Ruxandra Donose


Among the most renowned singers of her generation, Ruxandra Donose has captured critical and popular acclaim in leading opera houses and concert halls around the world. Particularly associated with Mozart and French lyric repertoire, she has transitioned in recent years to the German dramatic repertoire, enjoying huge successes as Kundry Parsifal, with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic; both Sieglinde Die Walküre with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski and Fricka in a new Ring Cycle in Geneva; Elektra in Manfred Trojan’s Orest at Opernhaus Zurich and Wiener Staatsoper; and Judith Bluebeard’s Castle with the Bamberg Symphony and Adam Fischer.

The 2023/24 season sees Donose return to San Francisco Opera as the Waitress in Kaija Saariaho’s hugely acclaimed opera Innocence conducted by Clément Mao-Takacs. On the concert platform she joins the NHK Symphony Orchestra; and Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe for Mahler Symphony No.2 conducted by Georg Fritzsch.

Among Donose’s recent successes are her debut at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma as Calpurnia in the world premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s Julius Ceasar, under the baton of Daniele Gatti and Laura La Gioconda alongside Joseph Calleja at the Grange Park Festival. On the concert platform, highlights include Mahler Das Lied von der Erde with the Dresden Philharmonic for under the baton of Vasily Petrenko; Wagner Wesendonck Lieder the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ilyich Rivas and Concepción L’heure espagnole with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Karl-Heinz Steffens.

Further recent engagements Alcina Orlando Furioso at Teatro Real de Madrid; Elektra in Marco Arturo Marelli’s production of Orest with Wiener Staatsoper; her debut as Fricka in Dieter Dorn’s production of the Ring Cycle at Grand Théâtre de Genève; Sieglinde Die Walküre with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra; Bluebeard’s Castle with the Bamberg Symphony conducted by Adam Fischer; the title role of Norma at Opéra de Rouen and Adalgisa in a new production in Geneva; Jocasta in Enescu’s Oedipe at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest and the Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski; Eboli Don Carlo at Grange Park; Eduige Rodelinda at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Further highlights include Arsace Semiramide in Lyon and Paris; Komponist Ariadne auf Naxos and Donna Elvira Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera House and Deutsche Oper Berlin; Carmen in the UK premiere of Calixto Bieito’s production at ENO and in Cincinnati; the title role of La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein in Geneva; Idamante Idomeneo at the Ravinia Festival with James Conlon and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Octavian Der Rosenkavalier at Bayerische Staatsoper, Bolshoi and Cincinnati Opera; Dorabella Così fan Tutte for LA Opera and Spoleto; Tamiri in a new production of Vivaldi´s Il Farnace in Paris, Strasbourg and Mulhouse; and Marguerite La Damnation de Faust in Seattle.

Donose has appeared with many leading orchestras worldwide, and remains in high demand as on the concert platform. Recent concert engagements include a New Year’s Eve Concert with Westdeutscher Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra and Cristian Măcelaru; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Philharmonia Orchestra and at the Tanglewood Festival; Sieglinde in a semi-staged concerts of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Royal Festival Hall; La mort de Cléopâtre with the Philharmonia Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Das Lied von der Erde at the Enescu Festival; Mozart Requiem with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Verdi Requiem with the Czech Philharmonic and Fabio Luisi; Les nuits d’été on European tour with Liège Philharmonie; Rossini Stabat Mater at Royal Festival Hall with London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin; L’heure espagnole with London Symphony Orchestra and Josep Pons at the Barbican; and a Rosenblatt recital at the Wigmore Hall. A highly revered interpreter of Marguerite La Damnation de Faust, the role has featured prominently in her concert career, including performances with the Berlin Sinfonie-Orchester, Berlin Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich, Orchestre National du Capitôle in both Toulouse and Valencia; Orchestre de Paris; Cleveland Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, and as the vehicle for her Verbier Festival debut.

Highly acclaimed roles include Charlotte Werther (Royal Opera House, Deutsche Oper Berlin), Cenerentola (Glyndebourne Festival, Liege, Deutsche Oper Berlin), Sesto Giulio Cesare (Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, San Francisco Opera, Vienna State Opera), Nicklausse Tales of Hoffman (Royal Opera House, The Met, San Francisco Opera, Opera de Paris), Komponist Ariadne aux Naxos (Royal Opera House, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Philadelphia), Concepcion L’heure espagnole (Royal Opera House), Octavian Der Rosenkavalier (Bayerische Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper Berlin). In 2008 she premiered the The Fly at Los Angeles Opera.

Her most recent recordings include Arminio for Decca, Tamerlano for Naïve and Caldara’s rediscovered opera La concordia dei Pianeti for Deutsche Grammophon, as well as her first solo album Romance. Further discography includes Schubert’s Ständchen (Philips), Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with Giuseppe Sinopoli (Deutsche Grammophon), Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Michael Halasz (Naxos), Bach’s Mass in B minor with Sergiu Celibidache, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Béla Drahos (Naxos), Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Bertrand de Billy (Arte Nova), La Cenerentola (DVD, Opus Arte), Oedipe (Naxos), Songs by Nicolae Bretan (Nimbus) and Vivaldi´s Il Farnace (EMI/Virgin).


JUNE 21 2024

The Waitress, Innocence; San Francisco Opera

San Francisco, CA, United States

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The Romanian mezzo Ruxandra Donose is nothing short of superb as the disruptive seductress Princess Eboli, scattering sinuous charm on her playful “Veil” song and fire and brimstone when it comes to her vengeance and remorse.

The Telegraph

Ruxandra Donose has a caressing, velvety-smooth voice, and a way of harnessing her stage energy to a point of stillness that makes her mesmerizing


Ruxandra Donose is an unexpected Kundry but really moving. She brilliantly exploits all facets of this complex character, a kind of Mary Magdalene doubled by a female version of the Wandering Jew, a bruised and cursed creature. Vocally, the Romanian mezzo-soprano adapts herself to all the transformations of the role, with the same valiance as her partners.

Forum Opera

Contralto Ruxandra Donose in the part of Calpurnia displayed an impressive degree of vocal agility with her well-crafted and emotionally intense phrasing, as she pushed her voice upwards towards its limits, skillfully highlighting her anxiety which, at times, bordered on hysteria.


Princess Eboli’s O don fatale is one of the great arias for a dramatic mezzo in any opera: Ruxandra Donose nailed it, with plenty of feeling injected into a voice whose timbre is particularly smooth at the top.


Ruxandra Donose, a mezzo Sieglinde, offered a counterpoint to the men’s antler-locking: her singing combined a sweetly shaded clarity with a layer of fragility that ensured the audience was properly concerned for her wellbeing.



Handel: Tamerlano
Caldara: La concordia de' pianeti
Dvořák: Stabat Mater
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde