© Vitaly Zapryagaev
© Vitaly Zapryagaev

Elena Pankratova

– World management except Italy –

Russian soprano was born in Yekaterinburg and received a solid musical education in her hometown, first as a pianist, choral conductor and music teacher. She received her diploma with distinction as an opera and concert singer and as a singing teacher at the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory Rimsky Korsakov. Later she completed her training with Renata Scotto, Ingrid Kremling, Giovanna Canetti and Maria Chiara.


Her international breakthrough came in 2010 in the role of Die Färberin (Die Frau ohne Schatten) at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino – she also sang this role with overwhelming success at La Scala in Milan (2012) as well as at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires (2013), making her brilliant debut at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (2013), Covent Garden London (2014), the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen (2015) and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin (2018).


Thanks to her special vocal talents, Elena Pankratova has established herself internationally in both the German and Italian dramatic repertoire. In 2016, she became the first Russian high dramatic soprano in the 140-year history of the Bayreuth Festival to make her sensational debut as Kundry (Parsifal) and repeated her success in 2017, 2018 and 2019, with Deutsche Grammophon releasing this production on DVD & Blu-ray. She also sang this role at Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, Deutsche Oper in Berlin, La Monnaie in Brussels and at the Wagner 22 Festival at Oper Leipzig. In 2019 she sang two roles at Bayreuth: Kundry and Ortrud (Lohengrin). For her outstanding interpretations of Kundry in Bayreuth and the Färberin in Berlin, the soprano was awarded the opera prize “Casta Diva” as best singer of the year 2018. Recent successes include Ortrud at the 2022 Salzburg Easter Festival, Kundry in Brussels, at Wagner Days 22 in Leipzig and recently in Barcelona, Elektra in Munich and Hamburg, Turandot in Philipp Stölzl’s new production at the Berlin State Opera under the baton of Zubin Mehta, Färberin at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden under Kirill Petrenko and her role debut al Isolde at the Bavarian State Opera.


In the 2023/24 season she will sing, among others, Färberin at the Vienna State Opera, Turandot in Barcelona and at the Met in New York, as well as Elektra at the Munich Opera Festival.


Elena Pankratova performed Odabella (Attila) at La Scala in Milan and at the Mariinsky Theatre, Elektra at the Semperoper in Dresden, at the Vienna State Opera, at the Concertgebouw, in Lyon, in Naples, at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest, at the Mariinsky Theatre, at the Alte Oper Frankfurt and at the Konzerthaus Dortmund, Turandot at the Vienna, Berlin and Bavarian State Operas, in Paris, Bologna, Florence, Naples, Zhuhai (China), Tel Aviv, at the Mariinsky Theatre and in Barcelona, Fidelio-Leonore in Geneva, Seville, Bilbao and at the Semperoper Dresden, Siegfried-Brünnhilde in London, Forza Leonora (1862 version) at the Mariinsky Theatre and (1869 version) in Mannheim and Bremen, Senta (Der fliegende Holländer) in Cologne, Frankfurt, St. Petersburg, at the Semperoper Dresden and at the Savonlinna festival (Finland), Tosca at the Frankfurt Opera, in Stuttgart, in Oslo, in Manchester and in Savonlinna, Ortrud in Bayreuth, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and at La Monnaie in Brussels, Alice (Falstaff) in Basel, Karlsruhe and in Buenos Aires, Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) in Basel and Bremen, Venus (Tannhäuser) in Munich and at the NHK Hall Tokyo, Abigaille throughout Holland, at the Bavarian State Opera and in Mexico City, Sieglinde in Florence, at the Mariinsky Theatre and at the Semperoper Dresden, Norma in Germany, Switzerland and at the Mariinsky Theatre, Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt and at the Bavarian State Opera, Amelia (Un Ballo in Maschera) at the Vienna State Opera, in Nuremberg, Mainz, Bremen and in Savonlinna. Her repertoire also includes the signature role in Strauss‘ Ariadne auf Naxos, Leonora (Il trovatore), Santuzza (Cavalleria rusticana), Adriana Lecouvreur and Saffi (Der Zigeunerbaron).


The soprano works with conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Kirill Petrenko, Christian Thielemann, Vladimir Jurowski, Valery Gergiev, Marek Janowski, Semyon Bychkov, Pinchas Steinberg, Kent Nagano, Andris Nelsons, Hartmut Haenchen, Charles Dutoit, Peter Schneider, Ralf Weikert, Asher Fisch, Alain Altinoglu, Ingo Metzmacher, Stefan Soltesz, Paolo Carignani, Kazushi Ono, Michael Boder, Julia Jones, Philipp Auguin, Markus Stenz, Ira Levin, John Fiore, as well as with directors such as Robert Wilson, Tim Albery, Stefan Herheim, Carlus Padrissa, Paul Curran, Claus Guth, Yannis Kokkos, Romeo Castellucci, Uwe Eric Laufenberg, Andreas Homoki, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Olivier Py, Jossi Wieler, Yuval Sharon and Philipp Stölzl.


Her CD recording of Mussorgsky’s “Songs and Dances of Death” was released by EDEL Classics in 2014 and was nominated for the German Record Critics’ Award. As a concert singer, she has sung in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in Tokyo, Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony at the Prinzregententheater in Munich and at Musiikkitalo in Helsinki, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Mahler’s 8th Symphony at the MITO Festival in Turin and at the Beijing Music Festival, in the Stabat Mater by Rossini at the XVIIième Festival de Music Sacrée de Marseille, and the Tove in Schönberg‘s Gurrelieder at the Spring Festival 2019 in Tokyo.


Elena Pankratova gives public and private masterclasses as well as workshops in singing in the cities of her guest appearances all over the world: among others at the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at London’s Royal Opera House Covent Garden (2014), at the Verbier Festival and Academy (2015 & 2016), at the Bayreuth Festival (2018), at the Bastille Opéra in Paris (2021) and at the Berlin State Opera (2023). In January 2021, she was member of the jury at the prestigious International Tenor Viñas Singing Competition in Barcelona.


Since October 2015, the exceptional soprano has combined her stage career with a singing professorship at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, where she passes on her wealth of experience to the next generation of singers with great commitment and heart and soul.

2023/24 season – For the most recent biography, please contact Iris Jedamski