Mikhail Petrenko

Highlights of the upcoming season include La Damnation de Faust at the Gergiev Festival, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 at the Konzerthaus Berlin under Christoph Eschenbach, Shostakovich 14 with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Fiery Angel at Theater an der Wien, and Elektra with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

© Valery Belobeev


Mikhail Petrenko, is one the most sought after basses in the world. His many recordings include Die Walküre conducted by Gergiev released on the Mariinsky Label and Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin released on Deutsche Grammophon. He added a recording of Rachmaninov’s The Bells with the Berliner Philarmoniker to his discography conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, released on EMI and also features as Leporello in the film version of Don Giovanni, (Kasper Holten’s ‘Juan’).


Video & Audio

From The Green Room


  • More info  

    Label: Warner Classics

    Release Date: 26 Aug 13

    Conductor: Simon Rattle

    Soprano: Luba Orgonasova,
    Tenor: Dmytro Popov
    Bass: Mikhail Petrenko

    Rundfunkchor Berlin
    Berliner Philharmoniker

  • More info  
    WAGNER Die Walküre

    Label: Mariinsky Label

    Release Date: 31 Oct 12

    Conductor: Valery Gergiev

    Mariinsky Orchestra
    Sieglinde: Anja Kampe
    Siegmund: Jonas Kaufmann
    Wotan: René Pape
    Brünnhilde: Nina Stemme
    Hunding: Mikhail Petrenko
    Fricka: Ekaterina Gubanova

  • More info  
    MOZART Don Giovanni

    Label: Axiom Films

    Release Date: 01 Oct 12

    Copenhagen: Lars Ulrik Mortensen
    Director: Kasper Holten

    Christopher Maltman
    Mikhail Petrenko
    Elizabeth Futral
    Maria Bengtsson
    Katija Dragojevic

    Concerto Copenhagen

  • More info  
    TCHAIKOVSKY Eugene Onegin

    Label: Opus Arte

    Release Date: 01 Aug 12

    Conductor: Mariss Jansons
    Director: Stefan Herheim

    Eugene Onegin: Bo Skovhus
    Tatyana: Krassimira Stoyanova
    Lensky: Andrei Dunaev
    Prince Gremin: Mikhail Petrenko
    Olga: Elena Maximova
    Larina: Olga Savona
    Filipyevna: Nina Romanova
    A Company Commander: Peter Arink
    Zaretsky: Roger Smeets
    Triquet: Guy de Mey

    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
    Chorus of De Nederlandse Opera

  • More info  
    GOUNOD Romeo et Juliette

    Label: Deutsche Grammophon

    Release Date: 10 Mar 09

    Conductor: Yannick Nezet-Seguin,

    Mikhail Petrenko
    Russel Braun
    Cora Burggraaf
    Falk Struckmann

    Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg

  • More info  
    21 Mar 19 SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 13
    De Doelen, Rotterdam

    “(…) en bas Mikhail Petrenko, die met zijn energieke en kraakheldere krachtstem zowel de virulente als de schrijnende passages deed gloeien.”

    (Translated) “(…) bass Mikhail Petrenko, who made both virulent and poignant passages glow with his energetic and crystal-clear power voice.”, 22 March 2019

  • More info  
    27 Mar 19 MUSSORGSKY Khovanshchina
    Teatro alla Scala

    “The excellence of the evening was also due to a large, high-quality cast with Mikhail Petrenko masterly in the role of the arrogant Ivan Khovansky.”

    Renato Verga, Bachtrack, March 2019

    “La distribution vocale soulève des montagnes, à commencer part l’épatant Ivan de Mikhail Petrenko, dont l’autorité chantante coupe net les révoltes.”

    (Translated) “The vocal cast could move mountains, starting with the stunning Ivan of Mikhail Petrenko, whose singing cuts cleanly through the revolt action.”

    Thibault Vicq, Opera Online, March 2019

    “Among the conspicuous cast, the characters that mostly stand out are those of Ivan Khovansky, the bold and boastful leader of the Strel’cy (…) Petrenko’s imposing stage presence fitted perfectly for the arrogant Khovansky,”

    Silvia Luraghi, The Opera Critic, March 2019

    “Il est ici un Ivan Khovanski plein d’autorité, avec une voix puissante (…) avec un phrase magnifique et une très belle expressivité. Ce chanteur est engagé et bon acteur, il use ici de ces qualités, et il remplit la scène de sa présence imposante.”

    (Translated) “Here is an Ivan Khovanski full of authority, with a powerful voice (…) with magnificent phrasing, and beautiful expression. This singer is engaged, acts well, he wears out these qualities and fills the stage with his imposing presence.”

    Guy Cherqui, Wanderer, March 2019

    “Mikhail Petrenko put in an imperious performance in the role of Ivan Khovansky. (…)

    In Act one, Petrenko strutted around the stage with authority, with the air of a man who believes he has the right to command, drinking in the praises and pleas from the people. His singing was authoritative and firm with an open, clean sound, which commanded attention.

    By Act three, Khovansky is a broken man, and seeks solace in pleasure. Petrenko’s transformation of his character was superbly executed, his drunken groping of the dancers was unambiguously depraved, and the assassins bullet more an act of kindness. It was a powerful performance in which Petrenko brought out the different facets of the character, founded upon his subtle and nuanced phrasing, which highlighted the meaning of the words.”

    Operawire, April 2019

  • More info  
    28 Oct 18 MUSSORGSKY Boris Godunov
    Grande Théâtre de Genève

    “Le Boris de Mikhail Petrenko est superbe : son timbre est d’or, sa voix au métal rayonnant flotte au-dessus de la tessiture avec puissance mais sans pour autant forcer le trait. On ressent superbement le désespoir de ce tsar, tiraillé entre sa soif de pouvoir et son angoisse d’avoir tué un enfant pour y parvenir. Sa chute dans la folie puis la mort est poignante.”

    (Translated) “Mikhail Petrenko’s interpretation of Boris is superb: His tone is golden, his radiant metal voice floats above the rest with great ease, without ever having to force it. We feel greatly the hopelessness of this Tsar, tormented between his thirst for power and the anguish he feels over having killed a child to obtain it. His descent from insanity to death is poignant.”

    Thomas Muller, Bachtrack, 4 November 2018

    “En déployant un organe sensible et majestueux, Petrenko n’hésite pas à élever le rôle-titre jusqu’au lyrisme, ce qui n’est guère aisé dans le contexte théâtral de la soirée.”

    (Translated) “By deploying a sensitive and majestic voice, Petrenko does not hesitate to elevate the title role to lyricism, which is not easy in the theatrical context of the evening.”

    Bertrand Bolognesi, Anaclasse, 3 November 2018

    “Doté de moyens admirables, Mikhaïl Petrenko démontre une attention constante aux mots, privilégiant la beauté de l’intelligibilité à l’archétype d’un tempérament slave.”

    (Translated) “Endowed with admirable means, Mikhail Petrenko demonstrates a constant attention to words, privileging the beauty of intelligibility to the archetype of a Slavic temperament.”

    Giles Charlassier, Toute La Culture, 8 November 2018

    “Avec son timbre plutôt clair, Mikhail Petrenko incarne un Boris profondément humain et émouvant, triste et mélancolique, accaparé par ses remords, loin du souverain hautain et brutal auquel on associe traditionnellement le personnage.”

    (Translated) “With his rather clear tone, Mikhail Petrenko embodies a deeply human and moving Boris, sad and melancholic, monopolised by his remorse, far from the haughty and brutal ruler who is traditionally associated with the character.”

    Claudio Poloni, Concertonet, 7 November 2018

    “Elégance, modération, incarnation. Petrenko est un excellent Boris.”

    (Translated) “Elegance, moderation, incarnation … Petrenko is an excellent Boris.”

    Guy Cherqui, Wanderer, 11 November 2018

  • More info  
    02 Mar 18 Strauss Elektra
    Metropolitan Opera Company

    “… the excellent singing and characterization of bass Mikhail Petrenko as Orest. (…) Petrenko’s Orest was calm, stately, and sinister, and he expressed a closeness to Elektra that, through unadorned gestures, showed the quasi-incestful love between the two that Hofmaansthal penned and Strauss scored.”

