Daniela Dessì was born in Genoa, and completed her singing and piano studies at the Conservatory of Parma and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. After having won first prize in the international competition organized by RAI (Italian national radio and television) in 1980, she made her debut in concerts with Stabat Mater and the Petite messe solennelle by Rossini.
Daniela Dessì is particularly appreciated for her interpretations of Mozart's and Verdi's heroines, among which are: the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, both directed by Riccardo Muti at the Teatro alla Scala in Milano; Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni directed by Zubin Mehta at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito at the Salzburg Festival in 1992.
The most important opera by Verdi in which he has appeared was Don Carlos. He sang in this work both at the Vienna Opera House, conducted by Claudio Abbado, and at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, conducted by Riccardo Muti and directed by Franco Zeffirelli. The latter was with Luciano Pavarotti at the opening of the season 1992/1993. Dessì's American debut took place in 1992 with Pagliacci in Philadelphia, again, conducted by Riccardo Muti and with Luciano Pavarotti.
At the Arena di Verona Daniela Dessì sang in Otello with Placido Domingo in 1994, while from 1997 to 2001 she performed in Aida, Messa da Requiem, Tosca and Madama Butterfly and in 2003 sang in Tosca. In the 2006 she sang in the Arena in the role of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly .
At the Arena di Verona she won the 'Premio Zenatello' and she sang in november 2008 at the Teatro Filarmonico in occasion of a Puccini's arias concert for the 150th anniversary of his birth. At the Arena she sung in Tosca and she will be back for Aida in 2009 with her partner the tenor Fabio Armiliato