Elena Obraztsova is great Russian singer, whose name has become one of the symbols of the Russian opera art of the 20th century.
Not without reason is Elena Obraztsova called the Great. She has become the first Russian singer since Fedor Shalyapin’s times, whose appearance at the world’s opera stage had so considerable effect.
Starting with her debut at the Bolshoi Theatre as Marina Mniszech in Boris Godunov (1963), she drew attention by her voice of amazing beauty, great range and brilliant artistic contagiousness.
A unique artistic talent and dedication determined performing achievements of the singer; she won fame and love of the audience all over the world.
In her «golden years» Elena Obraztsova performed at the world’s best opera stages, including Metropolitan Opera and La Scala, the leading mezzo soprano roles contrast to each other by technical and emotional characteristic, such as Adalgisa in Norma, Jane Seymour in Anna Bolena, Amneris in Aida, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera and Charlotte in Werther among others.
The singer’s repertoire includes genuine masterpieces such as unforgettable Carmen, deterrent Azucena in the recording of Il Trovatore with Herbert von Karajan, tempting Princess Eboli in Don Carlos under the baton of Claudio Abbado, doomed to suffering Santuzza in the film Cavaleria rusticana directed by Franco Zeffirelli with Georges Prêtre, brilliant Princess de Bouillon in the Adriana Lecouvreur with J. Levine and Dalila in Samson et Dalila….
In the Russian opera, mystic aloof Marfa in Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina and passionate possessed Lyubasha in the Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride performed by Elena Obraztsova will remain absolutely unforgettable.
A majestic magnetic Countess in the Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades should be especially noted as a role which Elena Obraztsova performed since 1965 till the last years of her life.
The vast concert repertoire of Elena Obraztsova includes about 1.000 vocal compositions. This repertoire, which was composed with famous musicians such as Vladimir Erokhin and Vazha Chachava, embraces not only most popular masterpieces, but also many rarely performed pieces.
A special page in the Elena Obraztsova’s biography is related to Georgy Sviridov’s music, which belongs to her highest artistic achievements.
Obraztsova’s performances and concerts were so extremely successful that she was often used to be carried in admirers’ arms after her singing.
Elena Obraztsova is the personality of the world-wide renown. She devoted herself to the study of vocal technique and shared her experience with young artists. She also headed Mikhailovsky opera, carried out her vocal contests and served as a jury member of the most important European singing competitions. She founded the Elena Obraztsova Cultural Centre and The Charitable Foundation Of Support For The Music Art «Elena Obraztsova Foundation»; she set up International Academy of Music in St.Petersburg.
As a personality who devoted her life to art, she knew the high value of talent and mastery, while as a woman she was able to take life bravely and frankly.
The singer was awarded the highest prizes of the USSR and Russia for her distinguished service in the arts development; she was an honorary member of several academies and public institutions.