Maria Taytakova is a versatile Slovak soprano performing at international opera and concert stages. She graduated from the Bratislava Conservatoire in vocal and opera studies (prof. Jarmila Smyčková/Zuzana Stankociová) and from the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica in vocal interpretation (prof. Eva Blahová). Further, she continued in doctoral studies at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica (prof. Mária Tomanová) focusing on French lyric opera. During her studies she received several rewards including a scholarship from the The International Holland Music Sessions and a double dean’s prize from the Faculty of Performing Arts of the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica. In addition, she participated in numerous master classes given by recognized singers such as Mirella Freni, Raina Kabaivanska, Cristina Deutekom, Eva Marton, Sona Ghazarian, Thomas Hampson, Antonio Carangelo, Peter Dvorský and others. She was a laureate of the Antonín Dvořák International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic) and a finalist of the M. Schneider-Trnavský International Singing Competition in Trnava (Slovakia). Already during her studies she presented herself at the professional music scene within the Chamber Opera in Bratislava, the Slovak National Theatre, the New Slovak Music festival, and cooperated with Capella Istropolitana and Chorus Angelorum Ensemble.
Maria Taytakova made her stage debut in a leading role as Lucia (G. Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor) at the State Theatre Košice (Slovakia) in 2009. This was followed by the roles of Musetta (G. Puccini: La Bohème) and Gilda (G. Verdi: Rigoletto) at Italian and Austrian stages. On her portrayal of Gilda (G. Verdi: Rigoletto) – performed at the Klassik Festival Schloss Kirchstetten – critics highlighted her “perfect mastery of coloraturas together with dramatic culminations” (Der Neue Merker, 3.8.2013), and appreciated also her role interpretation due to its “immense thoroughness, depth and full-blown drama” (Café Momus, 28.9.2013). Afterwards she was offered the role of Adina (G. Donizetti: L’elisir d’amore) at the same festival in Austria. Her Adina caught the attention by an “excellent role shaping” (Café Momus 20.8.2015) and by her “wonderful, agile soprano with a sonorous middle register, magnificent legato and sparkling coloraturas” (Hintermayer Music, 2.8.2015). In the next period she sang the roles of Najade (R. Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos) and Oberto (G. F. Händel: Alcina) at the State Theatre Košice (Slovakia). The critics appreciated her “flawless coloraturas” (Operaplus.cz, 28.2.2016), and highlighted also her “colourful and round voice” (Operaplus.cz, 11.10.2017) in the guest performance at the Estate Theatre Prague (Czech republic).
Further, Maria Taytakova performed the role of Piramo (J. A. Hasse: Piramo e Tisbe) at the TEATRO BAROCCO in Stift Altenburg (Austria) and in the Schlosstheater Laxenburg bei Wien (Austria). In her interpretation of Piramo she “shined through the versatile expression of her soprano” (Der Neue Merker, 9.7.2016). The critics also pointed out her “elegantly guided voice” with a “silvery sound” (Kurier, 27.6.2016). The Piramo e Tisbe production by TEATRO BAROCCO was nominated for the Austrian Music Theater Prize 2017. Afterwards, she prepared the role of Violetta (G. Verdi: La Traviata) for the series of opera gala within the Mythos Opera Festival (Italy), sang the roles of Pamina (W. A. Mozart: Zauberflöte) and Zerlina (Mozart: Don Giovanni) at the opera studio in Banská Bystrica (Slovakia), and the role of Rosetta (G. A. Benda: Il buon marito) at the TEATRO BAROCCO in Baden bei Wien (Austria). In the opera Il Buon marito she “drew a fine figure as a powerfully witty Rosetta” (Wiener Zeitung, 16.7.2019) and “impressed both by her voice and acting skills through her distinctive comedic play” (Online Merker, 15.7.2019). The critics also highlighted her “expressive and with many nuances wonderfully phrasing soprano” (Opera Online, 17.7.2019).
Besides the theatre productions Maria Taytakova regularly performs at concert stages both with opera and chamber music repertoire. She presented herself at numerous concerts, galas and recitals in Slovakia, Czech republic, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Croatia and Japan. Major events include Gran Galà Verdiano at the Summer Festival in Empoli (Italy), Operngala: Veni-Vidi-Verdi in Seitenstetten (Austria), Grosse Operngala: Glanzstücke der Oper and Gala at the Klassik Festival Schloss Kirchstetten (Austria), Trnava Music Spring Festival (Slovakia), Verdi-Galas in Munich and Stuttgart (Germany), “Le donne di Donizetti” and “Belcantissimo” galas at the Klassik Festival Schloss Kirchstetten (Austria), Mythos Opera Festival (Italy), a concert tour with the Veneto Philharmonic (Italy), and a concert tour with the Czech Philharmonic Collegium (Japan) during which she performed in thirteen Japanese cities. Critics at the Grosse Operngala in Austria wrote about her concert performance: “The soprano has a beautiful voice like a dream with many colors, coloratura skills, spinto qualities” (Hintermayer Music, September 28, 2015). A recent performance at a concert in Jazovia, Poland, received equally positive reviews: “Maria Taytakova, a brilliant artist. Something beautiful, unseen, unusual. …the songs sounded like in a dream, so easy, so smooth ” (Centrum Kultury Jazovia, 6.12.2021).
Maria Taytakova is an enthusiast of chamber music and enjoys performing vocal pieces in cooperation with diverse musical instruments or ensembles. She also likes to discover forgotten or little-played works, or compositions by contemporary authors. Within the chamber music she specializes in the interpretation of songs from the late 19th Century to the contemporary music from the Slovak, French and German provenance (Fauré, Duparc, Debussy, Strauss, Berg, Schönberg, Poulenc, Milhaud, Messiaen). In particular, she focuses on the presentation of vocal works by Slovak composers (Bella, Schneider-Trnavský, Moyzes, Suchoň, Jurovský, Holoubek, Kardoš, Zimmer, Zeljenka, Hrušovský, Martinček).
In 2021, her profile CD – IMPRESSIONS / Songs – recorded in cooperation with renowned Slovak pianist Ladislav Fanzowitz was released. The recording presents Slovak songwriting in the broader context of European chamber vocal music. The dramaturgy includes three song cycles of representatives of Slovak musical modernity – Ladislav Holoubek, Dezider Kardo and Ján Zimmer – in confrontation with vocal works by Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy, Henri Duparc, Alban Berg and Olivier Messiaen.