29 October 2021
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.
Kommersant (“The Businessman”)
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 (“Arguments and Facts”)
• Recipient of Russia’s Golden Mask National Theatre Award (2021; in the category “Best Female Role in Opera”, the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia’s production of Sadko)
• Honoured Artist of the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania (2005)
• Prize-winner at the 1st All-Russian Nadezhda Obukhova Young Vocalists’ Competition (Lipetsk, 2005; 1st prize)
• Prize-winner at the 4th Rimsky-Korsakov International Competition for Young Opera Singers (St Petersburg, 2000)
• Diploma-recipient at the 1st Elena Obraztsova International Competition of Young Opera Singers (St Petersburg, 1999; Hope prize for the best performance of a work by a contemporary composer)
Ekaterina Semenchuk was born in Minsk. In 2001 she graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov St Petersburg State Conservatory (class of Yevgenia Gorokhovskaya). In 1999 she made her debut at the Mariinsky Theatre, took part in performances on tour with the company at the Teatro alla Scala (Sonya 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), Princess 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), 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 the Teatro alla 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, Adriana Lecouvreur) and San Francisco Opera and the Metropolitan Opera (Cavalleria rusticana).
In the course of the 2019–20 season, Ekaterina Semenchuk made her debut at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia in a new production of the opera Sadko staged by Dmitri Tcherniakov.
Repertoire at the Mariinsky Theatre:
Joan of Arc (The Maid of Orleans)
Maryna Mniszech (Boris Godunov)
Lyubasha (The Tsar’s Bride)
Blanche (The Gambler)
Jocasta (Oedipus rex)
Katerina (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk)
Lady Macbeth (Macbeth)
Konchakovna (Prince Igor)
Laura (The Stone Guest)
Olga (Eugene Onegin)
Lel (The Snow Maiden)
Sonya (War and Peace)
Polina, Milovzor (The Queen of Spades)
Page (The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya)
Nicklausse (Les Contes d’Hoffmann)
Princess Eboli (Don Carlo)
Azucena (Il trovatore)
Preziosilla (La forza del destino)
Princess de Bouillon (Adriana Lecouvreur)
Santuzza (Cavalleria rusticana)
Didon (Les Troyens)
Dalila (Samson et Dalila)
Charlotte (Werther, concert performance)
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, légende La Damnation de Faust and cantata La Mort de Cléopâtre, 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, Semyon Skigin and Vasily Popov.