, including the 2009 VSCD New Generation Award, the 2009/10 ECHO Rising Star Award, the Elizabeth Everts Prize 2006. Maria Acda, Phyllis Ferwerda, Meinard Kraak, Bert Luppes, John Copley, Margreet Honig en Sasja Hunnego had a major impact on her development as a singer.

Burggraaf’s first role after finishing her studies was Bella in Tippett’s Midsummer Marriage at the Royal Opera House in London, after which she sang roles as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at San Fransisco Opera and Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the Netherlands Opera.
In 2006 she made the change from soprano roles to mezzosoprano roles, after which she continued to sing Stéphano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, next to Rolando Villazon and later Anna Netrebko in the Salzburg Festival and Teatro alla Scala in Milan. She also sang Cherubino, Hänsel, Dorabella; and Eva in the world premiere of Eötvös’ Die Tragödie des Teufels at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.
She was a guest at several festivals including the BBC Proms, the Operadagen Rotterdam and the Gergiev Festival, and worked with conductors including Seiji Osawa, Yannick Nézet-Seguin, Jan Willem de Vriend, Phillippe Herreweghe, Jaap van Zweden, HK Gruber and many others.

She has worked with all the Dutch orchestras, among which a recent debut at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and concerts with the great Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. She toured extensively with Poulenc's La voix humaine in recent seasons, as with a theatrical programme with Calefax Reed Quintet: 'The Roaring Twenties' which also came out on CD.

Besides music, she also has a passion for theater, and in the last few years she has taken steps to explore it further. Together with Mirjam Koen and Gerrit Timmers at OT Theater, she made the solo performance Ophelia, in which she combined a spoken monologue (especially written for her by Dutch writer Bernlef) with songs about Hamlet’s Ophelia. She also played in performances with Theater Artemis directed by Floor Huygen; en with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra she sang Poulenc’s La voix humaine, which was very well received in the press. And in The Roaring Twenties, a very succesful project with Calefax Reed Quintet (of which the CD has recently been released), she also shows her theatrical streak in songs by Kurt Weill, among others. Her most recent endeavour was a staged version of Weill's Seven Deadly Sins' which was combined with newly written monologues by eminent Dutch writers.

Cora Burggraaf is a noted recitalist and appeared in major concert halls such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall London (this season with The Roaring Twenties and Calefax), and the Frick Collection in New York. She is very interested in finding new ways of presenting the lied repertoire; she enjoys the experiment and is known for her innovative way of programming.