A combination of musical sensitivity, superlative technique and strong stage presence mark Elena Pankratova out from among a new generation of dramatic sopranos. The spectacular success of her first Dyer's Wife in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Florence May Festival in 2010 under the direction of Maestro Zubin Mehta proved an important breakthrough for her career that also succeeded in invitations from such renowned theatres as La Scala (2012), Teatro Colon Buenos Aires (2013), the Bavarian State Opera of Munich (2013), the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (2014) and the Royal Danish Opera of Copenhagen (2015). Her rendition of the Dyer’s Wife in all of these theatres was met with enormous success.
Born in Yekaterinburg, one of the largest industrial and cultural centres of Russia, Elena Pankratova initially studied conducting and piano in her native city before graduating (with honours) as a singer, actor and voice teacher from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. She was winner of several international singing competitions in Italy and Spain and worked for years with the great soprano Renata Scotto, polishing her roles in the Italian repertoire.
Highlights in Miss Pankratova’s career include Kundry in Wagner's Parsifal in Bayreuth and in Amsterdam, Odabella in Verdi’s Attila at La Scala and in Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Elektra in Concertgebouw, in Semperoper Dresden and at the Enescu-Festival in Bucharest, Turandot at the State Opera of Vienna, in Bonn, Bologna, Florence, Naples, Zhuhai (China) and in Mariinsky Theater, Venus at the Bavarian State Opera and in the NHK in Tokyo, Sieglinde in Semperoper Dresden, in Florence and in Mariinsky Theater, Fidelio-Leonore in Geneva and in Seville, Leonora in Il Trovatore in Stuttgart, Dortmund and Moscow, Ortrud at The Deutsche Oper in Berlin and at La Monnaie in Brussels, Tosca at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, the Ludwigsburg Festival, in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Oslo and at the Savonlinna Opera Festival (Finland), Ariadne in Bonn und in Munich, Norma in Düsseldorf, Basel and in Mariinsky Theater, Senta in Der fliegende Holländer in Semperoper Dresden, in Frankfurt, Cologne and in Savonlinna, Saffi in J. Strauß’s Zigeunerbaron at the Operetta Festival at Mörbisch (Austria), Leonora in La Forza del Destino in Mariinsky Theater, at the Nationaltheater Mannheim and at Theater Bremen, Rosalinde at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt and the Bavarian State Opera, Abigaille in Nabucco in Frankfurt, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Bavarian State Opera and Mexico City.
The singer also received an enthusiastic reception from both critics and audiences alike for her interpretations in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the Kioi Hall in Tokyo, Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony at Munich’s Prinzregententheater, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Mahler’s 8th Symphony at MITO Festival in Turin and at Beijing Music Festival 2011, as well as Rossini’s Stabat Mater in Marseille in 2012. Her CD "Pure Mussorgsky" - the recording of the original version of Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death – was published 2014 by EDEL Classics and nominated for the prize of the German Record Critics.
The soprano is collaborating with such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Kirill Petrenko, Kent Nagano, Ralf Weikert, Semyon Bychkov, Pinchas Steinberg, Hartmut Haenchen, Charles Dutoit, Marc Albrecht, Paolo Carignani, Philippe Auguin, Gianandrea Noseda, Julia Jones, Marc Soustrot, Giuliano Carella, John Fiore, Marco Guidarini, Jonathan Nott and Axel Kober, as well as with stage directors Krzysztof Warlikowski, Tim Albery, Stefan Herheim, Claus Guth, Chen Kaige, Sergio Vela, Nigel Lowery, Paul Curran, Anthony Pilavachi, Carlus Padrissa, Romeo Castellucci, Andreas Homoki, Uwe Erik Laufenberg and Olivier Py.
Together with her husband, renowned singing teacher, Vitaly Zapryagaev, Elena Pankratova is giving public and private master classes all over the world, a.o. at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (2014) and at the Verbier Festival and Academy (2015 & 2016), Festival of Bayreuth (2018). October 2015 she became a Professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz (Austria).
Elena Pankratova’s future engagements include: Dyer's Wife in Berlin, Fidelio in Bilbao, Amelia and Turandot in Vienna, Santuzza in Barcelona, Kundry and Ortrud in Bayreuth.
Engagements in Bayreuth