Elena Zhidkova was born in Saint Petersburg and made her debut at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin performing the role of Olga in Eugene Onegin. Soon thereafter, she was invited to the Bayreuth Festival (appearing as Flosshilde and Schwertleite in the Ring Cycle) and she sang in several concerts conducted by Claudio Abbado (Shostakovich’s King Lear, Schumann’s Scenes from Faust), Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Handel’s Jephta at the Berlin Philharmoniker), Christoph von Dohnányi, Daniel Harding, and Valery Gergiev.
In 2004, she performed the role of Waltraute (Twilight of the Gods) for the first time at the Teatro Real in Madrid, where she also sang the role of Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde. Her other roles include Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Fricka (Rheingold, Die Walküre) at the New National Theatre in Tokyo; Venus (Tannhäuser) and Adriano (Rienzi) at the Dresden Semperoper, Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle) at La Scala in Milan, the Dutch National Opera, the Saito Kinen Festival with Seiji Ozawa, the Barbican Hall in London with the London Symphony Orchestra and with Valery Gergiev (CD), at the Mariinsky Theatre (for which she was honoured with a Golden Mask Award). In 2009, she made her personal debut on the stage of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre in the role of Marie in Wozzeck.
She has also sung the roles of Kundry (Parsifal) in Lyon, Düsseldorf and Mannheim, Fricka in Berlin and Geneva, the Princesse de Bouillon (Adriana Lecouvreur), Charlotte (Werther) and the foreign Princess (Rusalka) at the Vienna Staatsoper, Ortrud (Lohengrin) in Oslo, Princess Eboli (Don Carlo) and Didon (Les Troyens) at the Hamburg Staatsoper, and Santuzza in concert in Dublin.
Verdi’s Requiem in Florence with Myung-Whun Chung conducting; Carmen at the Hamburg Staatsoper; Eboli at the Vienna Staatsoper and Fricka (Die Walküre) in Tokyo.
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