Elina GarancaView in iTunes
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The career of mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca had a meteoric rise following the 2003 Salzburg Festival, where she appeared to acclaim as Annio in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. As critics and a growing number of admirers will attest, her vocal talent is immense, but her uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time hasn't exactly hurt her career: she has appeared on several chart-topping recordings with Anna Netrebko and on the Grammy-winning Vivaldi opera CD Bajazet, with soprano Patrizia Ciofi. Of course, Garanca was obviously chosen for those successful efforts because of the beauty of her creamy, powerful mezzo voice and her extraordinary dramatic skills. Garanca possesses a large repertory of operatic roles, as well, including several by Mozart (Sesto in La Clemenza, Dorabella in Cosi, etc.), Massenet (Charlotte in Werther), Bellini (the trouser role Romeo), Bizet (Carmen), Rossini, Verdi, Richard Strauss, and many others. Her concert and recital repertory is also broad, taking in works by Ravel, Villa-Lobos, Montsalvatge, Ruperto Chapí, and a host of others. Garanca's recordings are available on DG, Ondine, Virgin Classics, and TDK. Elina Garanca was born on September 16, 1976, in Riga, Latvia. In 1996 she enrolled there at the Latvian Academy of Music and studied voice with Sergei Martinov. 1999 was a watershed year for Garanca: she became a member of the Meiningen Opera (Südthüringisches Staatstheater) and also won the Mirjam Helin Singing Competition in Finland. The following year she joined the Frankfurt Opera, where she sang several roles, including Rosina in Rossini's The Barber of Seville. In 2001 her first recording, Arie Favorite, featuring arias by Mozart, Donizetti, and Bellini, was issued on the Ondine label. Garanca followed her 2003 Salzburg Festival triumph with a string of impressive debuts, including at the Vienna State Opera (2004) and Paris Opera (2005), both in the role of Dorabella. Garanca signed an exclusive recording contract with DG in 2005, the first fruits coming the following year with the Mozart Album, which also featured Netrebko. Garanca's 2008 debut at the Met as Rosina was a sensation, and she followed with equally impressive performances at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin as Octavian in Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier and the Bavarian State Opera in Munich as Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma. Among her later recordings is Aria Cantilena on DG, a collection of songs and arias by Offenbach, Villa-Lobos, and others.