Daniel Ochoa’s artistic versatility has earned him an excellent reputation on the opera stage as well as on the concert scene, where he is highly in demand. In late 2020 he sang his Hamburg Elbphilharmonie début under the baton of Thomas Hengelbrock; in 2021, he will perform for the first time at the Stuttgart Music Festival in collaboration with conductor Hans-Christoph Rademann. His engagements in 2021/2022 take him to Oslo, Luxembourg, Vianna, Athens, and Madrid, along with a first performance at Zurich Opera singing Bach’s Magnificat conducted by Riccardo Minasi. Further appearances this season include recitals of Schubert’s Winterreise at the Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, as well as Orff’s Carmina Burana under the baton of Hansjörg Albrecht at the Munich Isarphilharmonie.
Born in the German Democratic Republic as the son of a German mother and a father from Equatorial Guinea, Daniel Ochoa discovered his passion for singing when he became a member of the children’s radio choir in his hometown of Leipzig at the age of five. Ochoa studied the voice at three music universities (Rostock, Leipzig, and Berlin), and sought further counsel and inspiration from leading artists including Anthony Baldwin, Hans-Joachim Beyer, Matthias Goerne, Thomas Quasthoff, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Each one of them uniquely encouraged Daniel to place his outstanding voice in the service of music and text – a maxim to which he has held true in every one of his performances.
Daniel Ochoa masters a broad repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to contemporary music; as a native of Leipzig, he feels a particular affinity with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is often called upon to perform works by Bach in collaboration with the Dresden Kreuzchor (Christmas Oratorio), the Leipzig St. Thomas Choir (St John Passion), the Munich Bach Choir (Mass in B Minor), the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble (Magnificat) and the Gaechinger Cantorey (St John Passion).
After initial engagements in the roles of Don Giovanni, Figaro (Barbiere), and Ottokar (Freischütz) for several opera companies (Dresden, Hamburg, Altenburg/Gera, Bad Lauchstädt, and Flensburg), Daniel Ochoa was engaged from 2012 to 2017 as a member of the permanent ensemble of soloists of Vienna Volksoper, where he covered such roles as the Count (Mozart’s Figaro and Lortzing’s Wildschütz), Barbiere, don Giovanni, Marcello (La Bohème) and the baritone part in Carmina Burana (the latter on over 20 occasions). During this period, he gained valuable artistic experience and inspiration by working with opera staging directors including Brigitte Fassbaender, Achim Freyer, Marco Arturo Marelli, and Rolando Villazón.
In 2018, Daniel Ochoa left the Vienna opera ensemble to devote himself more intensely to concert projects: ever since then, he has performed Telemann cantatas at the Semper Opera in Dresden, Brahms’s Liebesliederwalzer at Hamburg State Opera, Mendelssohn’s Elias at the Cologne Philharmonie, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Concertgebouw in Bruges, and Bach’s Mass in B Minor at the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. His engagements have led him far beyond the borders of Europe: for instance, a recital with opera arias in Taipei, and a performance of Britten’s War Requiem in Cape Town.
Ochoa has felt particularly enriched and inspired by working with outstanding conductors including Herbert Blomstedt (in Nielsen’s 3rd Symphony), Reinhard Goebel (Bach cantatas), Howard Griffiths (songs and arias from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess), Helmuth Rilling (St John Passion), and Paul McCreesh (Mendelssohn’s First Walpurgis Night).
Lied has always been one of Daniel Ochoa’s preferred genres: he loves the challenge of captivating the audience from the first to the last note almost exclusively by means of the voice, inviting them to explore the miniature world created in each gem of artsong. After his first Lied recitals at the Schumann Haus in Leipzig, he went on to perform at a series of local Leipzig festivals (the Mendelssohn Festival and the Max Reger Festival), and, finally, at the Gewandhaus (Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer) and Hamburg State Opera (Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder). In 2018 he participated in an acclaimed CD recording of Gregor Meyer’s arrangement of Schubert’s Winterreise for baritone, piano, and mixed choir.
During cultural lockdown due to the pandemic, Ochoa discovered his talent for teaching and decided to engage himself further in this new direction. His heartfelt goal is to communicate a profound joy of living to his students through music and the voice. Apart from his regular work for the Lower Austrian Vocal Academy, Ochoa is increasingly sought after as a private vocal coach. His artistic activities are likewise documented on a number of award-winning CD recordings.
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