“How wonderful it is that the music world regularly gives us new and very talented artists. One of the very special ones is the Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča who has already taken a significant place in opera theatres and concert halls. She is a great talent, has a beautiful voice and is an expressive artist with a great acting gift . . . Garanča has a very good vocal technique and carefully chooses the right repertoire in order to develop her talent. This will ensure her a great future” (Mariss Jansons).
Elīna Garanča was born in Riga in 1976 into a musical family. In 1996 she entered the Latvian Academy of Music in Riga. One of her most formative experiences came in 1998 while she was still a student: with only ten days’ notice, she performed the role of Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena and uncovered a deep affinity with the bel canto repertoire. After graduation she joined the Meiningen Staatstheater in Germany where she appeared in roles including Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier. In 1999 she also sang the role of Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Savonlinna Opera Festival and won the Mirjam Helin Singing Competition in Finland. She has since appeared at the world’s major opera houses and concert venues and established herself as one of the music world’s newest stars thanks to her beautiful voice, musicianship and compelling stage portrayals. In 2006 she received the European Culture Prize during a gala at the Frauenkirche in Dresden which was broadcast on German television; in 2007 she was honoured with an Echo Award for Aria cantilena – her first solo recording for Deutsche Grammophon, and the Three-Star Order from the Latvian State.
Wins the Latvian Great Music Award. Moves to the Frankfurt Opera where roles in her first seasons include the Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Hansel in Hänsel und Gretel, and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Finalist in the BBC’s Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Makes her solo recording debut: a programme of opera arias.
At the Vienna State Opera: Lola in Cavalleria rusticana, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Meg Page in a new production of Falstaff, and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Salzburg Festival debut as Annio in La clemenza di Tito. Sings Dorabella in Così fan tutte in Frankfurt. Appears as Rosina and as soloist in the Stabat Mater at the Helsinki Opera’s Rossini Festival. Nicklausse and the Muse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in Tokyo. Guest appearance for Deutsche Grammophon when she joins Anna Netrebko in a scene and cavatina from Lucia di Lammermoor on Netrebko’s debut album Opera Arias.
Dorabella, Meg, and Rosina at the Vienna State Opera. Dorabella at the Salzburg Festival. Bellini’s Adalgisa (with Edita Gruberova as Norma) at Baden-Baden. Rossini’s Cenerentola in Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Performs Alban Berg’s Seven Early Songs under Philippe Jordan at the Vienna Konzerthaus.
At the Vienna State Opera: debut as Charlotte in Werther, Rosina, and Meg Page. Dorabella at Aix-en-Provence and for her debut at the Paris Opéra-Palais Garnier. Concerts in Lucerne and Graz.
Triumphs as Octavian at the Vienna State Opera in February and as Sesto in La clemenza di Tito at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien in March. Further performances as Octavian, Rosina, Cherubino, Dorabella, Sesto, and Charlotte in Vienna; Sesto and Dorabella in Paris. Mozart arias at two Salzburg Festival concerts with Sir Roger Norrington and Riccardo Muti; Beethoven’s Missa solemnis with the Orchestre national de France under Kurt Masur. Recitals at the Schwarzenberg Schubertiade. Appears on The Mozart Album in all-new recordings of Mozart arias sung by Deutsche Grammophon’s star singers and released to tie in with the opening of the Salzburg Festival. Receives the European Culture Prize 2006. Her first solo recording for Deutsche Grammophon (with the Dresden Staatskapelle under Fabio Luisi) will include highlights from some of her celebrated operatic roles and is scheduled for release in early 2007.
Elīna Garanča’s opera appearances include Rosina, Cherubino, Dorabella, Octavian, Char¬lotte and Adalgisa at the Vienna State Opera; debut performance at the Berlin State Opera as Sesto; debut performance at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in the role of Dorabella; role debut as Carmen at the Latvian National Opera in her native Riga. Elīna Garanča goes on tour with the Concertgebouw Orchestra under Mariss Jansons singing Berio’s Folk Songs in Amsterdam, London, Paris and Vienna. Elīna Garanča appears in three gala concerts with Anna Netrebko, Ramón Vargas, Ludovic Tézier, and the SWR Symphony Orchestra under Marco Armiliato, the third of which is broadcast on German television to an audience of over two million and recorded live for audio and video release (The Opera Gala – Live from Baden-Baden). Her first solo recording for Deutsche Grammophon, Aria cantilena, with highlights from some of her celebrated operatic roles accompanied by the Dresden Staatskapelle under Fabio Luisi, is released to great critical acclaim (Echo Award 2007); the release is supported by a German tour with this repertoire together with the Munich Symphony Orchestra under Heiko Mathias Förster. Elīna Garanča is awarded the Three-Star Order by the Latvian State.
The year begins with Garanča’s sensational Met debut as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. She gives her role debut as Romeo in concert performances of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi in Riga, Latvia and repeats the role in Vienna alongside Anna Netrebko, with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under Fabio Luisi (recorded by Deutsche Grammophon for release in 2009). She sings Octavian at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Adalgisa at her debut in Munich’s Bavarian State Opera where she also appears as Charlotte, and makes her role and house debuts as Marguerite in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust in Geneva’s Grand Théâtre. Concerts include Mahler’s Third Symphony at the Vienna Musikverein, Berio’s Folk Songs with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Mariss Jansons at the Philhar¬monie, Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Claudio Abbado, and Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été with the Wiener Philharmoniker led by Mariss Jansons at the Salzburg Festival. She also gives a solo concert at the Opera Festival in St. Margarethen, Austria, and participates in the “Weltstars der Oper” (Opera Stars of the World) concert in the Austrian stadium Hohe Warte, in a gala concert at the Instanbul International Festival, and gives several performances at the Festival del Sole in Napa, USA.
Garanča follows up her first successful solo recording with Bel Canto, a collection of arias and ensembles. In the new album of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi she sings the role of Romeo (with Anna Netrebko as Juliet) – both are released early in the year. Engagements include Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at the Vienna State Opera, Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Anna Netrebko and Carmen at Covent Garden, Romeo in Berlin, Angelina in Rossini’s La Cenerentola at the Met, and Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther in Vienna and Baden-Baden with Rolando Villazón. She tours Europe with the Basle Chamber Orchestra, and Germany with the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen.