SERENA SÁENZ has been lauded by the press for her “musicality, good taste in ornamentation and luminous high notes with a good arsenal of bel canto resources” (Scherzo). She is recipient of three prizes of the Operalia-2022 Competition in Riga, namely of the Second Prize of Plácido Domingo’s world opera competition, the Pepita Embil Prize of Zarzuela, and the Birgit Nilsson Prize.
In spite of her youth, Serena Sáenz is already a frequent guest at some of the most renowned opera houses in the world: she opened the 2022/23 season of the Gran Theatre del Liceu as Norina in a new production of Don Pasquale. After that Sáenz jumped in at Vienna State Opera’s production of Ariadne of Naxos. She also made her role debut as Lisa in a new production of La Sonnambula at the Teatro Real in Madrid. The soprano can also be heard as Frasquita in Carmen at the Staatsoper Berlin. In addition, numerous concert appearances are planned: The soprano sings Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Madrid, Mozart’s Requiem in Barcelona as well as Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Granada. She also performs at the Easter edition of the Castell de Peralada Festival in Spain.
Highlights of past seasons include performances as Nannetta in Falstaff, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte and as Clorinda in La Cenerentola. In 2021 the young artist made a phenomenal debut in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Gran Theatre del Liceu, where she returned later as Prilepa in The Queen of Spades and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Gustavo Dudamel. In 2021 Serena Sáenz won the 1rst prize and the Audience Prize at the Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition and was honoured with multiple prizes at both the Paris Opera Competition and the Francisco Viñas Competition Barcelona. In 2019, as a member of the Internationales Opernstudio Staatsoper Berlin, Serena appeared as Pamina in the premiere Yuval Sharon’s production of Die Zauberflöte, conducted by Alondra de la Parra. Subsequent appearances for the house included further performances of Pamina, and notable role debuts: Frasquita in Carmen and Waldvogel in Siegfried, both conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
Concert highlights include her recital debut and Carmina Burana (under the baton of Simon Halsey and Esteve Nabona) at the Palau de la Música Catalana; a Scarlatti programme with Accademia Bizantina at the Pierre Boulez-Saal; Mozart Mass in c Minor with Orquesta Sinfónica y Coro de RTVE conducted by Antonio Méndez and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Orquesta Sinfonica de Euskadi (The National Orchestra of Pais Baska) and Semyon Bychkov. In May 2022, she took over the soprano part in John Rutter’s composition of the biblical cantabile Magnificat with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester under the baton of Ivan Repušić.
Serena Sáenz was born in 1994 in Barcelona. She made her professional debut at the age of 13 in the children’s opera Brundibár by Hans Krása at the Gran Theatre del Liceu. Sáenz studied at the Liceu Conservatoire in Barcelona with Prof. Dolores Aldea and at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin with Prof. Anna Samuil. She participated in masterclasses with Mariella Devia, Niel Shicoff, Wolfram Rieger, Montserrat Caballé, Teresa Berganza, Dolora Zajick, and Riccardo Frizza. Alongside her musical studies, Serena trained in ballet and modern dance and has professional training as a fitness coach.