The German soprano, Julia Varady (real name, Tozser), was born in Romania to Hungarian parents. She began to study violin playing at the age of six, and four years later became member of the youth orchestra. Subsequently she studied singing at the George Dima Conservatory at Cluj and later with Emilia Popp.
Julia Varady made her operatic debut in 1962 at the Cluj Opera, where she sang until 1970. She also had many other operatic engagements as well as solo appearances with orchestras and in oratorios throughout Romania, Hungary and Yugoslavia. After achieving great success in a guest appearance in Italy, Julia Varady in 1970 settled in Frankfurt, where she was a member of the Frankfurt am Main Opera until 1972, and began a fast-rising international career. In 1972 she joined the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. In addition to many operatic and concert performances throughout Europe in a wide-ranging repertoire, she has won high critical accolades at the 1972 Munich Festival. In 1974 she made her British debut as Gluckís Alcestis with Glasgowís Scottish Opera during its visit to the Edinburgh Festival. She first appeared with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1976, in a concert of vocal music under the baton of Helmuth Rilling. She made her first appearance at the Salzburg Festival in 1976 as Mozartís Elettra. In October 1978 she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in New York as Mozartís Donna Elvira. In July 1978 she created the role of Cordelia in Aribert Reimannís Lear in Munich, and scored outstanding success. While continuing to sing in Munich, she also appeared as a guest artist in Hamburg, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, and other operatic centres. In 1987 she took part in the tour of Japan by the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, and in it sang Sieglinde in Wagner's Die Walküre. In 1995 she appeared at the Bastille Opera in Paris as Abigaille in Verdi's Nabucco.
Among her other roles are Countess Almaviva, Elisabeth de Valois, Tatiana, Desdemona, and Lady Macbeth. Her repertoire embraces all the Mozart and Verdi roles as well as those of Strauss and Wagner, but she also feels at home in operas by contemporary composers as Reimann. In 1974 she married Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.