Spinto soprano 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 Entführung aus 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), Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Züleyha (Yusuf ile Züleyha), 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.
Four years ago, Dilara relocated to the United States. When she first arrived in New York, she 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. She recently made her role debut in Tosca with Amore Opera in New York and has just sung Aida with the Regina Opera, also in New York. 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.”
It is clear that Dilara is an exceptional rising star. Just this past year she 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 concentrating 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. A very successful and exciting career is now in front of her.