|Year of Birth:||1952|
Dolora Zajick (pronounced ZAH jick) (born 24 March 1952) is an American mezzo-soprano opera singer who specializes in the Verdian repertoire. Zajick has been described as having "one of the greatest voices in the history of opera".
Born in Salem, Oregon, but raised in Nevada, Zajick was a pre-med student at the University of Nevada, Reno and member of the Nevada Opera chorus, when her talent was first noticed. She studied voice with Ted Puffer, conductor of Nevada Opera, whom she credits with developing her vocal technique and guiding her in career moves, especially early in her performing career.
She graduated from the University of Nevada with a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in music before going to New York for further music studies at the Manhattan School of Music. In 1982 she won the Bronze Medal at the 7th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the only non-Soviet medalist that year and the first American musician to place in the contest in over twelve years. After this and graduating from the Manhattan School of Music, she was offered a place in the San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, she debuted with the San Francisco Opera as Azucena in Il Trovatore in 1986, which launched her to international acclaim.
In addition to the role of Azucena, Zajick is well known for her interpretations of Amneris and Eboli (in Verdi's Aida and Don Carlos respectively). Zajick has also performed in other Verdi roles, including Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. She has also appeared as the Princess in Cilèa's Adriana Lecouvreur, Marfa in Moussorgsky's Khovanshchina, Ježibaba in Dvořák's Rusalka, Joan of Arc in Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans, Santuzza in Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma, Dalila in Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila, the title role in Massenet's Hérodiade and Léonor in Donizetti's La favorite.