Guest of the National Theatre Opera
Natalia Ushakova studied at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St Petersburg. She continued her studies at the Graz Opera Studio, then in 1998 at the University of Munich and finally at the “Accademia di perfezionamento“ of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, where she studied with famous sopranos Leyla Gencer, Mieta Sieghele a Virginia Zeani. In 1999 she debuted as Maria (Tchaikovsky: Mazeppa) under the baton of Mstislav Rostropovich at La Scala, where she then sang Mimì in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Puccini’s La bohème. In 2000, Natalia Ushakova won first prizes in two Italian singing competitions: “Concorso Internazionale Riccardo Zandonai” in Rovereto and “Concorso delle voci verdiane” in Busseto. There she made her debut as Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata and portrayed Giuseppina Strepponi (Verdi’s second wife) as well as Violetta in the BBC television film “The private life of Giuseppe Verdi”.
Natalia Ushakova took part in various tours with the Mariinsky Theatre of St Petersburg (conductor: Valery Gergiev), which brought her to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and the Festival Hall in Baden-Baden. In 2001, she debuted in the USA, at the Washington National Opera (Liù in Puccini‘s Turandot), followed in 2002 by Lisa (Tchaikovsky: The Queen of Spades) with Plácido Domingo as Hermann, and by Donna Anna (Mozart: Don Giovanni) in 2003. In 2004, she made her debut in Teatro Real Madrid, again as Tchaikovsky’s Lisa alongside Plácido Domingo and Elena Obraztsova as the Countess. In 2005, she created with a great acclaim Tatiana (Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin) and Janáček‘s Jenůfa. In 2006 she sang Donna Anna in Verona and made her debut in a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. In the 2006/2007 season she debuted as Desdemona (Verdi: Otello) in Stuttgart and as Violetta at the Vienna State Opera. In 2008, she debuted as Strauss‘ Salome at the New National Theatre in Tokyo and as Amelia (Verdi: Un ballo in maschera) at the Covent Garden in London. The year 2009 began with Ushakova’s sensational debut as Tosca in Beijing, in the same year she sang Dvořák’s Rusalka in Athens and Lisa at the Vienna State Opera. In 2010, her first solo opera recording for Universal Music was released. In Zagreb she guest appeared as Bellini‘s Norma, in Nice she debuted as Rusalka, in Tel Aviv as Lisa and in Beijing as Salome. Moreover, she appeared at the gala “Best of Christmas“ together with José Carreras in Vienna. In 2011, she created Violetta in the theatre of Syros, Greece, and then Tosca under the direction of Plácido Domingo in Washington and sang in the world premiere of Gogol by Lera Auerbach. The year 2012 began with her professional change to the high coloratura under the direction of KS Prof. Hilde Zadek. Subsequently Natalia Ushakova recorded her first Belcanto CD with the Pan-European Philharmonia under the direction of Guido Mancusi in Warsaw and made her debut as Celeste in Nick Prokop’s mono opera Time Pearls, accompanied by Wiener Philharmoniker. In 2013, she makes her debut as Queen of the Night (Mozart: Die Zauberflöte) at the State Opera of Prague and at Vienna’s Volksoper, afterwards she will sing Francesca da Rimini under the direction of Vladimir Fedosejev in Lyon, she will participate in Beethoven‘s Symphony No 9 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna and she will give her first solo recital at Vienna’s Musikverein. In March 2013, her second solo album by Universal Music "Love and Madness – The spirit of opera“ will be released. In 2014, she will appear in "Christmas in Vienna“ which will be broadcast in Austrian television ORF.
Update: January 2013