Bio

Czech-American soprano Ema Katrovas was to debut in the 2020 season at the Smetanova Litomyšl Festival as the soprano soloist in the opera Jsem kněžna bláznů (I Am the Princess of Fools) by Lenka Nota and Olga Sommerová (moved to 2022). Her most recent projects involve the Gallery of Modern Art in Prague, for which she sang in the Light Underground Festival (2020) and for which she is currently participating in a video installation project involving the voice and dance (2021.) She is hard at work on a short musical film called Sentiment, built around a monodrama by composer Juliana Hall. She regularly performs with Duo KaM, which she founded in 2017 and which seeks to bring art song repertoire to the general public. 

Ema started out singing in Czech theaters and concerts halls, performing Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro (W.A. Mozart) with the Kammer Oper Prague (since 2014) and touring Germany and Austria as the First Lady in Die Zauberflöte with the F.X. Šalda Theater in Liberec (2015), with which she subsequently sang La Charmeuse in Massenet’s Thaïs (2016). In 2017, she debuted at the Silesian Theater in Opava as the First Nymph in Rusalka (A. Dvořák.) She regularly collaborates with various non-classical ensembles like the theatrical group Indigo Company (since 2016) or the Okamžitý Filmový Orchestr (OFO) conducted by Varhan Orchestrovič Bauer (2018 and 2019).

She received her Master’s from the Prague Academy of Music in 2017 and began her formal education at Western Michigan University where she was selected as the youngest singer to perform in La Traviata with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Raymond Harvey (2011).  She played various roles at the Prague Academy of Music, most notably Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (W.A. Mozart.) In 2011, she was selected for the Opera Works summer program. In the 2018/2019 season, Ema spent a year in Italy, where she perfected the roles of Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), Musetta (La Bohéme) and Zerlina (Don Giovanni).

She takes a strong interest in Baroque music. She studied at the Baroque School of Music in Holešov (2016 and 2017) where she was selected as a soloist in St. John’s Passion (J.S. Bach). She also studied at the Bach Meisterkurs 2017 in Leipzig. In the 2018/2019 seasons, she sang the role of Hébé and Amour in Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes with Ensemble OrQuesta in London. In 2020, she was selected as one of six participants by Thomas Quasthoff for his masterclass at the Bach Archiv in Leipzig. 

Ema has a natural affinity for New Music and enjoys working with living composers. During her undergraduate work, she premiered numerous works by her colleagues in the composition department. To perfect her interpretation of contemporary music, she took a year of composition classes during which time her composition was selected to be performed at WMU’s New Sounds Festival in 2013. She continued her work with living composers in the Czech Republic and performed with Ensemble Terrible (2017). In 2020, she studied with Sarah Maria Sun at the John Cage Institute in Halberstadt, where she placed second in the John Cage New Music Competition.

Ema is also interested in documenting the creative process and the lives of artists. To that end, in the summer of 2021, she had the opportunity to attend the academy of the Aix-en-Provence Festival as a cultural journalist.

Photo by Ilona Sochorová