Eva Marton (born in Budapest June 18, 1943) is a Hungarian dramatic soprano, particularly known for her operatic portrayals of Puccini's Turandot and Tosca, and Wagnerian roles.
She studied voice at the Franz Liszt Academy. She made her professional debut as Kate Pinkerton in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at Hungary's Margaret Island summer festival. At the Hungarian State Opera, she made her debut as Queen of Shemaka in Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel in 1968.
In 1972, she was invited by Christoph von Dohnányi to make her debut as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro at the Frankfurt Opera. That same year, she sang Matilde in Rossini's William Tell in Florence, conducted by Riccardo Muti. She also returned to Budapest to sing Odabella in Verdi's Attila. In 1973, Marton made her debut at the Vienna State Opera in Puccini's Tosca. In 1977, she sang at the Hamburg State Opera, in the role of the Empress in Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten, and made her San Francisco Opera debut in the title role of Verdi's Aïda. In 1978, Marton made her debut at La Scala in Milan as Leonora in Verdi's Il trovatore. She debuted at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1979 as Maddalena in Giordano's Andrea Chénier.
In 1981, she performed at the Munich Opera Festival in the title role of Die ägyptische Helena by Strauss, Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting. She sang the role of Leonore in Beethoven's Fidelio in 1982 and 1983, both performances conducted by Lorin Maazel.
In 1976, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in New York in the role of Eva in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. At the Bayreuth Festival she sang both Elisabeth and Venus in Tannhäuser in 1977-1978. Marton later became a frequent interpreter of the role of Brünnhilde in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. She performed in the complete Zubin Mehta-led Ring cycle at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1996. In 1998, she appeared in a new production of Lohengrin at the Hamburg State Opera, portraying Ortrud.
Marton first sang the title role of Puccini's last opera, Turandot,
at the Vienna State Opera in 1983. It became a role with which she has
been closely identified. Since 1983, she has performed the role over
a hundred times including at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Arena di
Verona, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington Opera,
Opera Company of Boston under Sarah Caldwell (in
1983), Barcelona, and Houston Grand Opera. She has also portrayed Turandot
in six television and video productions, including a Vienna State Opera
production directed by Harold
Prince, a Metropolitan Opera production created by Franco Zeffirelli
production and a production designed by David Hockney filmed at the
San Francisco Opera. She also sang the role at the Aurora Opera house
in Gozo, Malta. She has recorded Turandot twice (audio CD), conducted
first by Lorin Maazel and later Roberto Abbado.
Marton received the Persian Golden Lioness Lifetime Achievement Award in operatic music from The World Academy of Arts, Literature and Media - WAALM in 2006.
-- Names which are links in this box and throughout this webpage refer to my interviews elsewhere on my website. BD
Eva Marton at Lyric Opera of Chicago
1979 - Andrea Chénier (Maddalena) with Domingo, Bruson, Sharon Graham/White, Kuhlmann, Voketaitis, Gordon; Bartoletti, Gobbi, Saamaritani
1980 - Lohengrin (Elsa) with Johns, Martin, Roar, Sotin, Monk; Janowski, Oswald (Dir & Des), Schuler (lights - for all productions listed here)
[Photo of Marton as Elsa in this production with Johns interview]
1981 - Fidelio (Leonora) with Vickers, Roar, Plishka/Macurdy, Hynes, Hoback, Kavrakos/Del Carlo; Kuhn, Hotter
1982 - Tosca (Tosca) with Luchetti, Wixell/Nimsgern, Kavrakos, Tajo, Andreolli, Cook; Rudel, Gobbi, Pizzi
1984 - Frau ohne Schatten (Empress) with Johns, Nimsgern, Zschau, Dunn, Devlin; Janowski, Corsaro, Chase
1989-90 [Opening Night] - Tosca (Tosca) with Giacomini/Jóhannsson, Nimsgern, Runey, Tajo, Andreolli; Bartoletti, Gobbi/de Tomasi, Pizzi
1991-92 - Turandot (Turandot) with Bartolini, Mazzaria, Kavrakos; Bartoletti, Farlow, Hockney
1992-93 - Elektra (Elektra) with Secunde, Rysanek, Johnson, Busse; Slatkin, Friederich, Schavernoch
1993-94 - Walküre (Brünnhilde) with Morris, Jerusalem, Kiberg, Lipovšek, Hölle; Mehta, Everding, Conklin
1994-95 - Siegfried (Brünnhilde) with Jerusalem, Morris, Clark, Wlaschiha, Maultsby, Halfvarson; Mehta, Everding, Conklin
1995-96 - Götterdämmerung (Brünnhilde) with Jerusalem, Salminen, Lipovšek/Maultsby, Held, Wlaschiha; Mehta, Everding, Conklin
Ring Cycle with cast as above, except Elming (Siegmund), Salminen (Hunding)
A little over nine years later, in January of 1992, we met again, this time at her hotel. We had set up the appointment on the phone, and when I arrived she told me, “You have a very good voice! When I heard you on the phone, I thought, as we say in Germany, he is ein Geborener, he is born for this job, to be vocal! The voice is very positive, how you speak.” I thanked her for the lovely compliment, and after a bit more chit-chat, I mentioned that the Chicago area had quite a large group who were originally from Hungary. That is where we pick up the conversation . . . . .
© 1982 & 1992 Bruce Duffie
These conversations were recorded in Chicago on October 28, 1982, and January 23, 1992. The first interview was transcribed and published in Wagner News in November, 1984. Portions of the second interview were broadcast on WNIB in 1992, 1993, 1996, 1998, and 1999. This transcription was made in 2018, and posted on this website at that time. My thanks to British soprano Una Barry for her help in preparing this website presentation.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.