“Sensational bass, who has just about everything – imposing sound, beautiful legato, oodles of finesse,” wrote The Independent about Ildar Abdrazakov. He is now one of the leading singers of his generation. With his unique voice and stage presence, Abdrazakov sings bass and baritone parts with equal mastery: there are over forty roles in his repertoire.
Born in Ufa, Ildar Abdrazakov began his opera career in the 1990s in the Bashkirian Opera and Ballet theatre. In 1997-2000, he won several important singing competitions in Russia (Irina Arkhipova TV competition, International Glinka Competition in Samara, Elena Obraztsova International Competition, and Rimsky-Korsakov International Competition in St. Petersburg), as well as the international competition Nuove voci per Verdi in Parma, which set off his international career. At the age of twenty-four, he made his debut at the Teatro alla Scala, at twenty-seven – at the Vienna State Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and a year later – at the Metropolitan Opera. In the same year, at the invitation of R. Muti, the singer took part in the gala concert dedicated to the reopening of La Scala after restoration. It was with Miti in 2010 that he took part in the recording of Verdi’s Requiem in Chicago, which received two Grammy awards. In 2015, Abdrazakov went on a tour with Anna Netrebko, Aleksandr Antonenko, and Ekaterina Gubanova (the singers performed in Paris, Vienna, Prague, and Moscow). In 2017, the singer signed an exclusive contract with a classical music record label Deutsche Grammophon. In 2018, he took part in the opening and closing ceremonies of the FIFA World Cup in Moscow.
Abdrazakov devotes a lot of time to teaching. According to the will of the great singer, he became the artistic director of the Elena Obraztsova International Academy of Music. He was a member of the jury at the International Tchaikovsky Competition. Since 2018, the Ildar Abdrazakov International Music Festival has annually taken place in different Russian cities; the festival brings opera stars and young talented musicians together on one stage. In February 2021, a unique series of master classes by Ildar Abdrazakov took place at the Moscow Conservatoire, also engaging other outstanding Russian singers.
The concert will feature young singers who also perform at the world’s leading opera houses. Student of G. Vishnevskaya, M. Kasrashvili, and L. Rudakova, Elena Stikhina began her career on the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky theatre (Vladivostok).She enjoyed a triumph in Opéra National de Paris as Tatiana in Eugene Onegin when she stepped in for A. Netrebko who was taken ill. Elena Stikhina was awarded the Onegin Russian opera prize and St. Petersburg’s most prestigious theatre prize The Golden Sofit. In 2019, she made her debut at the Salzburg Festival.
Mezzo-soprano Olesya Petrova graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatoire in 2008 (class of I. Bogacheva). She made her international breakthrough in 2011 at Zürich Opera House. Since 2014, she regularly performs at the Metropolitan Opera; she has also been the guest singer of the Bolshoi theatre since 2018. Olesya Petrova performs on concert stages of Europe and Asia, on the American and African continents; her vast concert repertoire includes cantatas, oratorios, and chamber works.