She was raised in a bicultural family by a georgian father, Archil Katzarava, and a mexican mother, Velia Hernández. Both of her parents are professional violinists who taught the soprano into that instrument at the age of three. Years later, Maria was taught piano, and this is how she became keen on both instruments.
At the age of fifteen the lyric soprano fell for opera and started private singing lessons, and at the age of seventeen began her formal vocal studies at the Superior School of Music in Mexico City.
The soprano also atended the Lycée Franco- Mexicain which made her fluent in french. She is a spanish native speaker who is also fluent in russian according to her father’s heritage. Katzarava is also keen on italian and english thanks to her further studies.
In the year 2008 she became a member of the Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artists Program. As the recipient of the Ramón Vargas-Pro Opera scholarship for distinguished young singers, she studied with Maestro Gabriel Mijares as well as with Mr. Vargas, and has appeared with the famed tenor in Mexico City’s Nezahualcóyotl Hall with the Mineria Symphony Orchestra, and again at the Palacio de Bellas Artes with the Opera Symphony Orchestra.
Katzarava has also sung with world known tenor Plácido Domingo in the year 2009, who also conducted her at the 'Operalia World Competition' in 2008, and again in the year 2014 next to Andrea Bocelli, with whom she shared two concerts in Italy and Estonia this past summer.
Maria Katzarava made her debut in 2006 in Mexico City at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, in the role of Stéphano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, featuring Rolando Villazón and Anna Netrebko.
The soprano made her european debut as Juliette in St. Etienne, France, in 2009, and in that same year she sang her first performances of Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto with the Teatro Regio of Parma on their tour to China first, and afterwards in Mexico. Other past engagements include her debut at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples as Valencienne in The Merry Widow.
The role of Juliette in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette played a significant role in Maria Katzarava’s first stages of her career. In the 2010-2011 season, Katzarava made her debut in this role at the Royal Opera House -Covent Garden-, in performances conducted by Daniel Oren and subsequently made her debut with this same role at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Opéra de Lausanne, Florida Grand Opera, Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, St. Etienne, and her further and outstanding debut in the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow.
Other important roles that distinguished Katzarava in the beginning of her career are Puccini’s Musetta; Bellini’s Amina; Beethoven’s Marzelline and Donizetti’s Lucia, among others.
Later on, and as a natural development of her lyrical voice, Maria Katzarava sang the first Violetta of her career at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in 2013. She was hailed as a brilliant new discovery in the role. In the spring of 2013 she returned to the Florida Grand Opera for their production of La Traviata. During the 2012/2013 season Katzarava also made her debut at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari as Isabella in Daniel Auber’s rarely performed masterpiece La Muette de Portici. In July of 2013 she debuted at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari singing her first Suzel in Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz. She also joined the Teatro alla Scala on their tour to Japan where she sang Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto.
Engagements for the 2013/2014 season included outstanding debuts in roles like Nedda in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci at the Fondazione Sinfonica Petruzzelli in Bari; Manon in Massenet's opera at Palacio de Bellas Artes; an outrageous debut as Liù in Puccini's Turandot at Teatro Lirico di Cagliari and an extraordinary Mimì in Puccini´s La Bohéme, all of which have become her latest signature roles.
Maria Katzarava´s agenda in 2015 included her brilliant debuts in the roles of Antonia, Giulietta and Stella in Les Contes d'Hoffmann by Offenbach in Piacenza, Modena and Reggio Emilia; her debut in the Teatro Manzoni in Bologna with R. Strauss´s Four last songs, conducted by Michele Mariotti; her debut as Micaëla in Bizet´s Carmen at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa; Verdi´s La Traviata at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico; her return to to the role of Liù in Puccini´s Turandot, at the Terme di Caracalla; a concert with Andrea Bocelli in Florence conducted by Zubin Mehta; Verdi´s Requiem conducted by Plácido Domingo in México DC; Fidelio, by Beethoven, at the Opera Carolina (USA); a concert alongside Plácido Domingo to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Spanish singer´s debut in Mexico; her debut in Spain with Donizetti´s Il Duca d'Alba at the Oviedo Opera and her first Violetta (La Traviata) in Italy at the Teatro Verdi in Padua; in 2016 has debuted at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona with her first Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, has sung Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen at Teatro Comunale in Bologona, has travelled to Moscow for a one-off performance with Zubin Mehta, has done a tour with the popular tenor Andrea Bocelli which took the young soprano to Bombay (India, also with Zubin Mehta conducting before an audience of 80,000 people at a concert which celebrates Mehta’s 80th Birthday), Abu Dhabi, Manila, Tokyo and Seoul; has debuted at Musikverein in Vienna alongside Juan Diego Flórez; has performed her first Marguerite in Faust, by Gounod, in Lausanne; Beethoven´s Ninth Symphony at the Saint Denis Festival with the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michele Mariotti; and a tour in Mexico (Palacio de Bellas Artes and Teatro Pablo de Villavicenzio) with La voix humaine, by Poulenc. In August she made her debut at Festival de Peralada (Spain) as Liù in Puccini's Turandot and in September her debut as Cio-Cio San in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, where she has returned later to sing Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen; Katzarava ended the year in Mexico for a recording of Florencia en el Amazonas, by Daniel Catán.
In 2017 she has made her debut in the prestigious Rosenblatt Recitals cycle in Londonand has sung her first Lina (Stiffelio, de Verdi) at Konzerthaus in Berlín.
Maria Katzarava won her first opera award at the age of eighteen, being honored with the most important national competitions in Mexico such as the “Maritza Alemán Award” and the “Carlo Morelli Award”.
Afterwards, the soprano came to international attention when she won in 2008 the “First Prize” and the “Zarzuela Prize” at the “Placido Domingo Operalia World Competition”. She was also honored with other major awards like the “Carlo Bergonzi Prize” at the Francisco Viñas International Competition; the “Oscar della Lirica” at Arena di Verona in 2010 and she was recently awarded at the “Miami Life Awards” as “Best Female Singer of 2014”.
The soprano Maria Katzarava´s diary is full to the brim with professional engagements as she continues to garner triumphs and capture the hearts of opera-goers throughout the world with her performances.
The soprano Maria Katzarava´s diary is full to the brim with professional engagements as she continues to garner triumphs and capture the hearts of opera-goers throughout the world with her performances. 2016 was studded with debuts in her repertoire, such as her first Desdemona in Otello (Verdi) at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, her debut as Liù in Turandot at the Castell de Peralada Festival (Spain), the leading female roles in Florencia en el Amazonas (D. Catán) and La voix humaine (Poulenc) in Mexico and her long-awaited version of Madama Butterfly at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo (Italy). New challenges continue to appear for the Mexican-Georgian singer in 2017: she began the year with a debut at the prestigious Rosenblatt Recitals in London and singing her first Lina (Stiffelio, Verdi) at the Berlin Konzerthaus, engagements which are followed by a concert at the Beethoven Saal in Stuttgart (Germany), her first Tosca, by Puccini, at the Opéra de Tours (France), a Verdi Requiem alongside the Balearic Symphony Orchestra in Palma de Majorca (Spain), her return to Mexico as Liù in Turandot and in concert alongside the Chilean soprano Verónica Villarroel, a concert in Isola del Liri (Italy), Stiffelio at the Teatro Regio de Parma (Italy) and Die Fledermaus at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari (Italy). This season continues to be particularly active for this acclaimed singer, who won the 2008 Operalia Competition, which is presided over by Plácido Domingo.
Liú, recreated by a subtle and confident María Katzarava, with clean high notes, was another of the evening´s triumphs
-----El Periodico de Catalunya-----
Maria Katzarava´s Liù was truly outstanding. A complete artist, with an attractive tone and sensitive phrasing, she seeks to nuance every word with real control. She has an innate stage presence.
Maria Katzarava´s Liù won the audience over with her quality, talent and personality. Her pianissimos are solid and well resolved.
The festival had a top notch vocal christening thanks to Maria Katzarava´s moving Liù, in a traditional theatrical version.
Magnificent, with an intense and characterful voice, Maria Katzarava´s Liù broke the ice during the first act with the applause for Signore ascolta.
The Mexican Maria Katzarava was the big discovery of the evening, with a voice which was totally suited to the extremely delicate and charming personality of Liù, who has the most emotionally charged parts of the opera, beginning with the aria in the first act and especially in the third act, with the romantic intervention of the aria which precedes “Tu che di gel sei cinta”, which is extremely and unbelievably moving. Katzarava easily hurdled the challenges of the score, which demands continuous pianissimi and messa di voce, suggesting that she is currently one of the best prepared sopranos for this type of repertoire.
-----Revista Musical Catalana-----
The Mexican singer´s debut in the role of Liù could not have been more brilliant. Her delicate singing was full of nuance and she had great dramatic weight on stage, making the most out of all her appearances in the three acts.
Maria Katzarava´s Liù was memorable, with her profoundly delicate phrasing. It was obvious that this role fits her vocal tessiture and dramatic temperament like a glove.
Maria Katzarava´s Marguerite unleashed a battle between the forces of love and evil; her high notes are meaty, radiant and seductive; her presence swings between a childlike purity and a feminine generosity. The Mexican soprano gives us a heroine who is a moving as she is exemplary...
