Dolora Zajick is an American mezzo-soprano who specializes in the Verdian repertoire. Zajick is arguably the leading exponent in the dramatic Verdian mezzo-soprano repertoire in the world today and has been described as having “one of the greatest voices in the history of opera”.
Oregon-born but Nevada-raised, Zajick studied voice with Ted Puffer, 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. After winning the Bronze Medal at the 7th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and being accepted in the San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, she debuted with the San Francisco Opera as Azucena in Il trovatore which launched her to international stardom.
In addition to the role of Azucena, Zajick is well known for her interpretations of Amneris and Eboli. 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 Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur, Marfa in Moussorgsky's Khovanshchina, Jezibaba in Dvořák's Rusalka, Joan in Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans, Santuzza in Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma. In 2005, she created the role of Elvira Griffiths in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. In recent years she made her Wagnerian debut as Ortrud in Lohengrin with Los Angeles Opera under the baton of James Conlon, and as The Old Countess in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades also at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.