BIO || REPERTOIRE || RECORDINGS || ENGAGEMENTS
Soprano Dilara Unsal is praised for her sonorous, vibrant voice.
In Spring 2019, she sang two lead roles in New York City: Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore at Regina Opera and Amelia in Un Ballo at Amore Opera.
“In the role of Leonora, Dilara Unsal was often a source of great sonority; her Act one aria “Tacea la notte,” displaying a classic vocality as she highlighted phrases such as “like the fleeting image of a golden dream.” Rising to a fuller rejoicing, Unsal’s powerful cadenza saw her physically taken aback, creating the impression of breathlessness from her emotional outpouring. Her agile vocal leaps in and runs in the cabaletta “Di Tale amor,” however, proved she was anything but breathless. These qualities and more returned in Act four; joined by the plaintive lower woodwinds Unsal sighed away the phrases before her aria “D’amor sull’ali rosee,” which gave way to soft and sad ornaments. After resolving upon death to save Manrico, Unsal’s falling cadenza seemed to mourn all that she was losing before gorgeously rising above her sorrows.” – Logan Martell, Operawire
In 2018, Ms.Unsal performed Mimi in La Boheme, Amore Opera in New York. She made her role debut in Tosca with Amore Opera, sang Aida with the Regina Opera. A review of the Tosca described her as bringing “…all the passion and hot-blooded suspicion befitting the role of Floria Tosca, delivering a haunting rendition of “Vissi d’arte.””
Dilara Unsal was born in Mersin, Turkey. She received her degree from the Opera Studies Department of Istanbul University State Conservatory.
During her tenure there she was in Ayse Sezerman’s vocal studio and received the Conservatory’s High Achievement Award for Opera Studies. While still at the Conservatory, she performed Hannchen, her first leading role, in A. Lortzing’s Die Opernprobe with the Süreyya Opera. The following year, she received acclaim performing three additional roles with the same company: Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Konstanze in Mozart’s Die Entführungaus dem Serail, and Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata.
After graduating from the Conservatory, she performed several roles with the Istanbul Opera, including Mimi (La Boheme), Micaela (Carmen), Antonia (Les contes d‘Hoffmann), Züleyha (Yusuf ile Züleyha), Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), and, most importantly, Aida which remains her signature role. Her stage presence in these roles was called “mesmerizing.” Additionally she performed in concerts with the Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra.
In New York, Ms. Unsal worked with Trish McCaffrey, Mark Schnaible, and Mozart de Oliveira as she began to transition her repertoire from lyric soprano to lyric-spinto soprano. Currently she is transitioning again to more dramatic soprano repertoire. She made her New York debut with Manhattan Opera Studio Summer Festival as Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) followed by Gertrud (Hänsel und Gretel). Gertrud was also the role of her debut with the Chicago Summer Opera Festival. In 2017, she participated in a Gala Concert with the New York Lyric Opera at Carnegie Hall.
It is clear that Dilara Unsal is an exceptional rising star. She became Second Prize Winner in Lyra International Vocal Competition in 2018. Prior to that, she had received many accolades as finalist in the N.J. State Opera Alfredo Silipigni Vocal Competition, semi-finalist in Marcello Giordani’s International Vocal Competition, and semi-finalist in the Elizabeth Connell Competition for Dramatic Sopranos which is sponsored by the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation.
Currently she is focusing on adding the roles of Maddalena (Andrea Chenier), Sieglinde (Die Walküre), Elizabeth (Tannhäuser), and the title role in La Gioconda, along with other major roles in the dramatic soprano repertoire.