Borodina sang brilliantly and together with Gergiev’s equally melodious and gentle orchestra she formed a magnificent duet. Borodina performed naturally, in her own manner… the image emerged from her sense of confidence, her irresistible nature and her sense of power...
Saint-Saëns’ heroine requires special qualities of timbre and the ability to change the ‘temperature’ of the singing in an instant – from passionate heat to icy cunning. Borodina has all of this, the nobleness and purity of her voice sometimes making those who listen to her Dalila to lose themselves. She is very good indeed – even too good for such a terrible character.
They listened to her magical mezzo-soprano voice as if enchanted. This magnificent voice sounded even, intense and true.
Grammy-award winning mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina is a star of the Mariinsky Theatre, regularly appearing at major opera houses and with great orchestras around the world. A winner of the Rosa Ponselle and Barcelona competitions, Olga Borodina made her highly acclaimed European debut at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1992, sharing the stage with Plácido Domingo in Samson et Dalila – a performance that launched her international solo career as one of the most sought after mezzos for her repertoire.
Olga Borodina returned to Covent Garden in La Cenerentola, as Marguérite in La Damnation de Faust with Sir Colin Davis, as Marina in Boris Godunov, Marfa in Khovanshchina, Amneris in Aida and, most recently, as the Princesse de Bouillon in McVicker’s celebrated new production of Adriana Lecouvreur alongside Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kauffmann.
Borodina made her American debut in 1995 at the San Francisco Opera in La Cenerentola, returning in 1996 for Carmen, The Tsar’s Bride in 2000, Samson et Dalila in 2001, L’italiana in Algeri in 2005 and Samson et Dalila again in 2006. Borodina made her long- awaited Metropolitan Opera debut in Boris Godunov (1997) and returned to the Metropolitan Opera for the opening night of the 1998-99 season in Samson et Dalila with Plácido Domingo under James Levine. Subsequent engagements at the Metropolitan Opera have included Amneris in Aida, Carmen, Samson et Dalila, Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri, La Gioconda, Eboli in Don Carlo and the Princesse de Bouillon in Adriana Lecouvreur together with Plácido Domingo, and as Marguerite in Robert Lepage’s production of La Damnation de Faust. The New York Times hailed Borodina’s performance as Marfa in Khovanshchina, saying that “Ms Borodina made the cavernous Met feel tiny” (New York Times, 28 February 2012).
Her recital appearances with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under James Levine at Carnegie Hall have included Scheherazade, Verdi’s Requiem and La Mort de Cléopâtre, the latter of which was also recorded live at the Vienna Musikverein with the Wiener Philharmonic and Gergiev for Decca. Borodina has also appeared with the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors performing Songs and Dances of Death at the BBC Proms with Valery Gergiev and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, at the Bastille with Conlon, with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Rostropovich in Amsterdam and the Royal Festival Hall in London. Other concert engagements have included Roméo et Juliette, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Pulcinella, Ivan the Terrible and Alexander Nevsky.
In recital, Olga Borodina has performed at venues throughout the world including London (Wigmore Hall and the Barbican Centre), Milan (La Scala), Vienna (Konzerthaus), San Francisco (Davies Symphony Hall), Rome (Accademia di Santa Cecilia), Geneva (Grand Théâtre), Hamburg (Staatsoper), Paris (Théâtre des Champs Élysées), Barcelona (Gran Teatre del Liceu), Madrid (National Concert Hall) and Amsterdam (Concertgebouw). Borodina’s 2011-2012 season highlights included performing as Amneris in Aida at both the Wiener Staatsoper and the Metropolitan Opera, the latter televised live in HD. She also received critical acclaim for her performance in a televised gala from Avery Fisher Hall, New York – “Borodina herself gave a magnificent performance that showed us the range of a fantastic instrument in the hands of a true artist...”
In 2014 Borodina recorded Prokofiev’s Ivan the Terrible for Sony Classical alongside the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Tugan Sokhiev.
Signed to the Philips Classics label for over ten years, Borodina has released many recordings including Khovanshchina, The Queen of Spades, War and Peace, Prince Igor, Boris Godunov, Eugene Onegin, La forza del destino, Don Carlo, Rachmaninov’s Vespers, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette and the double album A Portrait of Olga Borodina featuring a selection of songs and arias. These recordings include performances with Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink and Sir Colin Davis. Her solo recital recordings on the Philips Classics label include Tchaikovsky Songs of Desire, Bolero and an album of opera arias with the Welsh National Opera Orchestra and Carlo Rizzi. On the Erato label she recorded Samson et Dalila opposite José Cura with Sir Colin Davis. Other releases have included Verdi’s Requiem with Gergiev, Aida with Harnoncourt and the Wiener Philharmoniker and Berlioz’s La Mort de Cléopâtre from live concerts at the Musikverein with the Wiener Philharmoniker and Gergiev for Decca.
Olga Borodina was made a People’s Artist of Russia in 2002, and in 2007 was the recipient of the State Prize of Russia – the country’s highest award. Her recent Verdi’s Requiem recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and maestro Muti won two Grammys in 2011 for “Best Classical Album” and “Best Choral Performance”. Borodina was one of the first Russian Artists to receive a Grammy.
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