“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.
During the 2022/23 season, Garanča’s engagements include Princess Eboli Don Carlos at the Teatro di San Carlos Naples, Amneris Aida at the Wiener Staatsoper and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Dalila at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Venus Tannhäuser at the Salzburg Easter Festival, a recital at the Vienna Musikverein, and concerts with the Teatro alla Scala, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria and Berliner Philharmoniker.
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. She 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 also performed Carmen 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.
Recent opera appearances also include Dalila Samson et Dalila, along with roles debuts as Kundry in Wagner Parsifal and de Bouillon Adriana Lecouvreur at the Wiener Staatsoper, Princess Eboli at the Opéra national de Paris, Santuzza Cavalleria rusticana at the Opernhaus Zürich, Octavian in a new production of Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera (broadcast in cinemas worldwide) and her return to Covent Garden as Dalila in a new Richard Jones production. Many concert performances during 21/22 included Mahler Rückert-Lieder in her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti, and a performance at the Broad Stage, Santa Monica with pianist Malcolm Martineau featured among her recital appearances.
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 and 18 roles since her debut in 2003.
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.