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Elena Obraztsova, one of most famous operatic stars.

Great Russian women - Elena Obraztsova

Elena Obraztsova

Elena Obraztsova is one of opera's greatest stars famous for her beautiful mezzo-soprano and impassioned performance.

Obraztsova was born in Leningrad (Saint-Petersburg) in 1939. As a child she lived there when the siege began in autumn 1941 and later was evacuated with her Mom and grandma across Ladoga lake to a small town Ustjuzhnu of the Vologda.

Little Elena was raised in a musical family; she was fond of music since the early childhood. She started singing at the age of 5, was a member of children's chorus of the Leningrad Palace of Pioneers, where the family returned after evacuation.

Later she studied in Taganrog and Rostov-on-Don's music schools as the family moved places because of the father's job. In August 1958 Yelena Obraztsova passed the examinations and became a student at Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in Leningrad. 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.

Her introduction to the opera houses of Europe and the world was a recital in the Salle Pleyel in Paris. During her career, Elena Obraztsova has mastered more than twenty operatic roles; 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 more. Elena 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 world's most famous singers like Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Mirella Freni, Renata Scotto, Carlo Bergonzi, Fedora Barbieri, Nikolai Giuselev, Montserrat Caballe...

Elena Obraztsova used to be an artistic director of opera at the Mikhaylovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and is now coaching young soloists in her own cultural center in St. Petersburg.

She has received all of the highest awards of the USSR and Russia including Honoured Artist of the RSFSR, People's Artist of USSR titles, Lenin Prize, Order of Lenin, Order of Merit for the Fatherland 2nd and 3rd classes, etc, as well as, many prestigious awards from other countries.


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