|Year of Birth:||1984|
Maria Katzarava (born 1984) is an opera singer from Mexico who achieved international fame by winning first place in the Operalia competition in the opera and zarzuela categories. Prior to this, she came to the attention of notable Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas, who helped her get a scholarship, and then won Mexico's Carlo Morelli national singing competition in 2005, which earned her a debut at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Since winning the Operalia competition, Katzarava has performed in Europe, where she currently lives, Asia and the Americas. She currently trains with soprano Mirella Freni.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Katzarava's full name is María Alejandra Katzarava Hernández. She comes from a family of musicians and doctors, the granddaughter of a professional baritone and the daughter of professional violinists. Her father, Archil Katzarava, is from Georgia (former Soviet Union) and her mother, Velia Hernández, Mexican. While pregnant with Maria, her mother attended all the concerts of Mexico's national orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, of which she was a violinist along with her husband.
At age three, her father began to teach her to play the violin, and later she began to learn piano along with her older sister Lela. At age eight she had her first concert as a violinist with the Orquestra Juvenil de la Escuela Nacional de Música. Katzarava continued to study the violin for 20 years, but in 2013, gave up the instrument because of the demands of her singing career, as she played only for her own pleasure. She continues to play the piano as part of her singing practice.