Olga Makarina, soprano
Born in Archangel, Russia, Metropolitan Opera soprano Olga Makarina, made her first New York appearances at New York City Opera as Lucia di Lammermoor and has performed there as Gilda in Rigoletto, Konstanze in Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio and Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. Other roles in Ms Makarina’s repertoire include Ilia in Idomeneo (Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival), Violetta in La Traviata (Kirov Opera) and Eudoxie in La Juive (Opera Orchestra of New York). Ms Makarina has also appeared as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with the Minnesota Orchestra and in Orff’s Carmina Burana as well.
Olga Makarina appeared twice at the Bard Festival’s Franz Liszt Commemoration in an opera gala singing scenes from Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable and Les Huguenots as well as the final scene of Norma and then as soloist in the Grand Messe of Franz Liszt. In the fall of 2006, she took on the demanding role of Elettra in Mozart’s Idomeneo at the Metropolitan Opera with James Levine conducting. She sang the role of Gilda in both the Met in the Parks and during the house season and Elvira in I puritani. At Opera Pacific she was Adina in the Jonathan Miller production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. In November 2007 she sang Bellini’s Norma in a new production at the National Theater Prague, the title role in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at the Slovak National Opera in Bratislava, Adina in Palm Beach, Lucia in Warsaw and performed in recital with Yefim Bronfman. She sang Marfa in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride with Olga Borodina with Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall in October 2008 and returned to the Metropolitan for Gilda, Manon, Thais and Lucia in the 2008-09 season. In 2009-10 she will be Antonia in Les Contes di’Hoffmann and Violetta. During the 10-11 season she returned to the Met for Gilda, Lucia and Antonia and recently added Mozart’s Donna Elvira and Vitellia plus the title roles of Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda of Donizetti to her Met assignments.
In 1997, Olga Makarina returned to Russia to debut at the Kirov Opera as Lyudmila in Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila. In October 1999, she sang her first Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote in a series of special gala performances conducted by Eve Queler and the Opera Orchestra of New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur. Her repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera during recent seasons has included Gilda, Violetta, Eudoxie, Elvira, Rossignol and Lucia. She also performed concerts and solo recitals in Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan and sang the opening night gala of the Cesky Krumlov Festival with the Brno Philharmonic in Czech Republic that was televised in Eurovision.
In recent seasons Olga Makarina added to her repertory the roles of Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello with the National Symphony of Mexico, at the Macau Festival in the production from Covent Garden and with the Bejing Philharmonic, Marguerite de Valois in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots with the Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall and Micaela in Carmen with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Her 2001-02 season included her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortileges, the title role of Norma with Palm Beach Opera, Violetta in La Traviata in Mexico, Gilda in Rigoletto in Las Palmas and an all Bellini Concert at the Teatro Liceu in Barcelona. She began her 2002-03 season singing Imogene in the new production of Il Pirata at the Met to glowing critical and public acclaim. A concert of arias by Spontini and Pacini at the Teatro Liceu was met with ecstatic praise by the Barcelona public and music critics. At Rome’s Euro Festival Mediterraneo she sang a concert of bel canto arias and scenes with Eve Queler and the Malta Symphony at the site of Hadrian’s Villa in July 2003 which was telecast in Italy.
Ms Makarina added the role of Lucia di Lammermoor to her Met roles with the Metropolitan Opera’s Parks Season in June and August 2003. During the 2003-04 Met season she was heard as Eudoxie in the new production of Halevy’s La Juive, Gilda in Rigoletto and the title role in Stravinsky’s Rossignol, she made her Canadian Opera debut as Gilda and made her Italian debut in Cagliari as Violetta in La Traviata. At Carnegie Hall she sang a solo recital for the VIDDA Foundation under the auspices of the Opera Orchestra of New York. In April 2005, she sang the world premiere of Puccini Songs, a new ballet by choreographer, Nilas Martins based on nine songs by Puccini. She repeated this work with Ballet San Jose in May 2009.
In recent seasons Ms Makarina returned to Palm Beach Opera as Elvira in Puritani, a role she also sang in Spain at La Coruna and at the Metropolitan. She was the Princess in Respighi’s Bella Dormente at Spoleto USA repeated with exquisite success at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2005, and opened the Rome Opera’s 2005-06 season in November as Amina in La Sonnambula, returned there in February 2006 as Gilda in Rigoletto. Rome’s Messaggero praised her ‘pure and beautiful phrasing’ and “melancholy expression,’. A successful debut at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires as Mimi in La boheme came in April 2006; Mimi was also the role of her debut at Mexico City’s Teatro Bellas Artes opposite tenor Fernando de la Mora. In 2008 she was Norma at the National Theater in Prague and Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at the National Opera in Bratislava as well as Lucia at Warsaw’s Grand Theater.
A CD of Italian Opera Arias featuring Ms Makarina was released By Romeo Records and was cited by Opera News as ‘exquisite’ and Fanfare magazine as ‘a revelation of bel canto style.’ A second CD dedicated to Mozart’s motet ‘Esultate Jubilate’, a concert aria and operatic arias from Don Giovanni, Abduction from the Seraglio, Die Zauberflote and Le nozze di Figaro was released in spring 2003 and a recital of songs by Liszt, Tchiakovsky, and Rachmaninov was released in May 2004.
A graduate of the Mannes School of Music, Ms Makarina also has her Masters in piano and voice from the St Petersburg Conservatory. She has won a number of important prizes and awards including the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the Musicians Emergency Fund and the Liederkranz Competition.