Maria Katzarava´s Marguerite was a welcome surprise. Winner of the Plácido Domingo Prize in 2008 and a soprano with a great register and with refined high notes, we were lucky enough to see and appreciate her in her great scenes. A magnificent choice!
Marguerite had excellent vocal and dramatic quality, sung by the radiant and moving voice of Maria Katzarava
Maria Katzarava´s rich and dense tone is not that of an ingénue, but her voice is infinitely moving
The Mexican soprano Maria Katzarava gave us an impressive Marguerite, with marvellously energetic and elegant singing, disciplined and with passionate expression. Her excellent French pronunciation as well as her careful respect for the style further enhanced her performance. A vocally flawless interpretation of a role of great difficulty
The most interesting element in the new cast, which was very different from that which had been advertised at the beginning of the season, was the Mexican soprano Maria Katzarava..., who blossomed vocally from the second act. Her voice is fresh and secure in its projection, thanks to a very attractive tone which will undoubtedly take her very far in her career
-----Marcelo Cervelló / ÓPERA ACTUAL-----
The Mexican soprano Maria Katzarava lent Desdemona her dense and rich tone, sensual and luminous, which is perfect for the wife of the Moor; the first duet was marvellous “Già nella note densa” which she performed with an infinite number of nuances. She also has mastery of magnificently differentiated phrasing, with gorgeous piano in the willow aria, as well as a tear-jerking Ave Maria
-----Emmanuel Andrieru / Qlassiquenews-----
The Mexican soprano with Georgian roots, Maria Katzarava, outshone the rest of the cast in her debut at the Liceu. Hers is a generous instrument, lyrical, full-bodied and with attractive dark overtones, a homogeneous register, secure high notes, a fleshy centre. She knew how to shine every time she sang and ended the fourth act with a flawless willow song and a convincing and technically irreproachable Ave Maria
-----Jordi Maddaleno / Platea Magazine-----
Maria Katzarava´s young, fresh voice and wide tessitura made for a Desdemona that was as delicate as she was characterful. Her dynamics were generous and well executed and her phrasing was spontaneous and expressive, very rich from a theatrical point of view. She always moved with conviction and her tone stood out both in the quartet and the septet, always measuring her strength and applying beautiful colours to her voice. As with the first cast, Desdemona prevailed here
-----Pablo Meléndez-Haddad / ABC-----
Maria Katzarava, was a first rate Violetta: with fiery stage presence, vibrant, passionate and effective...
María Katzarava made her debut in Oviedo as Amelia d'Egmont, a complex role both from a dramatic as well as a vocal point of view, which Katzarava attacked with severity, ease in the high notes and a tone with a very definite dramatic colour in the middle register of her voice.
The surprise for the audience was the Mexican soprano María Katzarava, at Campoamor for the first time. Her Amelia d'Egmont had a huge dramatic presence, which she added to by building the role with a voice which is blessed with an especially fortunate tessitura both in the high notes and in the middle, with breadth of emission, and a tone with beautiful dramatic accents. Quite a discovery!
-----La Nueva España-----
The Mexican soprano Katzarava, who was making her debut, was perfect for the role. She had beautiful colour, clear diction, a wide range of shading and, above all, stage presence which eclipsed the rest of the cast. We will have to follow "la Katzarava" from now on as she has a great career ahead of her.
-----Pablo Siana Blog-----
María Katzarava in the role of Amelia was the best thing of the evening[...] in a very demanding role musically, with its high notes, but also in the way it constantly goes back to an uncomfortable medium and low register, always very risky for a soprano of these characteristics to control, yet Katzarava managed without problems
That which remains, nonetheless, an honest voice... is Maria Katzarava's Liù: moving and histrionic both her singing and her overcome movements, she deserves a podium of honor just for herself.
Maria Katzarava's Liù belongs to a refined singer, a pure voice with an infallible technique: outstanding.
The suggestive interpretation of Maria Katzarava's Liù, shined with her voice and her personality dominated the scene at all times.
Maria Katzarava has performed a Liù worth to be remembered. With her voice, she earned a standing ovation that embraced the hole stage.
-----Giornale dell Umbria-----
Ella se impone vocalmente como una consumada artista de nivel internacional, idiomática, con dominio completo de su instrumento, agudos vibrantes y una musicalidad que me hizo recordar a la gran soprano española Victoria de los Ángeles. Sólo con su famosa aria “Je veux vivre” despertó la ovación...
