Russian mezzo-soprano Anna Smirnova has emerged as one of the leading dramatic mezzo-sopranos of today. Born in Moscow to a family of musicians, she studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.
Smirnova made her name in 2007 when she was engaged for one of her first professional engagements at Teatro alla Scala as the Principessa de Bouillon in Adriana Lecouvreur. The success of the debut led to invitations from major opera companies around the world, including Metropolitan Opera New York, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Vienna Stasstoper, Bayerische Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper Berlin.
A possessor of a true dramatic spinto voice, her repertoire includes the dramatic Italian and Russian mezzo-soprano roles, such as Amneris Aida, Eboli Don Carlo, Azucena Il Trovatore, Preziosilla Forza del Destino, Marfa Khovanshchina and Lyubasha The Tsar’s Bride as well as soprano roles such as Lady Macbeth, Santuzza Cavaleria Rusticana, Abigaile Nabucco, La Gioconda or Odabella Attila.
Recent successes include: Amneris Aida at the Berliner Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Israeli Opera, Arena di Verona, Teatro dell’opera Rome and Teatro alla Scala; Eboli in Valencia and in Milan and Japan with Teatro alla Scala; Santuzza in Valencia and Teatro La Fenice; and Azucena at Maggio Musicale Florence.
In the 2010/11 season, Anna Smirnova appeared at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in Adriana Lecouvreur opposite Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kaufmann and made her role debut as Verdi’s Lady Macbeth in a new production signed by Robert Carsen. She made her house debuts with Vienna State Opera and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Amneris and with the Metropolitan Opera, New York, as Eboli in a new production of Don Carlo. Engagements last season included her house debuts with Chicago Lyric Opera and Sanvolinna Festival as Amneris in Aida. She sang Eboli in new productions of Don Carlo for Bayerische Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Engagements in the 2012/13 season see her making her house debut with Gran Teatre del Liceu as Preziosilla in a new production of La Forza del Destino. Other highlights are Eboli at the Metropolitan Opera, Verdi Requiem at the Sanvolinna Festival, as well as Amneris at Bayerische Staatsoper and Arena di Verona. Future plans include her debut as Abigaile with Deutsche Oper Berlin and Vienna Staatsoper and returns at Bayersiche Staatsoper, Arena di Verona and Sanvolinna Festival.
Anna Smirnova is represented by Intermusica worldwide.
November 2012 / 382 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.
Lady Macbeth in Verdi Macbeth / Deutsche Oper Berlin
cond. Roberto Rizzi Brignoli / dir. Robert Carsen
“Anna Smirnova’s Lady had the explosive force of a Russian land mine.”
„Anna Smirnovas Lady hatte die Sprengkraft einer russischen Tellermine“.
Manuel Brug, Die Welt, June 2011
Eboli in Verdi Don Carlo / Deutsche Oper Berlin
cond. Donald Runnicles / dir. Marco Arturo Marelli
“An elemental force is the voice of Anna Smirnova, which has gained in recent years considerable vocal culture and sophistication. Few are capable of such conviction in both the coloratura of the Veil Song as well as the impact of the ‘O don fatale’”
„Eine Urgewalt ist die Stimme von Anna Smirnova, die in den letzten Jahren an Stimmkultur und Differenziertheit deutlich gewonnen hat. Nur wenige vermögen sowohl die Koloraturen des Schleierliedes als auch die Wucht des 'O don fatale' mit solcher Überzeugungskraft zu gestalten“.
Frank Fechter, klassik.com, April 2012
“As Eboli, Anna Smirnova [was] the only character who brought plenty of drama - and voice.”
Euegene Lee, The Opera Critic, April 2012
Principessa de Bouillon in Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur / Deutsche Oper Berlin
Concert performance / cond. Marco Armiliato
“Anna Smirnova received the most enthusiastic applause in the evening. Her mezzo is [big] and powerful... she had something grand about her and could find some sense of humor in her character”.
rml, ihearvoices.wordpress.com, October 2010
“Anna Smirnova sings the the jealous Princess of Bouillon with an intense and demonic mezzo-soprano voice.”
„Anna Smirnova mit intensiv-dämonischem Mezzosopran die eifersüchtige Fürstin von Bouillon singt“.
Matthias Nöther, Berliner Zeitung, October 2010