Regina Resnik is one among a very few artists who has enjoyed two internationally successful
singing careers, first as a soprano, and later as a mezzo-soprano. In both repertoires, she was
noted for her outstanding musicianship and superb dramatic abilities.
She was born in 1922 in New York to Russian immigrant parents. Preparing herself for a
singing career from an early age, she graduated from Hunter College in 1942. That same year,
she made her operatic debut with the New Opera Company in New York, and immediately set
off on a cross-country tour, performing a series of concerts under the auspices of Pryor Concert
She won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air in 1944, and made her Metropolitan
debut that same season as Leonora in Il Trovatore, replacing an indisposed Zinka Milanov. She
rapidly became established as a leading soprano both in the United States and Europe, with a
remarkable repertoire ranging from Micaela and Butterfly to Aida and Sieglinde. She sang the
role of Ellen Orford in the New York premiere of Britten's Peter Grimes.
By the mid-1950's, it became clear that her voice was taking on the darker, richer sound of
a mezzo-soprano. By 1957, she had learned a new repertoire, and was making her highly
successful debut at Covent Garden in the title role of Carmen. This was the beginning of a
second career in Europe, with performances in Stuttgart, Berlin, Paris and Vienna. She returned
to the Metropolitan Opera as Marina in Boris Godunov, and eventually completed thirty seasons
with that company. Her roles included Mistress Quickly, Amneris, Eboli, Herodias, Fricka,
Orlovsky, and the title role in Pique Dame.
In the 1970's, she began a third career as an opera director, and has directed productions with
opera companies around the world. She also conducts master classes at the Metropolitan,
San Francisco, Toronto, Paris, Venice, Treviso, and with the Curtis Institute of Music and the
Juilliard School of Music.
Among her many awards, Mme. Resnik has received honorary doctorates from Hunter College
and the New England Conservatory. She has served as a member of the jury of the Peabody
Awards for Radio and Television, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan