The revelation of the evening was mezzo-soprano Yulia Matochkina who was nothing short of electrifying as Ulrica, the fortune-teller who foretells Riccardo’s demise. With earthy low notes and vocal punch, she deliciously conjured all the menace and malevolence of this mysterious character.
Kyle MacMillan, Chicago Sun-Times, 24 June 2022
Best among the featured singers were the mezzo-soprano Yulia Matochkina, commanding as the soothsayer Ulrica, and the soprano Damiana Mizzi, sprightly but silky as the page Oscar, a rare Verdian trouser role.
Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times, 24 June 2022
• Prize-winner at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition (Moscow – St Petersburg, 2015; 1st prize)
• Prize-winner at the 9th Rimsky-Korsakov International Competition for Young Opera Singers (Tikhvin, 2015; 1st prize)
• Prize-winner at the Competition of Competitions of Vocalists of the XXVI Sobinov Musical Festival (Saratov, 2013; 1st prize)
Yulia Matochkina was born in the town of Mirny (Arkhangelsk Region). Graduated from the Petrozavodsk State Glazunov Conservatoire (class of Professor Viktoria Gladchenko). Her operatic career has been constantly linked with the Mariinsky Theatre where she began as a student of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers (2009–2015) before becoming a lead soloist with the opera company proper (since 2015). The artist made her Mariinsky Theatre debut in Die Zauberflöte in 2009.
Yulia gained an international recognition after winning the Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015. She performed major parts at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia (where she made her first appearance in 2018, portraying Carmen), the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Los Angeles Opera, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the festivals in Edinburgh, Verbier, Baden-Baden, the BBC Proms in London, Gergiev’s festivals in Mikkeli (Finland) and Rotterdam, the Festival Berlioz in La Côte-Saint-André (France). In the summer of 2019 Yulia made her debut at the Salzburg Festival, where she sang the role of Federica in a concert performance of Verdi’s Luisa Miller.
In the 2021–22 season the artist made her first appearance at the Opéra national de Paris (Marfa in Khovanshchina), the Metropolitan Opera (Maddalena in Rigoletto), the Teatro alla Scala (Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera) and the Arena di Verona Opera Festival (title part in Carmen; Verdi Opera Night with Plácido Domingo), as well as she portrayed Ulrica in Chicago’s concert performance of Un ballo in maschera conducted by Riccardo Muti and sang at the Staatsoper Hamburg (Federica in Luisa Miller), the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Princess Eboli in Don Carlo) and in Utrecht (Verdi’s Requiem). The 2022–23 season saw the singer’s debut as Azucena (Il trovatore) at the Opernhaus Zürich.
Repertoire at the Mariinsky Theatre:
Olga (Eugene Onegin)
Joan of Arc (The Maid of Orleans)
Polina and Milovzor (The Queen of Spades)
Tsarevich Fyodor (Boris Godunov)
Salammbô (Salammbô, concert performance)
Ganna, First Mermaid (Brood-Hen), Second Mermaid (Raven) and Third Mermaid (Stepmother) (May Night)
Lel and Tsar’s Page (The Snow Maiden)
Lyubasha (The Tsar’s Bride)
Solokha (Christmas Eve)
Young Boy (The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya)
Nicoletta (The Love for Three Oranges)
Clara (Betrothal in a Monastery)
Sonya (War and Peace)
Gipsy Matryosha and Adjutant to Marshal Murat (War and Peace, concert performance)
Zhenka Komelkova (Kirill Molchanov’s The Dawns Here Are Quiet, concert performance)
A Speaking Woman (The Lefthander)
Dark-Haired Sister and a Peasant Woman (Anastasia Bespalova’s Shponka and His Aunt)
Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro)
Princess Eboli (Don Carlo)
Santuzza (Cavalleria rusticana)
Princess de Bouillon (Adriana Lecouvreur)
Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte)
Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde)
Wellgunde (Das Rheingold)
Roßweiße (Die Walküre)
Kundry and a Squire (Parsifal)
Third Servant (Die Frau ohne Schatten)
Ascanio (Benvenuto Cellini)
Marguerite (La Damnation de Faust)
Didon (Les Troyens)
Siébel (Gounod’s Faust)
Dalila (Samson et Dalila)
Nicklausse (Les Contes d’Hoffmann)
Charlotte (Werther, concert performance)
The Beautiful Dulcinée (Don Quichotte)
Garcias (Don Quichotte, concert performance)
Jocasta (Stravinsky’s Œdipus Rex, concert performance)
Hermia (Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Third Nymph (Dvořák’s Rusalka)
Hotel Maid (The Makropulos Affair)
Carmela, First Saleswoman and First Distant Voice (La vida breve, concert performance)
The singer’s repertoire also includes solo parts in Mozart’s and Verdi’s requiems, Pergolesi’s and Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s Second and Eight symphonies, Berlioz’ Roméo et Juliette, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible, Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass and Alexei Ratmansky’s ballet Pierrot Lunaire set to music by Schönberg as well as Ravel’s song cycle Shéhérazade. Performs solo chamber programmes at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre.
Has sung in the Mariinsky Theatre’s premiere of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2011) and in premieres of new Mariinsky Theatre productions of Don Quichotte (2012), Faust (2013), War and Peace (2014).
Regular guest at the Moscow Easter Festival and the Stars of the White Nights festival. Together with the Mariinsky Opera Company she has toured to Austria, Finland, Sweden, Great Britain, France, Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, China, the USA and Spain.