“Garanča is one of the most sought-after singers on Earth…she has few peers, vocally, musically, or dramatically” – New York Classical Review
Mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča has established herself as a major star through her highly acclaimed performances for the world’s leading opera houses, symphony orchestras and recital halls. She has captivated audiences with her exquisite voice, intelligent musicianship, and compelling stage presence.
Garanča was born into a musical family in Riga, Latvia, and studied at the Latvian Academy of Music with her mother. She began her professional career as a resident artist with the Südthüringischer Staatstheater in Meiningen and later with Oper Frankfurt.
Garanča is particularly famed for her portrayal of Bizet’s Carmen and was described by the New York Times as “the finest Carmen in 25 years…” following her appearance at the Metropolitan Opera. The production was broadcast in more than 1,000 cinemas worldwide and is one of the most viewed and successful “Live in HD”. Garanča has performed Carmen throughout the world including at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía Valencia, and others, to critical acclaim.
In 2005, Garanča became an exclusive artist with Deutsche Grammophon (DG). Her first solo recording Aria Cantilena was released in 2007; her albums Romantique and Meditation both won ECHO Klassik awards. Her first non-core-classical album Sol y Vida was released in 2019, and has been unanimously praised by critics. Her first solo recital album was in recorded with pianist Malcolm Martineau in 2020 and explores a contrasting selection of Lieder by Brahms alongside Schumann’s song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben. The latest release on DG – Live From Salzburg (December 2021) – features Garanča singing Wagner's Wesendonck and Mahler's Rückert Lieder with the Wiener Philharmoniker, conducted by Christian Thielemann, and was recorded at the Salzburg Festivals in 2020 and 2021. A critically-acclaimed recording of Elgar Sea Pictures with Daniel Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin has also been released recently on Decca.
Garanča is recipient of numerous national and international awards for her performances and recordings, including 1999 winner of the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition, numerous ECHO KLASSIK awards, Singer of the Year at the 2020 OPUS-KLASSIK for her Sol y Vida disc, Musical America’s ‘Vocalist of the Year’ 2010, MIDEM's ‘Singer of the Year’ 2007, and a Grammy nomination. In 2013 she was honoured with the title of ‘Kammersängerin’ by the Wiener Staatsoper for her devotion to the House, singing over 160 performances of 18 roles since her debut in the House in 2003.
Recent opera appearances include her role debut as Amneris in Aida at the Opéra de Paris (February 2021), Kundry in Wagner Parsifal at the Wiener Staatsoper (April 2021), Princess Eboli in Don Carlos at the Opéra national de Paris, Dalila in Samson et Dalila at the Wiener Staatsoper and the Metropolitan Opera, and as Octavian in a new production of Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera – broadcast in cinemas worldwide.
Engagements in the 2021/22 season include her role debut as the Princess de Bouillon in Adriana Lecouvreur at the Wiener Staatsoper, and as Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana at the Opernhaus Zürich, her debut with Chicago Symphony Orchestra in concerts of Mahler Rückert-Lieder with Riccardo Muti (Mar/Apr 2022), her return to Covent Garden as Dalila in a new production by Richard Jones of Samson et Dalila (Spring 2022), as well as many concert and recital appearances; including a recital for The Broad Stage, Santa Monica with pianist Malcolm Martineau (March 2022).
For more than ten years, Elīna Garanča and Karel Mark Chichon have been sharing the stage with young, aspiring talents from the opera world as part of their Open-Air concerts in Göttweig and Kitzbühel, Austria. These appearances often started a successful international career of the young protégés.
Following this collaboration, the idea of young talent initiative ZukunftsStimmen, with the support of Raiffeisen Bank, was born. It is particularly important to Elīna Garanča that ZukunftsStimmen is not just a classical singing competition. Rather, it is about discovering, accompanying, helping at the beginning of a career – and of course about the opportunity to be on stage with Kammersängerin Elīna Garanča and Maestro Karel Mark Chichon during the classical Open-Air concerts in Göttweig Abbey and Kitzbühel.
In the forefront of today's great operatic artists, the Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca holds an indisputable place.
Opera News Awards
Garanča's talents would make her a star in any century.