Born in Hamburg, Okka von der Damerau studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock, Germany, the Opernschule Stuttgart, and the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, graduating in 2006. While still studying, she already performed her first guest engagements with the Volkstheater Rostock and Theater Freiburg.
Ms. Von der Damerau made her debut at the Bavarian State Opera as the First Maid in Richard Strauss' Elektra in the 2008-09 season and has been a permanent member of the ensemble since the 2010-11 season. She has taken the stage at the Nationaltheater in Munich as Hänsel in Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel, Dryad in Richard Strauss´ Ariadne auf Naxos, Mary in Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer, La Voix de la Tombe in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann and Floßhilde in Wagner's Das Rheingold. She also sang Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Bavarian State Orchestra under Kent Nagano in concert at the Vatican in Rome.
In the 2012-13 season in Munich she performed roles such as Hänsel, the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Grimgerde in Wagner's Die Walküre, Suzuki in Puccini´s Madama Butterfly, Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos, Barmaid in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, Flower Girl in Wagner's Parsifal and Emilia in Verdi's Otello. She can also be heard as vocal soloist in performances by the Bavarian State Ballet, featuring Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.
At the Bayreuth Festival in 2013 she can be heard as Floßhilde in Das Rheingold and as the First Norn and Floßhilde in Götterdämmerung.
In the 2013-14 season in Munich she is featured with roles such as Charlotte in a new production of Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten, Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, and Mahler’s Third Symphony with the Bavarian State Orchestra under Kirill Petrenko. In future seasons she will debut with La Scala and Lyric Opera of Chicago.
In season 2006-07 Ms. von der Damerau joined the permanent ensemble of the Hannover State Opera, where she would remain through season 2009-10, singing roles such as Erda in Das Rheingold, Maddalena in Verdi´s Rigoletto, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte and Suzuki, the world premiere of Ed Rushton’s Die fromme Helene.
Okka von der Damerau’s repertoire also includes the great mezzo-soprano and alto parts of the oratorio and of concert literature. In 2013 she received the Festspielpreis of the Munchner Opernfestspiele for her exceptional performance in the previous year’s Opernfestspiele. In February 2006 she received the Special Prize of the Jury in the "Young Wagner Voices" competition which took place in Venice.