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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 (Pique Dame), as well as her first Azucena (Il Trovatore) in Valencia under the baton of Zubin Mehta. 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 (Pique Dame), 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 Walküre) 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

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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 (Pique Dame), as well as her first Azucena (Il Trovatore) in Valencia under the baton of Zubin Mehta. 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 (Pique Dame), 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 Walküre) 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. 
 
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: Il Trovatore in Covent Garden, Macbeth at Los Angeles Opera, Don Carlos in La Scala, Aida at San Francisco Opera, as well as La Forza del Destino and Cavalleria Rusticana at the MET Opera, or La Morte de Cleopatre by Berlioz and Giovanna D'Arco by Rossini at the Lucerne Festival.
 
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.

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Reviews

"The anti-heroine is interpreted by the Russian singer Ekaterina Semenchuck. This gorgeous mezzo-soprano is gifted with an amazing voice; able to sing wonderful mezzo-voce with a captivating timbre and good pronunciation, she delighted the audience with the Habanera and the Seguidilla. (Translation)"

Matteo Melis, Operaclick

"Russian mezzo soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk sang and acted a very good gypsy. She has a powerful and attractive voice, able to cope with the difficulties at both ends of the range. On stage she proved that she is a most accomplished Azucena and she doesn’t need anyone to direct her to be convincing."

José Mª Irurzun, Seen and Heard International

"The mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk sings the role with dark, rich, pulsing sound and conveys every wily twist of Marina’s ambition."

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

" Ekaterina Semenchuk’s dark, dusky mezzo was splendid as the perfidious and scheming Marina."

Arlene Judith Klotzko, ConcertoNet.com

"Mais incontestablement, les grands triomphateurs de la soirée sont le Radamès de Jonas Kaufmann et l’Amnéris d’Ekaterina Semenchuk. Le ténor munichois nous a semblé soucieux de ménager ses effets, de ne pas en faire des tonnes. Mais que dire des pianissimi dont il est capable, de cette ligne si bien tenue, de cette longueur de souffle, de cette puissance dans les aigus qui subjuguent décidément plus que jamais ? L’acteur ne tarde pas à rejoindre le chanteur, donnant plus de relief encore à une interprétation particulièrement humaine de Radamès, chef de guerre certes ambitieux mais dont il illustre les doutes et les fractures par des nuances remarquables. Tout juste pourra-t-on reprocher une diction parfois moins soignée que chez ses partenaires. Ekaterina Semenchuk est Amnéris. Elle en est le personnage, tour à tour souveraine orgueilleuse, amoureuse blessée puis désespérée. Elle brule littéralement les planches malgré le relatif statisme de la version de concert. Ce serait déjà fort impressionnant mais il faut ajouter à cela une voix de bronze saisissante, qui se promène littéralement sur toute la tessiture, de graves profonds en aigus terribles, sans une faiblesse, mais avec quelle technique, quelle classe, quelle clarté ! Aux saluts, la salle croule littéralement sous les vivats. Le public romain ne s’y est pas trompé."

Forum Opera

"Può risultare sorprendente che, con Antonio Pappano, la trionfatrice della serata sia stata Ekaterina Semenchuck, mezzosoprano che canta regolarmente il ruolo di Amneris nei grandi teatri di tutto il mondo e tra tutti l’unica cantante veramente verdiana. Il volume della sua voce, ricca di armonici, è risultato essere il doppio di quello degli illustri colleghi, che copriva sistematicamente senza forzare. A ciò si unisce l’ottima tecnica, la capacità di modulare la voce, la notevole padronanza nelle note gravi, facili e timbrate come gli acuti. Insomma la consapevolezza di avere in voce totalmente il personaggio. Il pubblico ha apprezzato queste sue qualità e le ha tributato un’ovazione grandissima a conclusione della scena del quarto atto che si conclude con la famigerata frase: “Anatema su voi!”. In conclusione la Semenchuck è stata la più applaudita tra gli interpreti nelle uscite singole a fine concerto."

Opera World

"Of the three at the core of the drama – Anja Harteros as Aida, Jonas Kaufmann as Radames and Ekaterina Semenchuk as Amneris – only Semenchuk had sung her role on stage before the recording was made, and it’s perhaps no coincidence that dramatically she is the pick of the three – more involving and more involved than the others, and tremendously vindictive at the climax of the fourth-act trial."

The Guardian

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