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.
• People's Artist of Russia
• Recipient of the State Prize of Russia
• Prize-winner at the International and the All-Union Competitions
Olga Borodina is a prize-winner at numerous prestigious international competitions. These include the Rosa Ponselle Vocalists’ Competition (New York) and the Francisco Viñas International Competition (Barcelona), victory bringing her great acclaim from music critics in Europe and the United States. Olga Borodina’s debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, (Samson et Dalila, 1992) also marked the start of her international fame, following which the singer went on to occupy a prominent position among the present day’s most outstanding singers and started to appear at the world’s greatest theatres.
Since her Covent Garden debut, Olga Borodina has returned there with La Cenerentola, La Damnation de Faust, Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina. Having made her first appearance with the San Francisco Opera in 1995 (La Cenerentola), she has returned to perform the roles of Lyubasha (The Tsar’s Bride), Dalila (Samson et Dalila) and Carmen (Carmen). In 1997 she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera (Marina Mnishek in Boris Godunov), where her repertoire includes her finest roles – Amneris in Aida, Polina in The Queen of Spades, Carmen in the opera of the same name by Bizet, Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri and Dalila in Samson et Dalila. At a performance of the latter, which opened the Metropolitan’s 1998–1999 season, Olga Borodina appeared together with Plácido Domingo (conducted by James Levine).
Olga Borodina also performs at the Washington Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In 1999 she made her first appearance at La Scala (Adrienne Lecouvreur), returning in 2002 to perform the role of Dalila in Samson et Dalila. At the Opéra de Paris, she has performed the roles of Carmen (Carmen), Eboli (Don Carlo) and Marina Mnishek (Boris Godunov). The singer’s European engagements have also included Carmen with the London Symphony Orchestra and Colin Davis in London, Aida at the Wiener Staatsoper, Don Carlo at the Opéra Bastille in Paris and at the Salzburg Festival (where she made her debut in 1997 in Boris Godunov), as well as Aida at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Olga Borodina regularly participates in concert programmes of the world’s foremost orchestras, among them the Metropolitan Opera Symphony Orchestra under James Levine, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev. Her concert repertoire includes the mezzo-soprano roles in Verdi’s Requiem, Berlioz’ cantata La Mort de Cléopâtre and symphony Roméo et Juliette, Prokofiev’s cantatas Ivan the Terrible and Alexander Nevsky, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and Musorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death. Olga Borodina performs in chamber programmes at the finest concert halls of Europe and the United States, among them London’s Wigmore Hall and the Barbican, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Madrid’s National Concert Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome, Davies Hall (San Francisco) and the Edinburgh and Ludwigsburg Festivals, as well as at La Scala, Geneva’s Grand Théâtre, Hamburg’s Staatsoper, the Théâtre des Champs Elysées (Paris) and the Liceu (Barcelona). In 2001, she gave a recital at Carnegie Hall (New York) accompanied by James Levine.
In the 2006&ndash2007 season, Olga Borodina performed in Verdi’s Requiem (London, Ravenna and Rome; conducted by Riccardo Muti) and a concert performance of the opera Samson et Dalila in Brussels and at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, as well as Musorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death with the Orchestre National de France.
In the 2007–2008 season, she performed as Amneris (Aida) at the Metropolitan Opera and as Dalila (Samson et Dalila) at the San Francisco Opera.
Highlights of the 2008–2009 season include performances at the Metropolitan Opera (Adrienne Lecouvreur with Plácido Domingo and Maria Guleghina), Covent Garden (Verdi’s Requiem, conducted by Antonio Pappano), Vienna (La Damnation de Faust, conducted by Bertrand de Billy) and the Teatro Real (La Damnation de Faust), in addition to participating in the Saint-Denis Festival (Verdi’s Requiem, conducted by Riccardo Muti) and recitals at Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Foundation and La Scala.
Highlights of the 2009–10 season, apart from Marguerite and Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera, is a recital at Carnegie Hall, concert performances in Paris, Prague and Finland as well as the Salzburg Festival with Maestro Muti.
Highlights in 2010–11 was a new production including television broadcast and DVD recording of Adriana Lecouvreur at Covent Garden Opera House and concerts in Europe, notably the Verdi Requiem with Maestro Muti at the Salzburg Festival.
Olga Borodina’s recordings include over twenty works, among them the operas The Tsar’s Bride, Prince Igor, Boris Godunov, Khovanshchina, Eugene Onegin, The Queen of Spades, War and Peace, Don Carlo, La forza del destino and La traviata, as well as Rakhmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and Berlioz’ Roméo et Juliette, recorded together with Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink and Sir Colin Davis (Philips Classics). Moreover, Philips Classics has produced solo recordings of the singer among which are Tchaikovsky’s Romances (the CD receiving the “Best debut recording of 1994” prize from the Cannes Classical Music Awards), Songs of Desire, Bolero, an album of opera arias together with Welsh National Opera Orchestra under Carlo Rizzi and the diva album Portrait of Olga Borodina, consisting of songs and arias. Other recordings by Olga Borodina include Samson et Dalila together with José Cura and Colin Davis (Erato), Verdi’s Requiem with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, Aida with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Berlioz’ La Mort de Cléopâtre with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Maestro Gergiev (Decca). Philips Classics recently released a double album "A Portrait of Olga Borodina" with a collection of songs and arias.
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