15 February 2018
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
Stagecraft and outstanding vocal qualities firmly established the reputation of Ekaterina Semenchuk as a shining star of the opera world. Leading soloist of the famous Mariinsky Theatre, she made her debut on this stage while still studying at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory.
In the past seasons, she sang at the Metropolitan Opera the roles Marina (Boris Godunov) and Polina (The Queen of Spades), as well as her first Azucena (Il Trovatore) in Valencia under the baton of Zubin Mahta. At the Royal Opera House Covent Garden she has sung Olga (Eugene Onegin) and at the Berlin Staatsoper she was Preziosilla (La Forza del Destino) and Polina (The Queen of Spades), all these under the musical direction of Daniel Barenboim. With Valery Gergiev, she has performed Didon (Les Troyens) at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, at Carnegie Hall in New York and at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Among many other impressive appearances, worth mentioning also her performances as Fricka (Die Walkure) with the Los Angeles Opera.
In 2013, her performance as Eboli (Don Carlos) directed by Peter Stein and conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano made a splash at the Salzburg Festival.
Other important events include La Gioconda under the musical direction of Roberto Abbado, Samson et Dalila under Charles Dutoit at the Opera of Rome, Roméo et Juliette of Berlioz at La Scala under the direction of James Colon, and moreover Benvenuto Cellini at Champs-Élysées Theatre with Valery Gergiev, Aida at La Scala with Gianandrea Noseda and Pier Giorgio Morandi and at Teatro San Carlo in Naples with Nicola Luisotti, Il Trovatore at La Scala, Les Troyens at Edinburgh Festival under the baton of Maestro Gergiev, La Forza del Destino with Zubin Mehta, Carmen at Arena di Verona, or Anna Bolena at the Vienna State Opera and Macbeth in Palace of Arts in Valencia, with stage partners like Anna Netrebko and Placido Domingo, and also at Los Angeles Opera, Il trovatore at Royal Opera in London.
On the concert podium, she has sung Verdi’s Requiem with Antonio Pappano, Valeriy Gergiev, James Gaffigan, Roberto Abbado, Michail Jurovsky, Gustavo Dudamel; Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied at the Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony Orchestra and concerts of Dvorak’s Requiem with L’Orchestre de Paris, both under James Conlon, or Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome under the direction of Vasily Petrenko. At Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and at Wien Konzerthaus she has performed Berlioz’s La Morte de Cleopatre, all under the direction of Valery Gergiev.
Her repertoire also includes the roles in Pergolesi’s and Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Missa Solemnis by Beethoven, Mozart’s and Verdi’s Requiem, Mahler’s Symphonies no. 2, 3 and 8, Pulcinella by Stravinsky, Concerto for percussion, mezzo-soprano and orchestra Hour of Soul by Gubaidulina and vocal cycles Songs and Dances of Death by Mussorgsky, From Jewish Folk Poetry by Shostakovich, Kindertotenlieder by Mahler, Les nuits d’été by Berlioz, Scheherazade by Ravel and others.
Ekaterina Semenchuk performed at the festivals in Baden-Baden, Tanglewood (USA), Stresa (Italy), Ravinia (USA), Cincinnati (USA), Verbier (Switzerland), Aix-en-Provence (France), White Nights Festival (St Petersburg).
In 2005, at the invitation of His Highness Charles, Prince of Wales, Ekaterina Semenchuk performed at the ceremony of prayer and dedication during the marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles in the cathedral of Windsor Castle, singing the Creed by Gretchaninov.
Future plans include: Cavalleria Rusticana at the MET Opera and at San Francisco Opera, Trovatore, Aida and Don Carlo at Teatro Real de Madrid. The concert life of Ekaterina’s chamber music program stand out. Several times a year, in spite of a tight schedule of performances in opera houses, she finds the time to prepare a new chamber program, actively cooperating with the great pianists Semion Skigin, Dmitry Efimov and Helmut Deutsch.
Her discography begins in 2005 with Russian Songs, available on the Harmonia Mundi label, thus opening the way to other extraordinary recordings: Oedipus Rex by Stravinsky with Valery Gergiev (2010), Sarti’s Magnificat – Gloria with Mattia Rondelli on the Sony Classical (2012), Don Carlos with Pappano (DVD, ORF / Salzburg Festival 2013) and Carmen with Nanasi (DVD, Arena di Verona 2014). In October 2015, Warner Classics released the highly acclaimed recording of Aida, with the orchestra and chorus of the Academy of Santa Cecilia, under Sir Antonio Pappano.