    New York Classical Review, Friday 2 March 2018

    “As Orest, Mikhail Petrenko sounded even more authoritative than before…”

    John Rockwell, Financial Times, Monday 5 March 2018

  • More info  
    27 Oct 17 VERDI Nabucco
    Teatro alla Scala

    “Still, there was no repressing the deep, bronze voice of Mikhail Petrenko as Zaccaria, who railed mightily in “Come notte a sol fulgente” amid roars from the chorus – on powerful, snappy form throughout.”
    James Imam, Bach Track, 27 October 2017

  • More info  
    23 Feb 17 PROKOFIEV Ivan the Terrible
    Chicago Symphony Centre

    “Luxury casting brought the rich-toned Russian bass Mikhail Petrenko for the choral-orchestral song of Fyodor Basmanov and the Oprichniki.”
    John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, 24 February 2017

  • More info  
    11 Jan 17 GOUNOD Roméo et Juliette
    Metropolitan Opera Company

    “…Mikhail Petrenko’s Frère Laurent was both gentle and ominous.”
    Robert Levine, Bach Track, 5 January 2017

    “The formidable bass Mikhail Petrenko conveyed the hearty good will of Frère Laurent, the friar who also subscribes to dangerous potions.”
    Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 1 January 2017

  • More info  
    05 Dec 16 STRAUSS Salome
    Metropolitan Opera Company

    “Mikhail Petrenko brought a strong, woody bass in his cameo as the First Nazarene…”
    Eric C. Simpson, New York Clasical Review, 6 December 2016

  • More info  
    14 Jul 16 WAGNER Die Walküre
    Festspielhaus Baden-Baden

    “Mikhail Petrenko must be admired for his flawless diction in German. You couldn’t detect his Russian accent at any point during his portrayal of Hunding, full of disdain and anger.”
    David Pinedo, Opera Today, 20 July 2016

    “Enfin, le Hunding de Mikhail Petrenko est un luxe que seules peuvent se permettre les grandes maisons, noir à souhait et d’une violence contenue glaçante.”
    Michel Thomé, Res Musica, 13 July 2016

  • More info  
    08 Apr 16 BARTOK Bluebeard's Castle
    Severance Hall

    “The main attractions, of course, were the singers. Not just any artists will do in “Bluebeard,” but bass Mikhail Petrenko and soprano Katarina Dalayman were every bit up to the task, boasting not only the requisite fluency in Hungarian but also ample, mellifluous voices, chemistry, and comfort in choreography that had them crawling, jogging and even dancing lightly around the stage.”
    Zachary Lewis,, 8 April 2016

    “Mikhail Petrenko was on excellent form, often singing in a cooly understated way that enhanced Bluebeard’s mystery, but allowing his big, resonant voice to boom forth as needed.”
    George Loomis, Opera Magazine, July 2016

  • More info  
    26 Feb 16 MOZART Le Nozze di Figaro
    Metropolitan Opera

    “The opera is known as The Marriage of Figaro, and the current revival of Richard Eyre’s heavy-handed, busy-busy production of 2014 features a nice, dapper baritone in the title role: Mikhail Petrenko”.
    Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times, 28 February 2016

    “As Figaro, Mikhail Petrenko delivered a far more relaxed performance as
    Figaro…During the famed Act 4 aria, “Aprite un po’quegli occhi,” he darkened his voice and added a snarl to the consonants, the
    anger and bitterness coming through passionately.”
    David Salazar, Latin Post, 11 March 2016

  • More info  
    03 Oct 15 RACHMANINOV The Bells
    St David's Hall

    “…three fine soloists…Mikhail Petrenko, the…deep bass lent a final dark authenticity to the whole”.
    Rian Evans, The Guardian, 4 October 2015

    “The best was served at the end in “Mournful Iron Bells” where…there was Mikhail Petrenko’s sonorous bass – a voice so cavernous you could walk through it”.
    David Truslove, Bach Track, 4 October 2015

  • More info  
    12 Sep 15 RACHMANINOV Rachmaninov Song Recital
    De Doelen

    “Zodra de bas inzette, bracht hij de luisteraar in een wereld van vocale perfectie. Zijn grote spanningsbogen, emotionele frasering en robuuste stem overtuigden gedurende zijn hele optreden. Daarbij creëerde hij met zijn enorme présence en zijn interactie met het publiek een intieme sfeer in de Jurriaanse Zaal van De Doelen in Rotterdam”.

    To read the full review, please see the Opera Magazine website.
    David Pinedo, Opera Magazine, 18 September 2015

  • More info  
    29 Jan 15 BARTOK Bluebeard's Castle
    Metropolitan Opera

    “In Bartok’s grim two-character “Bluebeard’s Castle,” drawn from a blood-streaked fairy tale, the spouse-murdering title character indulges his curious wife Judith’s desire to see every room in his haunt. No good comes of it. But performances by German soprano Nadja Michael, as Judith, and Russian bass Mikhail Petrenko as her Bluebeard are very good.”

    Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News, 30 January 2015

    “Gergiev made it brood with primitive pain, and the protagonists, Nadja Michael (German) and Mikhail Petrenko (Russian), exuded extrovert passion, misery and menace, as needed.”
    Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times, 1 February 2015

    “Mikhail Petrenko is really scary as Bluebeard and sings the role with great confidence.”
    Wilborn Hampton, Huffington Post, 30 January 2015

    “Bartòk’s profoundly pessimistic Bluebeard’s Castle is a portrait of a sado-masochistic relationship far more disturbingly intense and erotic than anything E L James has punily imagined. Trelinski presents it in the context of a nightmare landscape of illusions and visions, haunted by the compelling presences of Nadja Michael and Mikhail Petrenko.”
    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 15 February 2015

  • More info  
    13 Nov 14 WAGNER Götterdämmerung
    Hippodrome Theatre, Birmingham

    “They were led by Hagen who stood on a level above them, with Mikhail Petrenko proving tremendous at commanding and manipulating everyone around him.”
    Sam Smith, Music OMH, 13 November 2014

  • More info  
    03 Nov 14 MUSSORGSKY Boris Godunov
    Barbican Centre

    “There were phenomenal performances from both Mikhail Kazakov, in the title role, and Mikhail Petrenko as his unlikely nemesis, the monk Pimen. Petrenko sang Pimen quite beautifully, with gravelly depth and glorious lyricism.”

    David Karlin, Bachtrack, 4 November 2014

  • More info  
    13 May 14 GOUNOD Faust
    Netherlands Opera

    “Also essaying his role for the first time is the accomplished Russian bass Mikhail Petrenko as Méphistophélès, whose cavalier initial words, “Me voici!,” forecast a verbally dexterous performance that is backed by a firm voice.”

    George Loomis, New York Times, 13 May 2014

    “Lascio per ultimo il Mefistofele di Mikhail Petrenko, il quale crea un personaggio di statura gigantesca. Il basso russo si dimostra cantante di vaglia e interprete dal carisma magnetico: il suo Mefistofele è di volta in volta arguto e volgare, arrogante e mellifluo, rozzo e aristocratico e non si può che rimanerne conquistati (in fondo, fra tutti è proprio questo il personaggio meno stereotipato e forse più umano della vicenda) tanto che, come direbbe Eduardo, alla sua uscita al proscenio se ne cade o’ teatro.”

    Edoardo Saccenti, Opera Click, 22 May 2014

  • More info  
    06 Feb 14 BORODIN Prince Igor
    Metropolitan Opera

    “Mikhail Petrenko staggered lustily as nasty Galitsky”
    Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times, 9 February 2014

    “Igor has entrusted his wife and his city to the care of his brother-in-law, Prince Galitsky, a coarse cad, who schemes to take power while Igor is captive. The feisty Russian bass Mikhail Petrenko is a sneering, prickly Galitsky, exhorting his followers into frenzied drunken revels that jibe with the pummeling rhythms of the music.”
    Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 7 February 2014

    “One of those voices belonged to Mikhail Petrenko, playing Igor’s brother-in-law Galitsky. He delivered his signature aria with vocal ease, but brought in a little grease and grit as he proclaimed he would live for the moment and engage in whatever debauchery he could drum up.”

    Eric C Simpson, New York Classical Review, 7 February 2014

    “Mikhail Petrenko’s snarling Galitzky rather outshone Stefan Kocán’s hoarse turn as Khan Konchak.”
    James Jorden, New York Observer, 2 October 2014

    “From the Mariinsky Theater came tenor Sergei Semishkur, as a clear-voiced Vladimir, and bass Mikhail Petrenko, who sang and played the lascivious, cynical, power-hungry Prince Galitsky to the hilt.”
    Raymond Stults, The Moscow Times, 20 February 2014 

  • More info  
    28 Jul 13 WAGNER BBC Proms, Gotterdamerung
    Royal Albert Hall

    “He was a presence, though, and manifested his evil intent through grotesque distortions of key words, stretching and curling vowels into malevolent snarls.”
    Edward Seckerson, The Arts Desk, 29 July 2013

    “Anna Samuil’s Gutrune loved the hero in admiring, cheer-leader terms, although one felt she might have responded as easily to the sleazy charm of Siegfried’s nemesis Hagen, sung with testosterone-rich gruffness by Mikhail Petrenko.”
    Rick Jones, The Independent, 29 July 2013

    “…Mikhail Petrenko nevertheless conveyed the super-subtle malevolence of Alberich’s son…”
    George Hall, The Guardian, 29 July 2013

  • More info  
    12 Nov 10 MUSSORGSKY Boris Godunov
    Metropolitan Opera, New York

    “For vocal beauty, top honours go to Mikhal Petrenko who was a marvelous Pimen, the wise monk who chronicled all that unfolded before him. He has a gorgeous deep, dark rolling bass. He also has excellent technique and fine dramatic skills. This is the third role I have seen him assume in New York and he is superb in everything he does. I look forward, one day, to hearing him as Boris…”, November 2010

  • More info  
    01 Nov 09 RACHMANINOV The Bells
    San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

    “Petrenko reminded us of why we love Russian Basses. When that rich, reverberating tone rises from the depths, then pours forth to fill the auditorium, it is difficult not to feel a certain thrill.”
    Bay Area Reporter, November 2009

  • More info  
    01 Sep 09 VERDI Requiem
    Swedish Radio Orchestra/Harding

    “Even more impressive was Michail Petrenko, the possessor of a magnificent bass voice but first and foremost he was restrained and responsive to the text, singing Confutatis with lyrical warmth…”
    Göran Forsling, musicweb international

  • More info  
    01 Feb 09 VERDI Rigoletto
    Metropolitan Opera, New York

    “…Aside from Gagnidze, the other star of the evening was Mikhail Petrenko as Sparafucile, the knife-wielding assassin. When last seen in New York in November, he sang the part of the cook in a concert performance of Prokofiev’s ‘The Love for Three Oranges’ conducted by Valery Gergiev. In that performance, Petrenko’s deadly weapon was not a knife but a giant ladel! Here he was evil incarnate, with his gleaming bass voice seemingly rising out of the depths of his soul…”, February 2009



BEETHOVEN Fidelio (Rocco)
BARTOK Bluebeards’s castle
BELLINI Norma (Oroveso)
BERLIOZ Romeo et Juliet (Frère Laurent)
BERLIOZ La Damnation de Faust
BORODIN Prince Igor (Prince Galitsky)
GLINKA Ruslan and Lyudmila
MOZART Die Zauberflöte (Sarastro)
MOZART Don Giovanni (Leporello/Don Giovanni)
MOZART Le nozze di Figaro (Figaro)
MUSSORGSKY Boris Godunov (Boris/Pimen/Varlaam)
MUSSORGSKY Khovanshchina
PUCCINI Turandot (Timur)
ROSSINI Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Basilio)
STRAUSS Salome (Jochanaan)
TCHAIKOVSKY Eugene Onegin (Gremin)
VERDI Don Carlo (Filippo)
VERDI Aida (Ramfis)
VERDI Nabucco (Zaccaria)
VERDI Simon Boccanegra (Fiesco)
VERDI Ernani (De Silva)
VERDI Il Trovatore (Ferrando)
WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Sachs)
WAGNER Die Walküre (Hunding)
WAGNER Götterdämmerung (Hagen)
WAGNER Die Walkure (Wotan)
WAGNER Rheingold (Wotan)
WAGNER Lohengrin (Heinrich)


BACH B Minor Mass
BEETHOVEN Symphony No.9
BEETHOVEN Missa Solemnis
DVORAK Stabat Mater
JANACEK Glagolitic Mass
MOZART Requiem
MOZART Coronation Mass
MUSSORGSKY Songs and Dances of Death
ROSSINI Petite Messe Solennelle
ROSSINI Stabat Mater
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphonies No. 13 & No. 14
SHOSTAKOVICH Suite on verses of Michelangelo
VERDI Requiem


Mikhail joined Jan Hartman in interview ahead of his upcoming house debut with Grande Théâtre de Genève.

Click here to read Jennifer Melick interview Mikhail for Opera News as he takes on Prince Galitsky in the Met’s new Prince Igor.