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Anna Netrebko Biography

Anna Netrebko was born on September 18, 1971, in Krasnodar, a southern Russian city. It is said she was discovered, Cinderella style, by the head of the Kirov Opera, Valery Gergiev, while cleaning the floors of St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater. Not quite.

Anna made local headlines when she won a singing prize in Moscow in 1993, and took part in a gala concert in the Bolshoi Theater. She originally wanted to be an actress, but her voice teachers told her she'd have a better shot at singing.

So Anna studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory for many years, and upon completing her schooling, she got a job cleaning at the theater. But she actually auditioned for a role in an opera, and Gergiev was astounded that his cute janitor could sing like an angel.

anna netrebko becomes opera star

Gergiev became her mentor, and took her across Russia and Europe doing the full national repertoire. Her first major role was that of Susanna in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. But it was as Lyudmila in Glinka's Ruslan and Lyudmila that her name became known. Her performance of the opera in San Francisco -- at the tender age of 23 -- brought down the house. She was a star.

In 1996, Netrebko won another prize, the International Rimsky-Korsakov Vocal Competition in St. Petersburg. That year her performance with the Rotterdam Philharmonic was broadcast by the BBC.

anna netrebko in war and peace

More prizes followed, and Anna just kept traveling. She became a regular in San Francisco where she did her first recital, and debuted in Washington as Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto. For the next several years she would take some of the most envied roles across the globe.

Anna sang Bach and Handel in Florence, did Zerlina of Don Giovanni in San Francisco, and Natasha of Prokofiev's War and Peace at Covent Garden in London (where she sang for the Prince of Wales), as well as in Milan, Madrid and Salzburg.

She traveled extensively with the Kirov Opera too, reprising her signature roles in the Metropolitan Opera in New York as well as Athens, Amsterdam, Rome, Finland, and Israel.

Netrebko sang Bach and Handel in Florence, did Zerlina of Don Giovanni in San Fran, and Natasha of Prokofiv's War and Peace at Covent Garden in London, in Milan, Madrid, and Salzburg.

anna netrebko in la traviatta

In 2002, she debuted in Vienna in La Traviatta and took part in the massive St. Petersburg gala for the city's 300th anniversary. The next year Anna kept hopping around London, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Florence, Los Angeles, Munich, San Francisco, and Japan with her established roles.

It was in 2003 that Anna made her first recording, a collection of arias by Bellini, Berlioz, Donizetto, Dvorak, Gounod, Massenet, Mozart, and Puccini for Deutsche Grammophon. In the following year she released a DVD: Anna Netrebko -- The Woman, The Voice, which was choreographed by Vincent Paterson, who worked with Madonna and Michael Jackson.

anna netrebko does verdi's othello

Anna's plans are to perform more solo recitals and take on more challenging roles -- roles in Puccini's Tosca, as Desdemona in Verdi's Othello, and Leonora in Il Trovatore. When she's not traveling, she makes her home in St. Petersburg, where she's still part of the Kirov company.

Anna is currently dating Italian bass-baritone Simone Alberghini.


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