Ekaterina Semenchuk’s operatic curriculum vitae leaves no room for doubt – the mezzo-soprano deservedly holds the position of one of the Mariinsky Opera Company’s younger leaders... It is clear to see that Ms Semenchuk today has no less potential than Elena Obraztsova once possessed.
Ekaterina, in addition to her vocal talents, also has a vivid and expressive dramatic gift, and so it is not just roles in operas but also any romance that she performs that form an entire story about love and life which cannot fail to affect the audience.
Argumenty i Fakty
• Prize-winner at the International Rimsky-Korsakov Young Opera Singers’ Competition (2000, St Petersburg)
• Prize-winner at the All-Russian Nadezhda Obukhova Opera Singers’ Competition (1st prize, Lipetsk, 2005)
• Diploma-recipient at the I International Elena Obraztsova Young Opera Singer’s Competition (Hope prize for the best performance of a work by a contemporary composer, 1999)
Ekaterina Semenchuk was born in Minsk. In 2001 she graduated from the St Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory (class of Yevgenia Gorokhovskaya). One year earlier, as a student at the Academy of Young Opera Singers, she made her debut at the Mariinsky Theatre, took part in performances on tour with the company at La Scala (Sonia in War and Peace) and in Salzburg (Polina in The Queen of Spades) and was a finalist at the Operalia competition in Los Angeles. In 2001 she was a finalist in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.
Today, Ekaterina Semenchuk appears at major opera houses throughout Europe and America and sings at the Salzburg and Edinburgh Festivals. The singer has won acclaim as a magnificent interpreter of Verdian roles: her repertoire includes Azucena (Il trovatore), Eboli (Don Carlo), Amneris (Aida), Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), Federica (Luisa Miller), Preziosilla (La forza del destino) and the mezzo-soprano solo in the Requiem. In addition to these roles, she also appears on the stage as Didon (Les Troyens), Dalila (Samson et Dalila), Carmen (Carmen), Marfa (Khovanshchina), the Princess de Bouillon (Adriana Lecouvreur), Santuzza (Cavalleria rusticana), Maryna Mniszech (Boris Godunov), Laura (La Gioconda) and Giovanna Seymour (Anna Bolena). The singer’s recent engagements include performances at La Scala (Khovanshchina), the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin (Macbeth), the Teatro Real in Madrid (Don Carlo and Il trovatore), the Opéra National de Paris (Les Troyens) and San Francisco Opera and the Metropolitan Opera (Cavalleria rusticana).
In the course of the 2019–2020 season, Ekaterina Semenchuk will be making her debut at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia in a new production of the opera Sadko staged by Dmitri Tcherniakov in which she will be performing the role of Lyubava for the first time. The singer has been invited to make appearances at the Salzburg Easter Festival, the Teatro Real, the Semperoper in Dresden, the Opéra National de Paris and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Roles performed at the Mariinsky Theatre include:
Maryna Mniszech (Boris Godunov),
Blanche (The Gambler),
Jocasta (Oedipus rex),
Lady Macbeth (Macbeth),
Eboli (Don Carlo),
Azucena (Il trovatore),
Preziosilla (La forza del destino),
the Princess de Bouillon (Adriana Lecouvreur),
Didon (Les Troyens),
Dalila (Samson et Dalila),
Charlotte (Werther, concert performance)
and Fricka (Das Rheingold and Die Walküre).
On the concert stage, Ekaterina Semenchuk performs solo roles in Mozart’s Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Berlioz’ symphonie dramatique Roméo et Juliette and légende La Damnation de Faust, Prokofiev’s cantata Alexander Nevsky, the song cycles Songs and Dances of Death by Musorgsky, From Jewish Folk Poetry by Shostakovich, Kindertotenlieder by Mahler, Les Nuits d’été by Berlioz, Shéhérazade by Ravel, Farewell to St Petersburg by Glinka and Russian Notebook by Gavrilin among other works.
The singer has dedicated a great deal of attention to chamber vocal music since the very outset of her creative career. For the harmonia mundi label in 2006 she recorded romances by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Taneyev, Grechaninov and Glière (the piano part being performed by Larisa Gergieva). Ekaterina Semenchuk’s programmes for chamber music evenings are always notable for their refinement and meaningfulness as well as for her own performance thanks to her outstanding skill. Over the years, the singer has been partnered on the stage by the pianists Dmitry Yefimov, Helmut Deutsch and Semyon Skigin.
In 2005 Ekaterina Semenchuk was awarded the title of Honoured Artist of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania.