Mezzo-Soprano

Ekaterina Semenchuk

“Semenchuk’s art is consummate, displaying ease over a huge range, deploying gaiety and delicacy, and always with a luscious power held in reserve” – Indepedent.co.uk, 2017

© Alexey Kostromin

Introduction

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 will make her Bolshoi Theatre house debut, singing Lyubava for the first time in Rimsky-Korsakov’s rarely performed Sadko. She will also return to Princess Eboli for a new production at Teatro Real Madrid; a role she will then reprise for her house debuts at both the Salzburg Easter Festival and Dresden Semperoper in 2020.


Contact


Performance Schedule

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    19:00 14 Feb 2020 Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, MOSCOW

    NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Sadko

    Conductor: Timur Zangiev

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    time TBC 16 Feb 2020 Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, MOSCOW

    NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Sadko

    Director: Dmitri Tcherniakov
    Conductor: Timur Zangiev

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    time TBC 18 Feb 2020 Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, MOSCOW

    NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Sadko

    Director: Dmitri Tcherniakov
    Conductor: Timur Zangiev

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    19:30 20 Feb 2020 Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, ROME

    SERGEI PROKOFIEV Alexander Nevsky Op. 78
    IGOR STRAVINSKY Petrushka (1947 version)

    Conductor: Daniele Gatti
    Mezzosoprano: Ekaterina Semenchuk
    Choir & Orchestra of: Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

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    20:30 21 Feb 2020 Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, ROME

    SERGEI PROKOFIEV Alexander Nevsky Op. 78
    IGOR STRAVINSKY Petrushka (1947 version)

    Conductor: Daniele Gatti
    Mezzosoprano: Ekaterina Semenchuk
    Choir & Orchestra of: Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

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    18:00 22 Feb 2020 Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, ROME

    SERGEI PROKOFIEV Alexander Nevsky Op. 78
    IGOR STRAVINSKY Petrushka (1947 version)

    Conductor: Daniele Gatti
    Mezzosoprano: Ekaterina Semenchuk
    Choir & Orchestra of: Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Press

 
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    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.”

    Mauricio Villa, Operawire, 9 October 2019

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    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.”

    Alan Neilsen, Operawire, March 2019

    “(…) the towering personality of Ekaterina Semenchuk, an outstanding Marfa, whose sumptuous voice utterly mastered the demanding score.”

    Silvia Luraghi, The Opera Critic, March 2019

    ” In the excellent female cast the ardent Marfa of Ekaterina Semenchuk was particularly acclaimed by the audience (…)”

    Renato Verga, Bachtrack, March 2019

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    29 Jan 19 BERLIOZ Les Troyens
    Opéra de Paris Bastille

    “(…) Semenchuk, at the end, was without doubt the greatest Dido I’ve witnessed.”

    NPW Paris, February 2019

    “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”

    Opera Journal, February 2019

     

Repertoire

OPERATIC

BELLINI Norma (title role in preparation)
BERLIOZ Benvenuto Cellini (Ascanio)
BERLIOZ Les Troyens (Didon)
BIZET Carmen
CILEA Adriana Lecouvreur (Princess de Bouillon)
DONIZETTI Anna Bolena (Giovanna Seymour)
DONIZETTI La Favorita (Leonora)
DONIZETTI Maria Stuarda (Elisabetta)
MASSAGNI Cavalleria Rusticana (Santuzza)
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 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)

CONCERT
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
MOZART Requiem
MUSSORGSKY Songs and Dances of Death
PROKOFIEV Alexander Nevsky
RAVEL Scheherazade
ROSSINI Stabat Mater
VERDI Requiem

*In preparation

Discography

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    BEETHOVEN Symphony No.9

    Label: Sony Classics

    Release Date: 23 Nov 18

    BEETHOVEN Symphony No.9

    Conductor: James Gaffigan

    Luzerner Sinfonieorchester

    Ekaterina Semenchuk, Mauro Peter, Hanno Muller-Brachmann, Rachel Harnisch

    Released: 23 November 2018

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    VERDI: Aida

    Label: Warner Classics

    Release Date: 02 Oct 15

    VERDI Aida

    Conductor: Antonio Pappano

    Orchestra e coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

    Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Ludovic Tézier, Erwin Schrott

    Released: 2 October 2015

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    SARTI Magnificat Gloria

    Label: Sony Classical

    Release Date: 10 Jul 12

    SARTI Magnificat Gloria

    Conductor Mattia Rondelli

    Marrinsky Chorus and Orchestra

    Barbara Frittoli, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Dmitry Voropaev, Yuri Vorobiev

    Released: 10 July 2012

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    STRAVINSKY: Oedipus Rex

    Label: Mariinsky Label

    Release Date: 24 May 10

    STRAVINSKY Oedipus Rex

    Condcutor: Valery Gergiev

    Mariinsky Orchestra and Chorus

    Sergei Semishkuyr, Evgeny Nikitin, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Gerard Depardieu

    Released: 24 May 2010

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    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

     

    Released: 1997

    Harmonia Mundi

Interviews

Listen to a recent interview with Ekaterina Semenchuk on La Barcaccia, on Italy’s RAI Radio 3.