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Elena Obraztsova (Mezzo-soprano)

Biography


ELENA OBRAZTSOVA is the first Russian singer since Fyodor Chaliapin to become one of opera’s greatest stars. Ms. Obraztsova has performed on the most celebrated opera stages of the world: the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theatres, La Scala, El Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Grand Opera, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, and the San Francisco Opera; she has performed and collaborated with many of the worlds most famous singers like Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Mirella Freni, Renata Scotto, Carlo Bergonzi, Fedora Barbieri, Nikolai Giuselev, Montserrat Caballe...
She has performed under the most prominent opera and symphony orchestra conductors, including Herbert von Karajan, Ricardo Mutti, Lorin Maazel, and Claudio Abbado.
Elena Obraztsova graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1964. While still a student she debuted on December 17, 1963 at the Bolshoi Theatre in the role of Marina Mnishek in Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov.
In 1962, Ms. Obraztsova was awarded Gold Medals at competitions in Helsinki and Moscow. In 1970 she won two major international competitions in Moscow (Tchaikovsky Competition) and Barcelona (Francisco Viñas Competition). Maria Callas was the Chairwoman of the Jury at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
Elena Obraztsova has performed the leading mezzo-sopranos roles on the world’s most famous opera stages: Marina Mnishek in Boris Godunov, Polina and the Countess in the Queen of Spades, Princess Mary and Helene Bezrukova in War and Peace, Amneris in Aida, Marfa in Khovanshchina, the Princess in Adriana Lecouvreur, Carmen in Carmen, Azucena in Il Travodore, Dalila in Samson and Dalila, Lyubov in Sadko, and many, many more.
Elena Obraztsova has performed in Tokyo, Osaka, Budapest, Vienna, Milan, New York, Washington, Wiesbaden, Marseille, Barcelona, San Francisco, London, Los Angeles, Lisbon, Paris, Rome and many other cities of the world. She has received all of the highest awards of the USSR and Russia, as well as, many prestigious awards from other countries.

Graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1964. While still a student she debuted on December 17, 1963 at the Bolshoi Theatre in the role of Marina Mnishek in Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov.
In 1973-94, she taught at the Moscow State Conservatoire.
In 2007-08, Elena Obraztsova was artistic director of the Opera Company of St. Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Theatre.

Repertoire

At the Bolshoi Theatre:
Marina Mnishek (Boris Godunov)
Polina, the Governess, the Countess (The Queen of Spades)
Marya (Prokofiev’s War and Peace)
Amneris (Aida)
Oberon (Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Lyubasha (The Tsar’s Bride)
Konchakovna (Prince Igor)
Marfa (Khovanshchina)
Frosya (Prokofiev’s Semyon Kotko)
Helene Bezukhova (War and Peace)
Azucena (Il Trovatore)
Eboli (Don Carlos)
Carmen (Carmen)
Zhenya Komelkova (Molchanov’s Quiet Are the Dawns Here)
Judith (Bartok’s Count Bluebeard’s Castle)
Lyubava (Sadko)
Ulrica (Un Ballo in Maschera)
Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana)
Charlotta (Werther)

Also in repertoire:
Princess de Bouillon (Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur)
Adalgisa (Norma)
Giovanna Seymour (Anna Bolena)
Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice)
Neris (Cherubini’s Medea)
Leonora (Donizetti’s La Favorita)
The Princess (Suor Angelica)
Dalila (Samson et Dalila)
Herodias (Salome)
Jocasta (Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex)
Silvana (Respighi’s La Fiamma)
Akhrosimova (War and Peace)
Babulenka (The Gambler)

In 1986, she made her debut as stage director at the Bolshoi Theahtre (Werther).

Tours

Ms. Obraztsova has performed on the most celebrated opera stages of the world:
Opera du Marseille (debut in 1973 — Carmen)
Teatro Liceo in Barcelona (debut in 1974 — Dalila)
Vienna State Opera (debut in 1975 — Carmen)
San Francisco Opera (debut in 1975 — Azucena)
La Scala (debut in 1976 — Charlotta)
Metropolitan Opera (debut in 1976 — Amneris)
Covent Garden (debut in 1981 — Azucena)
Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires (debut in 1982 — Marfa)

She has performed under the most prominent opera and symphony orchestra conductors, including Herbert von Karajan, Ricardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Claudio Abbado, Giuseppe Sinopoli, James Levine, Daniel Barenboim, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Yuri Temirkanov, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Fedoseyev and others.
She has performed and collaborated with many of the worlds most famous singers like Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Mirella Freni, Joan Sutherland, Leontyne Price, Renata Scotto, Carlo Bergonzi, Alfredo Kraus, Fedora Barbieri, Montserrat Caballe...

Awards

In 1962, Ms. Obraztsova was awarded Gold Medals at competitions in Helsinki and Moscow. In 1970 she won two major international competitions in Moscow (Tchaikovsky Competition) and Barcelona (Francisco Vinas Competition).
She has received all of the highest awards of the USSR and Russia, as well as, many prestigious awards from other countries.


Died on 12 January 2015.





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