Ekaterina Semenchuk is one of the most sought-after mezzo-sopranos, known for her exceptional range and unparalleled technique. Born in Minsk, she made her stage debut at the Mariinsky Theatre while still studying at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St Petersburg, and her career has since seen her perform at all the major houses across the world.
Recognised as one of the world’s most pre-eminent Verdi mezzos, Ekaterina’s signature operatic roles include Azucena Il Trovatore, Eboli Don Carlo, Amneris Aida, Lady Macbeth Macbeth, and Princess de Bouillon Adriana Lecouvreur. Beyond Verdi, she is known for her portrayals of Didon Les Troyens, Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana, Marina Boris Godunov, Laura La Gioconda, Lyubov Mazeppa, Marfa Khovanshchina, Dalila Samson et Dalila, Giovanna Seymour Anna Bolena, Preziosilla La forza del destino, and the title role in Carmen.
Recent seasons have seen Ekaterina perform at The Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Paris, Teatro Real Madrid, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Salzburg Festival, New National Theatre Tokyo, San Francisco Opera, Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Baden-Baden Festivals, and Teatro alla Scala Madrid, among others. In addition to her international career, she retains a strong relationship with the Mariinsky Theatre and Maestro Gergiev.
This season, Ekaterina returns to the Bolshoi as Lubava in Rimsky-Korsakov’s rarely performed Sadko in a new production by Tcherniakov. Next, she debuts at the ABAO in Bilbao in Samson et Dalila, and returns to the roles of Lyubov Mazeppa at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and Jocasta Oedipus Rex with the Berliner Philharmoniker (both conducted by Kirill Petrenko), and Princess Eboli Don Carlo for her debut at the Opernhaus Zurich.
Later, she returns to Wiener Staatsoper, Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, LA Opera, La Scala, and Bayerische Staatsoper.
Video & Audio
Ekaterina Semenchuk sings ‘Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix’ from Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila at the […]
- More info 24 Dec 19 VERDI Aida Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow
“Наивысшую оценку заслуживает Екатерина Семенчук в роли властолюбивой ревнивицы Амнерис. Певица блистала в этой партии уже на многих сценах мира, включая престижнейший Зальцбургский фестиваль, и понятно, почему ведущие театры мира наперебой предлагают ей этот образ: роскошное меццо, сильное и богатое, полная эмоциональная отдача, естественная выразительность, точные артистические акценты. Здесь есть все: и коварство, и страх, и жестокость, и ревность, и отчаяние – полная палитра чувств, данных в развитии и калейдоскопе изменчивых состояний. Ожидаемым триумфом артистки оказалась Сцена суда, в которой накал страстей был максимальным, а владение голосом, особенно при взятии певческих эверестов, феноменальное.”
(Translated) “Ekaterina Semenchuk deserves the highest rating in the role of power-hungry, jealous Amneris. The singer has already shined in this part on many stages of the world, including the prestigious Salzburg Festival, and it is clear why the world’s leading theatres offer her this role: luxurious mezzo, strong and rich, full of emotion, natural expressiveness, precise artistic accents. There is everything here: treachery, fear, cruelty, jealousy, and despair – a complete palette of feelings, given in the development and kaleidoscope of volatile states. The expected triumph of the artist was the Judgement scene, in which the intensity of passions reached its peak, in her vocal control. She is phenomenal”
- More info 18 Sep 19 VERDI Don Carlo Teatro Real de Madrid
“Mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk, a favorite of Teatro Real, has sung three consecutive Verdi roles: Amneris (2018), Azucena (2019) and, now, Eboli (2019). With her round, dark and velvet mezzo soprano voice, she interpreted the Princess wonderfully, scoring another vibrant success.
Her first appearance in second scene of Act two saw Semenchuk lighten her voice to what almost sounded like a soprano timbre; this enabled her to master all the coloratura and staccato notes that Verdi wrote for this first aria. It is a tricky passage written mostly in the middle register, but with coloratura that ascends repeated to high A naturals which must sound easy and light. Semenchuk managed wonderfully throughout.
The tessitura of the trio ranges from low B flat to high B natural, and it was here that Semenchuk showed off her potent low chest notes on “Al mio furor sfuggite invano il suo destin,” her strong central register on “Trema perte falso figliuolo,” and her potent high range with a thunderous high B.
But her big moment comes in Act four where she reveals her betrayal of the queen and sings her big aria. Throughout the quartet and subsequent scene with the Queen, Semenchuk used all her dramatic resources, coloring every phrase and emphasizing the low notes (this section is really central and low, from high G to low B flat) on such passages as “io stessa avea commesso,” which she ended with a resonant low C. When you heard such insistency in the lower register, you started to question how she might manage the higher tessitura and longer legato phrases of “O don fatale.” But Semenchuk’s control of her voice is so impressive that she switched from her lower register to her higher one without compromising the quality of the sound.
“O don Fatale” begins with an outburst of remorse and fury with Semenchuk giving all of her potent sound and dramatical input that she coronated with a flawless and powerful high C flat. Then the mood of the aria changes, becoming melancholic and sad. Here the mezzo’s voice sobbed on “O mia regina,” delivering the passage with long phrases and a high B flat that she produced effortlessly. At the close of the aria, Eboli resolves to save Carlo, the music shifting to a more heroic pose. Here, Semenchuk’s voice thundered through the hall and she climaxed with two faultless high B flats, bringing down the house.”
- More info 27 Feb 19 MUSSORGSKY Khovanshchina Teatro alla Scala
“Marfa is a multi-layered character, informed by an interesting backstory. (…) It is a role requiring a singing actress who is able to bring depth to a character, and for this production it fell to the mezzo-soprano, Ekaterina Semenchuk. Hers is versatile voice indeed, and with such a colorful palette, especially in the lower register. She crafted a nuanced reading in which she managed to depict both Marfa’s inner strength, and the emotional torment caused by Andrey’s casual disregard for her, and almost alone among the numerous characters, with the exception of Emma, she is a decent person, who tries to follow a righteous path. It was an expressive performance in which her detailed phrasing uncovered the complexities of her character.”
“(…) the towering personality of Ekaterina Semenchuk, an outstanding Marfa, whose sumptuous voice utterly mastered the demanding score.”
” In the excellent female cast the ardent Marfa of Ekaterina Semenchuk was particularly acclaimed by the audience (…)”
- More info 29 Jan 19 BERLIOZ Les Troyens Opéra de Paris Bastille
“(…) Semenchuk, at the end, was without doubt the greatest Dido I’ve witnessed.”
“Brandon Jovanovich and Ekaterina Semenchuk also bring a new colour to the royal couple with soft lyrical sweetness that taps into their sensitivities and their past suffering, very much humanising the characters in line with Tcherniakov’s direction and purpose”
BELLINI Norma (title role)*
BERLIOZ Benvenuto Cellini (Ascanio)
BERLIOZ Les Troyens (Didon)
CILEA Adriana Lecouvreur (Princess de Bouillon)
DONIZETTI Anna Bolena (Giovanna Seymour)
DONIZETTI La Favorita (Leonora)
DONIZETTI Maria Stuarda (Elisabetta)
MASSAGNI Cavalleria Rusticana (Santuzza)
MASSENET Hérodiade (title role)
MASSENET Don Quichotte (Dulcinee)
MASSENET Werther (Charlotte)
MOZART Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira)*
MOZART La Clemenza di Tito (Vitellia)*
MUSSORGSKY Boris Godunov (Marina)
MUSSORGSKY Khovanschina (Marfa)
PONCHIELLI La Gioconda (Laura)
PROKOFIEV The Gambler (Blanche)
PUCCINI Il Tabarro (La Frugola)
RIMSKI-KORSAKOV Sadko (Lubava)
RIMSKI-KORSAKOV The Snow Maiden (Spring Beauty)
RIMSKI-KORSAKOV The Tsar’s Bride (Lyubasha)
ROSSINI L’italiana in Algeri*
SAINT SAENS Samson et Dalila (Dalila)
STRAVINSKY Oedipus Rex (Jocasta)
TCHAIKOVSKY The Maid of Orleans (Ionna)
TCHAIKOVSKY Mazeppa (Lyubov)
TCHAIKOVSKY Queen of Spades (Pauline)
VERDI Aida (Amneris)
VERDI Don Carlo (Eboli)
VERDI Il Trovatore (Azucena)
VERDI La Forza del Destino (Preziosilla)
VERDI Luisa Miller (Federica)
VERDI Macbeth (Lady Macbeth)
WAGNER Das Rheingold (Fricka)
WAGNER Die Walküre (Fricka)
WAGNER Gotterdammerung (Waltraute)
BEETHOVEN Missa Solemnis
BERLIOZ La Mort de Cléopâtre
BERLIOZ Les Nuits D’Été
DVOŘÁK Stabat Mater
MAHLER Das klagende Lied
MAHLER Symphony No.2
MAHLER Symphony No.3
MAHLER Symphony No.8
MUSSORGSKY Songs and Dances of Death
PROKOFIEV Alexander Nevsky
ROSSINI Stabat Mater
- More info BEETHOVEN Symphony No.9
- More info VERDI: Aida
- More info SARTI Magnificat Gloria
- More info STRAVINSKY: Oedipus Rex
- More info Russian Songs: Mélodies Russes des XIXe – Xxe Siècles
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Release Date: 01 Jan 97
Russian Songs: Mélodies Russes des XIXe – Xxe Siècles
Mezzo Soprano:Ekaterina Semenchuk
Piano: Larissa Gergieva
Read a recent interview with Ekaterina for Music Life Magazine about the Nadezhda Obukhova Young Vocalists’ competition.
Listen to a recent interview with Ekaterina Semenchuk on La Barcaccia, on Italy’s RAI Radio 3.
Read a recent interview with Ekaterina about the impact of the Mariinsky Theatre on its 160th anniversary.