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 will perform 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. Other future plans include her debut with the Bayreuth Festival in 2013 as Floßhilde in Wagner's Das Rheingold and as the First Norn and Floßhilde in Götterdämmerung and return dates at the Bavarian State Opera.
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 Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She has also appeared in the world premiere of Ed Rushton’s Die fromme Helene. Another highlight was her acclaimed performances as Erda in Wagner´s Das Rheingold. After her farewell performance as Maddalena in a Gala performance of Verdi´s Rigoletto, the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: “Okka von der Damerau, who will leave Hannover for the Bavarian State Opera, once again showed with her spectacular Maddalena what a loss this is for Hannover.”
Okka von der Damerau’s repertoire also includes the great mezzo-soprano and alto parts of the oratorio and of concert literature. In February 2006 she received the Special Prize of the Jury in the "Young Wagner Voices" competition which took place in Venice.