The Kennedy Center

Irina Tchistjakova


Irina Tchistjakova graduated from the Gnesin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow in 1989. In 1988 she became a principal soloist at the Theatre-Studio of the Gnesin Academy of Music; since 1990 she has been a leading mezzo-soprano of the Moscow Municipal Theatre 'New Opera'.

In 1991 she went on tour to Italy with this company, where she performed Ratmir in Glinka's Ruslan and Ludmila,  to great acclaim, and also the mezzo-soprano role in Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky. She was awarded first prize at the Viñas Singing Competition in Barcelona in 1993.

Appearances in the 1994/95 season included a Verdi Requiem at Lincoln Center and a further performance of this work in Münster, Ruslan and Ludmilla at Carnegie Hall, and Marina in Boris Godunov at the Opera Royal de Wallonie in Liège and at the Bern Opera. In 1995/96, she was invited by Maestro Rostropovich to sing Marfa in Khovanshchina at the Bolshoi Opera. In the 1996/97 season, she sang Marina in Boris Godunov at the Teatro Regio in Turin, and at the Salzburg Festival under Maestro Abbado. She also took part in the Trieste Opera's productions of  Eugene Onegin in 1996 and The Queen of Spades in 1997, both conducted by Maestro Fedoseyev.

Her orchestral career is also be developing swiftly: she sang Scriabin's 1st Symphony with the Göteborg Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Järvi, in Sweden and on tour, and in Berlin under Maestro Sinaisky; she was also reinvited by the Münster Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Maestro Järvi re-invited her to sing Scriabin's I Symphony with the Westdeutsche Rundfunk in Köln and Düsseldorf. She has sung Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky Cantata with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and with the Philharmonia and Jewish Folk Songs with the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

Miss Tchistjakova has recorded a CD of Verdi Arias on Capriccio, and has also recorded the role of Azucena in Il Trovatore for Laserlight Classics.

In 1997 she performed in concerts of Alexander Nevsky with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Daniele Gatti and the role of Laura in La Gioconda at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova. She returned to the Teatro Carlo Felice in May 1998 to perform as soloist in Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death.

In 2000 she performed War and Peace, the Mother in Stravinsky's Mavra, and concerts of Alexander Nevsky with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Daniele Gatti, Ivan the Terrible conducted by Yuri Temirkanov with the Baltimore Symphony and Brahms Alto Rhapsody with the Orchestra Arena di Verona. Irina has recently performed  the Hostess in Boris Godunov at the Geneva Opera and at the Bastille.

She has also made her debut at the BBC Proms with Leonard Slatkin conducting Ivan the Terrible, has sung Alexander Nevsky with the Orchestra Teatro Comunale Santiago, Chile and the Verdi Requiem with the Orchestra Verdi, Milan.

She has also sung Tchaikovsky's Moscow Cantanta with the Bern Symphonie Orchester, Rusalka with the Bayerischer Rundfunk and Larina in Eugene Onegin at the Teatro de la Maestranza, Seville and Kindertotenlieder with the Bergen PO, War and Peace and Pique Dame at the Bastille, Jean d'Arc at the Montpellier Opera and the Death in Le Rossignol at the BBC Proms, London.

Future engagements include Alexander Nevsky at the Tonhalle in Dusseldorf, Boris Godunov at the Monnaie and at the Opera du Rhin, Eugene Onegin with Maestro Ozawa in Japan and Boris Godunov at the Teatro Rela Madrid.

Last updated: February 27, 2007
Irina Tchistjakova