© Vitaly Zapryagaev
© Vitaly Zapryagaev

Elena Pankratova

– World management except Italy –

A combination of musical sensitivity, superlative technique and strong stage presence marks Elena Pankratova out from among a new generation of dramatic sopranos. The spectacular success of her first Dyer’s Wife in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten (The woman without a shadow) at the Florence May Festival in 2010 under the direction of Maestro Zubin Mehta proved an important breakthrough in her career that led to invitations from such renowned opera houses like La Scala Milan (2012), Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (2013), the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (2013, 2014, 2017), the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London (2014), the Royal Danish Opera (2015) and the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden (2018). Her rendition of the Dyer’s Wife in all of these theatres was met with enormous success.

Elena Pankratova is the first Russian dramatic soprano to sing in the 140-years history of the Wagner festival in Bayreuth, where from 2016 till 2019 she has appeared as Kundry in Parsifal (DVD & Blu-ray by Deutsche Grammophon) and – from 2019 on – also as Ortrud in Lohengrin. For her remarkable achievements and her extraordinary stage presence – as Kundry in Bayreuth and Dyer’s Wife at the Berlin State Opera – the soprano was awarded the opera price “Casta Diva” as best female singer of the year in 2018. Highlights in Miss Pankratova’s career include Odabella in Verdi’s Attila at La Scala and at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Elektra at the Vienna State Opera, at Concertgebouw Amsterdam, at the Semperoper Dresden, in Lyon, in Naples, at the Enescu- Festival in Bucharest, at the Mariinsky theatre, at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt and at the Konzerthaus in Dortmund, Turandot at the State Opera of Vienna, in Bonn, Bologna, Florence, Naples, Zhuhai (China), Tel Aviv, at the Mariinsky theatre and at the Liceu Barcelona, Kundry at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Venus at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and in the NHK Hall in Tokyo, Sieglinde at the Semperoper Dresden, at the Mariinsky Theater and in Florence, Leonore in Fidelio in Geneva, in Seville and in Bilbao, Leonora in Il trovatore in Stuttgart, Dortmund and Moscow, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera at the State Opera of Vienna, at the Savonlinna Opera Festival and in different German opera houses, Ortrud at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and at La Monnaie in Brussels, Tosca at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, the Ludwigsburg Festival, in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Oslo and in Savonlinna, Ariadne in Bonn and in Munich, Norma in Düsseldorf, Basel and at the Mariinsky theatre, Senta in Der fliegende Holländer at the Semperoper Dresden, in Frankfurt, Cologne and in Savonlinna, Saffi in J. Strauß’ Der Zigeunerbaron at the Operetta Festival in Mörbisch (Austria), Leonora in La forza del destino at the Mariinsky theatre, at the Nationaltheater Mannheim and at Theater Bremen, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt and the Bavarian State Opera, Abigaille in Nabucco in Frankfurt, Rotterdam, The Hague, Munich and Mexico City, Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana) in Barcelona.

Born in Yekaterinburg, Elena Pankratova initially studied conducting and piano in her native city before graduating (with honours) as a singer, actor and voice teacher from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. She was the winner of several international singing competitions in Italy and Spain and she worked for years with the great soprano Renata Scotto, polishing her roles of the Italian repertoire.

The singer received an enthusiastic reception from both critics and audiences alike for her interpretations of Pergolesi’s Stabat mater at the Kioi Hall in Tokyo, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14 at Munich’s Prinzregententheater, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 at MITO Festival in Turin/Italy and at Beijing Music Festival 2011, Rossini’s Stabat mater in Marseille, as well as TOVE in Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder at the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo (2019).

Her CD “Pure Mussorgsky” – the recording of the original version (!) of Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death – was published in 2014 by EDEL Classics and nominated for the prize of the German Record Critics.

The artist is collaborating with conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Kirill Petrenko, Christian Thielemann, Semyon Bychkov, Kent Nagano, Ralf Weikert, Pinchas Steinberg, Hartmut Haenchen, Kazushi Ono, Charles Dutoit, Simone Young, Marc Albrecht, Paolo Carignani, Philippe Auguin, Gianandrea Noseda, Julia Jones, Markus Stenz, Giuliano Carella, John Fiore, Marco Guidarini, Jonathan Nott and Axel Kober, as well as with the renowned stage directors Krzysztof Warlikowski, Tim Albery, Stefan Herheim, Claus Guth, Chen Kaige, Sergio Vela, Nigel Lowery, Paul Curran, Anthony Pilavachi, Carlus Padrissa, Romeo Castellucci, Andreas Homoki, Uwe Erik Laufenberg, Olivier Py and Yuval Sharon.

Upcoming projects include her debut as Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, new production in Valencia, Ariadne in Hamburg, Turandot at the Arena di Verona.


January 2021 – For the most recent biography please contact Annette Bielmeier