Elena Tsallagova

Soprano

Biography

Awarded an Opus Classic nomination for ‘Best Singer Of The Year’ in 2021, Grammy nominated soprano Elena Tsallagova is one of the most sought after sopranos of her generation, attracting international acclaim for her versatility and ability to incorporate a range of musical styles. A former member of the Bayerische Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper ensembles, she continues to bring her compelling artistry and musicianship to the world’s leading opera houses and Festivals, performing a wide variety of roles including Mélisande (Pelleas et Mélisande), Violetta (La Traviata), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Leila (Les Pêcheurs de perles), Vixen (The Cunning Little Vixen), Michaela (Carmen), Despina (Cosi fan tutte), Susanna (Le Nozze Di Figaro), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Calisto (Calisto), Corinna (Il Viaggio a Reims), Fiorilla (Il Turco in Italia), Marfa (The Tsar’s Bride). 

 Born in Vladikavkaz in Russia, Elena Tsallagova studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory. She is a first prize winner of the Rachmaninoff competition.Elena studied interpretation with Ileana Cotrubas and in 2006 entered the Young Artists Programme at the Opéra National de Paris. In 2008 she was invited to perform the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen at the Opéra Bastille. The DVD of the production was awarded DVD of the year at the 2009 Victoires de La Musique. 

 She made her UK debut as Nannetta with Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 2009, returning for the Glyndebourne Festival in 2013 in the same role. She went on to perform the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen in the 2016 Glyndebourne Festival and Fiorilla in summer 2021. 

 After attending the Academia Rossiniana in Pesaro, she was invited by maestro Alberto Zedda at the Rossini Opera Festival where she sung Corinna, Amenaide (Tancredi), Berenice (L’occasione fa il ladro).  

 Following her engagement at the Teatro Real in Madrid in L’incoronazione di Poppea, she was invited to sing Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro) there in 2014. 

She also debuted at the Opéra National du Rhin in The Cunning Little Vixen and Cavalli’s La Calisto and summer 2017 saw her sing Micaela at the Bregenz Festival. 

Among the highlights of the 2017/2018 season were her return to the Opéra de Paris performing Mélisande directed by Bob Wilson (released in DVD), her debut at the Lyric Opera Chicago singing Despin, her debut at the Dutch National Opera as Mélisande, and her return to the Opera Vlaanderen as Leïla in a new production of Les Pêcheurs de Perles. 

In the 2019/20 Elena made her debut at the Mozartwoche Salzburg in Bob Wilson’s new production of Mozart’s Der Messias conducted by Mark Minkowski. 

Her concert repertoire is very extensive, collaborating with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Musiciens du Louvre, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Talens Lyriques et al. 

In the 2021/22 season, Elena appeared in Barry Kosky’s new production of The Cunning Little Vixen at the Bayerische Stsatsoper, for which she has received outstanding reviews from the world’s leading publications. 

In the 2021/22 season, Elena is invited by three major summer festivals. She first appears at the Salzburg Festival as La Vierge in Arthur Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc. She returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper to perform in The Cunning Little Vixen at The Munich Opera Festival. This season Elena also makes her anticipated role debuts as Mimi (La Bohème) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and in the title role of Alcina at the Staatsoper in Stuttgart. 

 2021/2022 Season

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Reviews

“Elena Tsallagova, [who] was the Mélisande of one’s dreams. Not only did she look like a Pre-Raphaelite damsel right out of a painting by Edward Burne-Jones, with whom Maeterlinck was obsessed, but she sang as if Debussy wrote the role especially for her. So natural was her phrasing that it was easy to forget that she was singing, not just acting, despite her clear, liquid soprano. And she broke your heart whenever Mélisande made one of her forlorn statements of unhappiness, such as “Je suis malade ici”.”

Jenny Camilleri

bachtrack

“Elena Tsallagova was outstanding as the unbalanced Contessa di Folleville, her agile soprano able to reach coloratura heights without apparent effort or loss of quality.”

John McCann

Opera

“Elena Tsallagova [was] an enchanting Nanetta, her voice of spun gold.”

Mark Valencia

Classical Source

More Reviews

“Elena Tsallagova was outstanding as the unbalanced Contessa di Folleville, her agile soprano able to reach coloratura heights without apparent effort or loss of quality. “

John McCann, Opera

“Elena Tsallagova [was] an enchanting Nanetta, her voice of spun gold.”

Mark Valencia, Classical Source

“Elena Tsallagova, en Nannetta, est l’autre grande réussite de la soirée. Tour à tour espiègle ou ingénue, sa composition dramatique est également d’une grande justesse, dans un rôle pourtant bien différent de la Mélisande où nous avons pu l’entendre. Puissante et mélodieuse, sa voix enchante la salle.
[Another of the evening’s great successes is Elena Tsallagova as Nanetta. Alternately playful and naïve, her dramatic composition is also greatly accurate, although in a completely different role than that of Mélisande, which is what we had heard of her. The powerfulness and melodiousness of her voice delight the audience.]

Marie Torrès, Artistikrezo

“Elena Tsallagova, qui fut sur cette scène une touchante Mélisande la saison passée, séduit d’emblée par la fraîcheur de son timbre et la splendeur de ses aigus filés.
[Elena Tsallagova, who was a moving Mélisande last season on this very stage, charms the audience immediately with her youthful timbre and splendid soft high notes.]

Christian Peter, Forum Opéra

“Une Mélisande remarquable, à la fois froide et corporelle (comme le souhaitait Barthes), excellente dans les parties lyriques plus difficiles – une des seules à passer constamment la barre de la fosse.
[She is a remarquable Mélisande, both seemingly absent and physically present (as was Barthes’ wish). She is excellent in the most difficult lyrical sections and is one of the only singers who are constantly heard over the orchestra.]

Marie Gil, Opéra magazine

“Elena Tsallagova, Folleville à la plastique – vocale et physique – irréprochable, qui flirte sans mal avec l’aigu le plus extrême sans renoncer pour autant à mordre le fruit d’un soprano charnu, déjà lyrique.
[Elena Tsallagova, singing Folleville, whose voice and physique are irreproachable, flirts with the highest notes without any difficulty all the while reaching a luscious, already lyrical soprano.]

Christophe Rizoud, Forum Opéra

“Rhythms, with the very occasional exception, were taut and the structure was admirably clear. Elena Tsallagova showed herself as agile of voice as she was on stage, in the title role. Her rapport with Hannah Esther Minutillo’s Fox was genuinely moving, whatever reservations one might entertain in principle about a couple of foxes falling in love.”

Mark Berry, Seen and Heard International

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