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 with the major opera houses and orchestras around the world. 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 and Delilah – performances that have launched her international solo career as one of the most sought after Mezzo’s in 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 Khovanchina, Amneris in Aida and most recently as Pincipesse de Bouillon in McVickers celebrated new production of Adriana Lecouvreur alongside Angela Ghiorgiu and Jonas Kauffmann.
Ms Borodina made her American debut in 1995 at the San Francisco Opera in La Cenerentola, returning in 1996 for Carmen, The Tzar’s Bride in 2000, Samson and Delilah in 2001, L’italiana in Algeri in 2005, and Samson and Delilah again in 2006. Ms 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 and Delilah with Plácido Domingo and James Levine. Subsequent engagements at the Metropolitan Opera have included Amneris in Aida, Carmen, Samson and Delilah, Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri. Giocconda, Eboli in Don Carlo and the Principessa in Adriana Lecouvreur together with Plácido Domingo, and as Margerite in Robert Lepage’s production of Damnation de Faust. The New York Times hailed Ms Borodina’s turn as Marfa in Khovanchina, saying “Ms Borodina made the cavernous Met feel tiny” (New York Times, 28 February 2012).
Her concert appearances with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under James Levine at Carnegie Hall have included Scheherazade, Verdi’s Requiem and La mort de Cleopatre, the latter of which was also recorded live at Vienna Musikverein with the Vienna Philharmonic and Gergiev for Decca.
Ms Borodina has appeared with the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors including performances at the Opera Bastille with James Conlon, with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mstislav Rostropovich in Amsterdam and the Royal Festival Hall London, and multiple performances at the BBC Proms; with Bernard Haitink (1996), Sir Colin Davis and the LSO (1997), Daniele Gatti and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2002), Valery Gergiev and the Rotterdam Philharmonic (2003), and most recently returning to perform at the opening night of the 2016 BBC Proms with the BBCSO and Sakari Oramo.
In recital, Olga Borodina has performed in venues worldwide including London (Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre), Milan (La Scala), Vienna (Konzerthaus), San Francisco (Davies Symphony Hall), Rome (Accademia di Santa Cecilia), Geneva (Grand Théatre), Hamburg (Staatsoper), Paris (Théatre des Champs Elysées), Barcelona (Liceu), Madrid (National Concert Hall) and in Amsterdam (Concertgebouw).
The highlights of the last few seasons have seen Ms Borodina return to the Metropolitan Opera as Amneris in Aida, complete multiple performances at the Mariinsky Theatre under the direction of Valery Gergiev (Boris Godunov, Carmen, Khovanshchina, Prince Igor, Romeo et Juliette, and The Tsar’s Bride), perform in concert with the Orchestre National de France with Gianandrea Noseda and Daniele Gatti respectively, and complete recordings of Prokofiev’s Ivan the Terrible for Sony Classical alongside the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Tugan Sokhiev, and Romeo et Juliette for LSOLive with the London Symphony Orchestra and Gergiev.
Highlights of the current season will see Ms Borodina in performance at; the Baltic Sea Festival Stockholm with the Royal Swedish Opera and Lawrence Renes; the Auditorio Nacional de Música Madrid with Vasily Petrenko; and return to the Mariinsky Theatre for performances of Prince Igor, Verdi’s Requiem and Khovanshchina with Valery Gergiev.
Signed to the Philips Classics label for over 10 years Ms Borodina released many recordings including Khovanchina, The Queen of Spades, War and Peace, Prince Igor, Boris Godunov, Eugene Onegin, La Forza del Destino, Don Carlos, Rachmaninov's Vespers, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Berlioz's Romeo et Juliette, and a double album “A Portrait of Olga Borodina” with a collection of songs and arias. These recordings include performances with Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink and Sir Colin Davis. Her solo recital recordings, under 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 Dalilah opposite Jose Cura with Sir Colin Davis. Other releases have included Verdi’s Requiem with Gergiev and Aida with Harnoncourt and the Vienna Pilharmonic and Berlioz’s La Mort de Cleopatre from live concerts at the Musikverein with the Vienna Philharmonic and Gergiev for Decca.
Olga Borodina was awarded People´s Artist of Russia in 2002, and in 2007 was the recipient of the State Prize - the highest allocate in Russia. Her recent Verdi Requiem recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Muti won two Grammys in 2011 for Best Classical Album and best choral performance. Ms Borodina was one of the first Russian Artists to receive a Grammy.
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