Anna Netrebko is a name nearly synonymous with classical music stardom: she has become one of the world’s most widely recognized and highly regarded opera singers. Regularly headlining productions at virtually all of the world’s leading opera houses, the Russian soprano has been hailed as “the reigning new diva of the early 21st century.”[i] In 2007 she became the first classical musician to be named to the Time 100 list, Time magazine’s list of the most influential people in the world. Her beautiful, dark, distinctive voice and her elegant and alluring stage presence have prompted critics to hail her as “Audrey Hepburn with a voice” and “a singer who simply has it all: a voice of astounding purity, precision, and scope, extensive dynamic and tonal range, imagination, insight, and wit – all combined with a dazzling charisma that makes it all but impossible to look away when she is performing.”[ii]
Since her triumphant Salzburg Festival debut in 2002 as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Anna Netrebko has gone on to appear with nearly all of the world’s great opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, London’s Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the Paris Opera, the Zurich Opera, the Berlin State Opera, and Munich’s Bavarian State Opera. She frequently returns to the Kirov Opera at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg (where she made her stage debut as Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro) to collaborate with her longtime mentor, conductor Valery Gergiev. Her other signature roles past and present include Mimì in Puccini’s La bohème; Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata; Giulietta in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Elvira in his I puritani, and Amina in his La sonnambula; Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni; Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Adina in his L’elisir d’amore, and the title roles in his Lucia di Lammermoor and Anna Bolena; the title role in Massenet’s Manon; Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette; and the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. Netrebko also appears extensively in concerts throughout the world, both in revered music venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall and in arenas in front of tens of thousands of people. Her outdoor concerts at venues ranging from Berlin’s Waldbühne to Moscow’s Red Square, in which she has shared the stage with artists such as Plácido Domingo and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, are often internationally televised events. She is a fixture at the Salzburg Festival and has headlined the famous Last Night of the BBC Proms in London. Netrebko also frequently appears in recital with the world’s leading artists, including Daniel Barenboim.
The coming year finds Anna Netrebko venturing into bold new repertoire and embarking on a new phase of her career. This summer, she sings act one of Verdi’s Othello at the Verbier Festival in her first performance as Desdemona, and reunites with Plácido Domingo for her role debut as the eponymous heroine of Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco at the Salzburg Festival. Also at the Salzburg Festival, she joins Thomas Hampson, Ian Bostridge, and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Antonio Pappano for a single performance of Britten’s War Requiem. In September 2013, she makes history as the first soprano to headline three consecutive Metropolitan Opera opening-night galas, when she makes her American role debut as Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Later in the season, she gives her first performances as Leonora in Il trovatore at the Berlin Staatsoper, where she stars opposite Domingo under Barenboim’s direction, and as Lady Macbeth in the Bavarian State Opera’s Macbeth. Netrebko offers a first look at several of these new Verdi roles – including Giovanna d’Arco, Leonora, and Lady Macbeth – on her forthcoming Deutsche Grammophon recording , Anna Netrebko – Verdi. Her first solo studio recording in five years, it will be released in August to celebrate the composer’s bicentennial. In the spring, the role of Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust will be the vehicle for Netrebko’s returns to London’s Covent Garden, Vienna’s Staatsoper, and Germany’s Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. On the concert stage, she performs programs of Verdi and verismo arias at Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana.
Anna Netrebko boasts an extensive discography that includes solo albums, complete opera recordings, and concert repertoire. To date, her solo discs for Deutsche Grammophon – Opera Arias, Sempre Libera, Russian Album, Souvenirs, In the Still of Night, and Anna Netrebko: Live at the Metropolitan Opera – have all been bestsellers, as have her full-length opera recordings of La traviata, Le nozze di Figaro, La bohème, and I Capuleti e i Montecchi. Highlights from Netrebko’s videography include DVD or Blu-ray discs of Ruslan and Lyudmila, Betrothal in a Monastery, La traviata, Le nozze di Figaro, I puritani, Manon, Lucia, Don Pasquale, and Anna Bolena; a feature film release of La bohème directed by Robert Dornhelm; and a DVD of music videos, titled Anna Netrebko: The Woman, The Voice. Her CD Duets, with tenor Rolando Villazón, set a record for the best European debut for a classical album, climbing to the top of the pop charts in several countries.
In 2007, the year she was named to the Time 100 list, Netrebko serenaded film director Martin Scorsese on the CBS broadcast of the 30th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, and the following year she performed on the BBC telecast of the Classical BRIT Awards alongside Andrea Bocelli. Netrebko has been profiled in numerous magazines, including Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Town & Country. She has also been featured on television shows such as ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, CBS’s 60 Minutes, CNN’s Revealed, and Germany’s Wetten, dass..? Documentaries about her have been televised in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Russia, and Switzerland.
Anna Netrebko’s other honors and awards include Grammy nominations for her recordings Violetta and Russian Album; Musical America’s 2008 “Musician of the Year”; Germany’s prestigious Bambi Award; the UK’s Classical BRIT Awards for “Singer of the Year” and “Female Artist of the Year”; and nine German ECHO Klassik awards. In 2005, she was awarded the Russian State Prize – the country’s highest award in the field of arts and literature – by President Vladimir Putin; in 2008 the president bestowed on her the title of “People’s Artist of Russia.”
Born in 1971 in Krasnodar, Russia, Anna Netrebko studied vocal performance at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. A passionate advocate for children’s causes, she supports a number of charitable organizations, including SOS-Kinderdorf International and the Russian Children’s Welfare Society. In 2012, she and bass-baritone Erwin Schrott announced the formation of their own foundation, Anna and Erwin for Kids. Since 2006 she has been a global ambassador for Chopard jewelry.
[i] Verena Dobnik, Associated Press
[ii] Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle