Elena Manistina

© Natalija Glushchenko


Elena Manistina trained in her home town at The Music School of Saratov and later the Moscow State Conservatory P. I. Tchaikovsky. She was winner of the first prize at the Operalia Competition (2002) and a finalist of the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition (2003).

Elena works with numerous world-renowned conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Edward Gardner, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Daniel Oren, appearing on the stages of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Washington National Opera, Opera de Paris, Canadian Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Metropolitan Opera among others.


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    12 Oct 19 DVORAK Rusalka
    Canadian Opera Company

    “Elena Manistina, mezzo au timbre opulent, est truculente à souhait en Ježibaba aux inflexions irrésistibles de drôlerie…”

    [Translated] “Elena Manistina, a mezzo with a luxurious tone, is larger than life as Ježibaba with irresistible inflections of humour…”

    Louis Bilodeau, Avant Scène Opéra, 13 October 2019


    “Ottima Ĵezibaba il mezzosoprano Elena Manistina, sia dal punto di vista vocale sia nella recitazione.”

    [Translated] “An excellent Jezibaba from Mezzo-Soprano Elena Manistina, both from a vocal and acting point of view.”

    Giuliana Dal Piaz, Ape Musicale, 13 October 2019

    “Russian mezzo Elena Manistina returned to the COC as an unusually youthful Ježibaba, singing strongly and acting up a storm. ”

    Jospeh So, Ludwig Van Toronto, 14 October 2019

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    15 Apr 17 RIMSKY-KORSAKOV The Snowmaiden
    Opera de Paris

    “Elena Manistina’s sturdy mezzo had real authority in her woodland scene…”
    Mark Pullinger, Bach Track, 16 April 2017

    “Elena Manistina (Dame Printemps) offre un mezzo rond et corsé, au legato soutenu.”
    Laurent Bergnach, Anaclase, 15 April 2017

    “Magnifiques aussi, le dur et violent Mizguir de Thomas Johannes Mayer, d’une ampleur toute wagnérienne, et la puissante Elena Manistina, Dame Printemps aux allures de diva grande époque.”
    Jacqueline Thuilleux, Concert Classic, April 2017

    “Du côté des parents, après un prologue décevant, Elena Manistina se révèle finalement une belle Dame Printemps dans le sublime duo mère-fille du dernier acte tandis que la superbe voix du Père Gel de Vladimir Ognovenko a clairement du mal à s’imposer dans le vaisseau de Bastille.”
    Steeve Boscardin, Res Musica, 23 April 2017


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    07 Dec 16 BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9
    Royal Opera House Muscat

    “Along with the Orchestra and choir, three stellar soloists from the world stage, German Soprano Aga Mikolaj, Russian mezzo-soprano Elena Manistina and American Tenor Brandon Jovanovich do full justice to the sublime Ode to Joy, ensuring a transcendent experience for the audience.”
    Muscat Daily, 8 December 2016

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    09 Jul 16 PROKOFIEV The Fiery Angel
    Bayerische Staatsoper

    “There were strong performances from Heike Grötzinger as Hotel Manager,
    Elena Manistina as Fortune Teller, and Okka von der Damerau as Abbess.”
    José M. Irurzun, Seen and Heard, 17 July 2016

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    21 Jan 16 RUBENSTEIN The Demon
    La Monnaie, Bozar

    “La nourrice, Elena Manistina, offre un magnifique timbre de mezzo, à la fois doux et sombre…”
    Claude Jottrand, Forum Opera, 26 January 2016

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    02 Feb 14 VERDI Un ballo in maschera
    Canadian Opera Company

    “Elena Manistina is sometimes obliged to play the sleepwalker, but she occupy the mezzo tessitura with great authority and dignity.”
    Stanley Fefferman, Opus One Review, 6 February 2014

    “And Elena Manistina delivers some blood-curdling notes as the fortune-teller Ulrica, who presides over this production like a sentinel.
    Glenn Sumi, NOW Toronto, 3 February 2014

    And then there’s the awesome Elena Manistina, who gives us a true bravura vocal and dramatic turn as the seeress, Ulrica. Watch for her other hidden appearances throughout the opera. It’s like Where’s Waldo? — only better.”
    Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star, Sun Feb 02 2014


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    11 Jul 13 VERDI Il Trovatore
    Bayerische Staatsoper

    “The rest of the cast was strong, particularly Elena Manistina’s feisty Azucena…”

    Neil Fisher, The Times, 11 July 2013

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    29 Sep 12 VERDI Il Trovatore
    Canadian Opera Company

    “Elena Manistina was a refreshingly robust presence as the gypsy Azucena, playing the woman and her tragic situation for reality rather than going in for clichéd stereotypes or melodramatic rant. She also understands that volume is a necessity when singing Verdi, but so is control. If her voice were a piano, she knows just when to apply the soft pedal.”
    Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star, 1 October 2012

    “An opera with four superstars: that’s the ideal, an ideal met gloriously by the COC. Russian mezzo Elena Manistina is a powerful, frightening, yet lyrical Azucena, the gypsy woman with a horrible secret and a heart full of revenge and pain. Her Act 2 exposition of the death of her mother, burnt at the stake, sparks the opera to life, and builds its emotional centre. Without a completely convincing performance, that cohesion would never appear, but Manistina kept it alive all night.”
    Robert Harris, The Globe and Mail, 1 October 2012

    “The principal who embodied the role in all its musical and dramatic elements was the mezzo-soprano Elena Manistina, grand and lustrous as Azucena, the Gypsy torn between step-maternal love and that overriding imperative of the Italian stage, revenge. We certainly got a full quota of both emotions from this Russian newcomer. Her duets with Manrico were powerful enough to neutralize the oddities of the libretto.”
    Arthuer Kaptainis, National Post, 1 October 2012

    “Meanwhile, mezzo-soprano Elena Manistina rounds things out with heart-breaking skill as the gypsy Azucena, driven to vengeance and then madness by an act of horror that spawned the brothers’ separation.”
    John Coulbourn, Toronto Sun, 30 September 2012

    “Manistina takes command of the action just as Azucena should, both with a big voice and a striking stage presence.”
    Jon Kaplan, NOW Toronto, 30 September 2012

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    19 Nov 11 PROKOFIEV Alexander Nevsky
    Powell Symphony Hall, St Louis Symphony Orchestra

    “The most touching and beautiful moment is “The Field of the Dead,” an aria for mezzo-soprano. Robertson scored a coup de theatre by not bringing on soloist Elena Manistina early; instead, she entered as the introduction to the aria began, looking tentatively around her as if for the body of her lover and arriving next to the podium precisely in time to sing. It was hugely effective, and so was Manistina herself; she’s the real deal, a mezzo with a big sound and a rich low range. The aria was easily the high point of the evening…”
    Sarah Bryan Miller, STL Today, 21 November 2010

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    09 Aug 10 STRAVINSKY The Rakes Progress
    Glyndebourne Festival

    “…a celebrated Bearded Lady (a richly comic portrayal by Elena Manistina)…”
    The Express, 15 August 2010

    “…Elena Manistina bring[s] star quality to Baba the Turk…”
    The Financial Times, 9 August 2010

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    09 Sep 10 VERDI Un Ballo in Maschera
    Washington National Opera

    “…mezzo-soprano Elena Manistina was stunning in the role of Mam’zelle Arvidson, the fortune teller…”
    The Washington Examiner, September 2010



CILEA Adriana Lecouvreur (Princess de Bouillon)
DVORAK Rusalka (Jezhibaba)
MASSAGNI Cavalleria Rusticana (Santuzza)
MASSENET Don Quichotte (Dulcinee)

MUSSORGSKY Boris Godunov (Marina)
MUSSORGSKY Khovanschina (Marfa)
PONCHIELLI La Gioconda (Laura)
PROKOFIEV The Fiery Angel
PUCCINI Suor Angelica (Zia Principessa)
RIMSKI-KORSAKOV The Tsar’s Bride (Lyubasha)
SAINT SAENS Samson et Dalila (Dalila)
STRAUSS Die Fledermaus (Orlofsky)
STRAVINSKY Oedipus Rex (Jocasta)
TCHAIKOVSKY Mazeppa (Lyubov)
TIPPET A Midsummer Marriage (Sosostris)
VERDI Aida (Amneris)
VERDI Luisa Miller (Federica)
VERDI Il Trovatore (Azucena)
VERDI Don Carlo (Eboli)


BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9
BRAHMS Alto Rhapsody
MAHLER Des Knaben Wunderhor
MAHLER Kindertotenlieder
MAHLER Ruckert Lieder
MAHLER das Lied von der Erde
MUSSORGSKY Songs and Dances of Death
PROKOFIEV Alexander Nevsky
PROKOFIEV Ivan the Terrible
ROSSINI Stabat Mater
SHOSTAKOVICH Six Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva
VERDI Requiem