GALINA GORCHAKOVA, soprano
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Ms. Gorchakova in Pique Dame Tosca
photo credit: © Ken Howard

"Beauty, grace and confidence," were the words the respected critic Alan Blyth used to sum up the persona of what he thought to be the most outstanding of the distinguished group of singers to come out of post-Cold War Russia, acclaimed both for the beauty of her singing and for her ability to act.

Galina Gorchakova burst into the international opera scene as Renata in The Fiery Angel, Prokokiev's tale of manic obsession. One of her first roles at the Kirov Opera/Mariinksy Theatre where she quickly became the company's star performer, it was the vehicle for her Western debut at the 1991 BBC Promenade Concerts. But it was at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden production the following year that she became an overnight sensation. Her stunning performance had such an impact that soon she was in demand in the world's major opera houses and concert halls where she proved her mettle as a lirico spinto* soprano, as comfortable in the Italian repertoire as she is in her signature Russian roles.
Ms. Gorchakova brought the thrill of The Fiery Angel to audiences in Milan, New York, San Francisco and Hamburg, but then decided to drop the opera from her repertoire because of the role's overwhelming physical and psychological demands. Today she continues to fascinate audiences around the world with her equally eloquent portrayals of numerous Russian heroines (e.g., Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, Lisa in Pique Dame, Iolanta, etc;) and her highly successful explorations into an expanding Italian repertoire (Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Manon Lescaut, Aida La forza del destino, etc). Shown on this page are photos of her acclaimed Tosca at the San Diego Opera with tenor Richard Leech as Cavaradossi and bass Kimm Julian as Scarpia, performed in April, 2002; and of her Lisa in the Pique Dame production of the Los Angeles Opera (September 2001) with tenor Placido Domingo as Hermann and baritone Vladimir Chernov as Yeletsky.

In addition to her operatic engagements, Ms. Gorchakova, following her highly acclaimed Western recital debut at the Edinburgh Festival in 1994, has also pursued a distinguished career as a recital and concert artist singing with the world's leading conductors and orchestras. Her discography shows that she is likewise a prolific recording artist with an impressive list of solo albums and complete opera recordings to her name.


Galina Gorchakova was born in Russia to a musical family - her parents were both singers. She studied at the Novosibirsk Music Academy and Conservatoire and was a prize-winner in the Mussourgsky and Glinka competition before making her mark as Russia's premiere soprano at the Kirov Opera/Mariinsky Theatre and attaining international stardom.

*lirico spinto - a lyrical voice that can handle heroic or dramatic music; spinto literally means "pushed"
ProfileDiscography Join the Galina Gorchakova CD Giveaway Gorchakova's Italian Opera Arias
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