Estonian soprano Maria Valdmaa is acclaimed in both historical and contemporary repertoire and has performed as a soloist across Europe. Her voice has been described by critics as “natural and exceptionally beautifully coloured”.
Her recent engagements include Händel’s Israel in Egypt with Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Concerto Copenhagen, Bach’s Magnificat with Le Concert Lorrain, Mahler’s 4th Symphony and Haydn’s Scena di Berenice with Riga Sinfonietta (Tõnu Kaljuste), Bach’s Johannes-Passion (Daniel Reuss) and Händel’s Dixit Dominus (Risto Joost). In 2014 she won the Michael Oliver Prize and the audience prize (Michael Normington Prize) at the Handel Singing Competition, London and in 2013 the second prize in the baroque singing competition Premio Fatima Terzo; Vicenza, Italy.
Maria has a particular interest in the music of Arvo Pärt and has repeatedly been invited to perform as part of the Pärt Days Festival, led by Tõnu Kaljuste – as the soprano soloist in Pärt’s Adam’s Passion (staged by Robert Wilson), Stabat mater, and Sarah was Ninety Years Old.
On the opera stage, Maria has performed to critical acclaim, with audiences enjoying her “flawless technique and exquisite musical taste” (Sirp, The Enlightened Disciple of Darkness) and on occasions her “comic charm” (Bachtrack, Semele, London Handel Festival), making her work both appealing and memorable. Her roles have included Angelica (Händel’s Orlando), Zerlina (Mozart’s Don Giovanni – Opera2Day), Euridice (Peri’s Euridice – Christina Pluhar), Gasparina (Haydn’s La Canterina – Sigiswald Kuijken), and the leading role in the premiere of Dominy Clements’ The Enlightened Disciple of Darkness, staged by Giuseppe Frigeni.
She appeared as a soloist on the recording of Händel’s Israel in Egypt with Le Concert Lorrain and the Dutch Chamber Choir under the direction of Roy Goodman. As an ensemble singer she works regularly with Vox Luminis (Lionel Meunier) and Het Nederlands Kamerkoor.
Before her singing career, Maria Valdmaa studied Estonian Linguistics and Literature at Tallinn University. She continued her education at the Royal Conservatoire, the Hague, obtaining Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Early Music and Historical Performance Practice. Here she studied with Barbara Pearson, as well as leading specialists in the field including Jill Feldman, Michael Chance, Peter Kooij and Vitali Rozynko.