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Mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca, who was born in 1976 in Riga, graduated from the Latvian Academy of music. While still a student, she made her debut in 1998 as Giovanna Seymour in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena at Latvian National Opera. In 1999 she won the International Mirjam Helin Singing Competition in Finland. Following her early years as a member of the Meiningen Theater and Frankfurt Opera ensembles, Garanca has been performing as a freelance artist since 2002, with the Vienna Staatsoper as her regular base. She made her Salzburg Festival debut in 2003, performing in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito under Nikolaus Harnoncourt; in 2005 came her debut at the Paris National Opera and in 2008 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She has been engaged by the Bavarian Staatsoper as Adalgisa in Bellini’s Norma, by the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées as Rossini’s Cenerentola, and the Berlin Lindenoper as Sesto in La clemenza di Tito. For her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008, Garanca appeared as Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and she has performed Carmen at London’s Covent Garden and elsewhere. Engagements for 2012 have included appearances as Sesto and as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at the Vienna Staatsoper, as well as a series of lieder recitals at Vienna’s Musikverein, La Scala in Milan, the Munich Opera Festival, and the Salzburg Festival. As a concert singer Elina Garanca, who has recorded several solo CDs, has worked with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, and Christian Thielemann. She has been awarded the Latvian Great Music Award and won the European Culture Prize in 2006. Both the magazine Musical America and MIDEM in Cannes named her Singer of the Year in 2010.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 18 March 2005 in Dvorák’s Requiem, with Mariss Jansons conducting the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.