La soprano María Katzarava, quien realiza el papel de Julieta en la obra Romeo & Julieta, impartió una master class para alumnos de la Facultad de Música de la UANL como parte del programa Opera Nuevo León, reafirmando su compromiso por realizar una labor didáctica para apoyar a las nuevas...
... Un bel timbro e da un grande temperamento che le ha permesso di padroneggiare la scena dando vita ad una credibilissima Nedda.
Una Nedda di intensa tenerezza
è María Katzarava.
-----Franco Chieco/ Contrapunto-----
Tra i cantanti, splendide le prove del soprano Maria Katzarava (Elvire).
The title roles were suitably cast with young singers. The 27-year-old Mexican soprano María Katzarava appeared as Juliette.Her power and technique were impressive, and she charmed with the subtlety of her phrasing.
Simon Boccanegra (Verdi) - Opéra de Lausanne (Switzerland) - June 3, 6, 8, 10
Giovanna d’Arco (Verdi) - Konzerthaus Berlin (Germany) - March 5
Il Trovatore (Verdi) - Teatro Verdi, Trieste (Italy) - January 19
Die Fledermaus (Strauss II) - Teatro Petruzzelli, Bari (Italy) - December 13, 15, 19 , 20
Il Trovatore (Verdi) - Teatro Verdi, Padova (Italy) - October 15, 27, 29
Stiffelio - Teatro Regio, Parma - September 30 & October 6, 13, 21
Edith Piaf Tour - Lunario del Auditorio Nacional (Ciudad de Mexico) - August 10, 11, 12 & 13
Recital - La Escena vocal - Montevideo (Uruguay) - August 1
Lied Concert - Helsinki - July 18
Il segreto di Susanna (Wolf-Ferrari) - Teatro San Carlo, Naples - June 24, 25
Benefit Concert: Maria Katzarava & Rocío Tamez - Isola del Liri (Italy) - June 22
Benefit Concert: Verónica Villarroel, Maria Katzarava, Rocío Tamez, Maribel Villarroel - Teatro de la Ciudad (Mexico) - June 10
Turandot - Teatro Bellas Artes, CD de México
Verdi's Requiem - Orquesta Sinfónica de Baleares - Pablo Mielgo: Conductor - Auditorium, Palma de Majorca - May 18
Benefit Concert: Verónica Villarroel, Nancy Fabiola Herrera & Maria Katzarava.
Aula Magna de la Universidad de Los Andes, Santiago de Chile - May 10
Concert - Stuttgart - April 8
Tosca (Puccini) - Opéra de Tours (France) - April 2 / April 27
Stiffelio (Verdi) - Konzerthaus Berlin - February 1
La voix humaine (Poulenc) - Álamos (Mexico) - January 22
Concert - Wigmore Hall, London (England) - January 10
Charity concert - LIFE Victoria - Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain - December 21th
Carmen - Teatro Massimo - Palermo, Italy - November 26th, 30th - December 2nd, 4th
Charity concert - LIFE Victoria - Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain - December 21th
Florencia en el Amazonas -Teatro de las Artes del CENART - Ciudad de México, Mesxico - October 12th
Florencia en el Amazonas - Festival Quimera - Metepec, Mexico - October 11th
Florencia en el Amazonas - Teatro Elisa Carillo - Texcoco, Mexico - October 8th, 9th
Charity concert - Fundación Centro Cultural el Tecolote - Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico - October 4th
La voix humaine - Monterrey, Mexico - September 30th
Madama Butterfly by G. Puccini (Cio-Cio San) - Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Italy - September 17, 20, 23, 25
TURANDOT, BY PUCCINI (LIÙ) - FESTIVAL CASTELL PERALADA - AUGUST 6 & 8
LA VOIX HUMAINE, BY POULENC - Teatro Pablo de Villavicencio, Culiacán - JULY 7, 9
LA VOIX HUMAINE, BY POULENC - Teatro Bellas artes, Ciudad de Mexico - JULY 4
Beethoven's Symphony N. 9 - Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France conducted by Michele Mariotti - June 23TH, 24TH, Festival de Saint Denis
Gounod's Faust (Marguerite) - Opéra de Lausanne, Switzerland - June 5, 8, 10, 12
MARIA KATZARAVA & ANDREA BOCELLI IN CONCERT - Olympic Park Gymnastics Stadium, Seoul (Corea) - May 1
MARIA KATZARAVA & ANDREA BOCELLI IN CONCERT - Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo (Japan) - April 28
MARIA KATZARAVA & ANDREA BOCELLI IN CONCERT - SM CITY MALL of Asia, Manila (Philippines) - April 26
Opera Gala "Juan Diego Flórez & Friends": Juan Diego Flórez, Maria Katzarava, Nadine Sierra, Silvia Tro Santafé, Erwin Schrott, Simón Orfila. O. Sinfónica de las Islas Baleares. Pablo Mielgo, conductor - Musikverein, Vienna - April 23
MARIA KATZARAVA & ANDREA BOCELLI IN CONCERT - Du Arena, Abu Dhabi - APRIL 22
MARIA KATZARAVA & ANDREA BOCELLI IN CONCERT - CONDUCTOR: ZUBIN MEHTA - Brabourne Stadium, MUMBAI - APRIL 20
Aida by G. Verdi (Sacerdotessa) - Conductor: Zubin Mehta, Tchaikovsky Hall - Moscow, Russia - March 30
Carmen by G. Bizet (Micaëla) - Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Italy - March 18, 20, 22, 24, 26
OTELLO by Verdi - January 27, 31 - February 4, 5, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Spain
LA TRAVIATA by Verdi - December 27TH, 29TH, Teatro Verdi, Padova, Italy
Il duca d'Alba by Donizetti (AMELIA) 13TH, 15TH, 17TH and 19TH - Teatro Campoamor, Oviedo, Spain
Plácido Domingo & María Katzarava in Concert - November 10TH, Auditorio Nacional, México DF
Concert - Verdi's Requiem, Conductor: Plácido Domingo, Mexico City
Concert with Andrea Bocelli,
Conductor: Zubin Mehta,
Turandot (Liù) - August 2nd, Tenor: Andrea Bocelli, Conductor: Zubin Mehta, Teatro del silenzio, Lajatico, Tuscany, Italy
Puccini's Turandot (Liù) June/ July/ August - Terme di Caracalla, Rome, Italy
Verdi's La Traviata (Violetta) 7TH, 9TH and 14TH of June - Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City
BIZET'S CARMEN (MICAËLA) 9TH, 12TH AND 17TH OF MAY - TEATRO CARLO FELICE DI GENOVA, ITALY
Rossini's Stabat Mater, Bari, Italy
‘FOUR LAST SONGS’ COMPOSED BY R. STRAUSS in Bologna, Italy
Roméo et Juliette (Juliette) - Ópera de Monterrey, Mexico
Concert with pianist Hélène Blanic. Festival Internacional Cervantino, Mexico
Palacio de Bellas Artes, Gala Concert with Tenor Francisco Araiza, Mexico
Beethoven's 9th Symphony with MINERIA’S SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA, Mexico
Puccini's Turandot (Liù)- Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Italy
Leoncavallo's Pagliacci (Nedda) - Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari, Italy
Massenet's Manon (Manon) - Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico
Puccini's la Bohème (Mimì) - Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico
Verdi's Rigoletto (Gilda)- Teatro Bicentenario, Leon, Mexico
Verdi's Rigoletto (Gilda)- Teatro alla Scala tournée to Japan
Verdi's la Traviata (Violetta) - Florida Grand Opera, USA
La Muette de Portici, Auber (Elvire) - Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari, Italy
Verdi's la Traviata (Violetta)- Grand Théâtre de Genève, Switzerland
Concert with TENOR Ramón Vargas - Luzern, Switzerland
Concert - Opéra Théâtre Saint Etienne, France
Concert with tenor Ramón Vargas - Luzern, Switzerland
Donizetti's Elisir d'amore (Adina) with Tenor Ramón Vargas - Teatro Bicentenario, León, México
Roméo et Juliette, Gounod (Juliette) - Florida Grand Opera, USA
Roméo et Juliette, GOUNOD (Juliette) San Antonio Opera, USA
Roméo et Juliette, GOUNOD (Juliette) - Teatro Alla Scala, Italy
Gounod's Roméo et Juliette (Juliette) - Opéra de Lausanne, Switzerland
Gounod's Roméo et Juliette (Juliette) - Royal Opera House. Covent Garden, UK
Rigoletto, Verdi (Gilda) - Teatro di Parma Tournée to Beijing
LÉHAR'S THE MERRY WIDOW (Valencienne) - Teatro di Napoli, Italy
Gounod's Roméo et Juliette (Juliette) - Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, Italy
Gounod's Roméo et Juliette (Juliette) - Tchaikovsky Hall Moscow, Russia
Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor (Lucia) - Florida Grand Opera, USA
Concert with Tenor Plácido Domingo - Mexico City
Verdi's Rigoletto (Gilda)- Teatro di Parma Tournée to Beijing
Gounod's Roméo et Juliette (Juliette) - Opéra Théâtre Saint Etienne, France
Gala Concert - Konzerthaus in Berlin, Germany
Operalia Competition - Québec, Canada