OPERA STAR ANNA NETREBKO SANG OLYMPIC HYMN LIVE AT THE OPENING CEREMONY
OF 2014 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES IN SOCHI
Superstar soprano Anna Netrebko – “the reigning new diva of the early 21st century” (Associated Press) – made a surprise appearance at the opening ceremony for the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games at Sochi’s Fisht Olympic Stadium, singing the Olympic Hymn live during the presentation of the Olympic Flag. In undertaking it for the present Games, the Russian-born soprano, dubbed the “diva assoluto del mondo” by Opera News, joins an elite group that includes such opera luminaries as Plácido Domingo and Alfredo Kraus. Originally composed by Greek opera composer Spyridon Samaras for the opening of the first modern Olympics in 1896, the hymn has been sung at each Olympic opening and closing ceremony since 1960. The ceremony was televised live in many countries around the world.
One of the most acclaimed and widely-recognized classical singers in the world today, Anna Netrebko is regularly seen headlining productions at the world’s top opera houses and in concert with leading orchestras and conductors. In 2007 she became the first classical musician to be selected as one of the Time 100, Time magazine’s list of the most influential people in the world. As an exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon, the soprano’s extensive discography includes solo albums, complete opera recordings, and concert repertoire. Her many honors and awards include multiple Grammy nominations, Musical America’s 2008 “Musician of the Year,” Germany’s prestigious Bambi Award, the UK’s Classical BRIT Awards for “Singer of the Year” and “Female Artist of the Year,” and nine German Echo Klassik awards. In 2005, Netrebko was awarded the Russian State Prize – the country’s highest award in the field of arts and literature – and in 2008 she was given the title of “People’s Artist of Russia.”
The present season finds Netrebko venturing into bold new repertoire. She recently released a solo album of Verdi arias and made role debuts as Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin; as Leonora in Verdi’s Il trovatore; and as the eponymous heroine in Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco. In upcoming months, the soprano gives her first performances as Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma with conductor Riccardo Muti; as Lady Macbeth in the Bavarian State Opera’s Macbeth; and as Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust at London’s Covent Garden, Vienna’s State Opera, and Germany’s Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. On the concert stage, the soprano performs programs of Verdi and verismo arias in Paris, Barcelona, and Lucerne. In the spring, Deutsche Grammophon releases a DVD of her performance as Tatiana in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Eugene Onegin from earlier this season.
Born in 1971 in Krasnodar, Russia, Anna Netrebko studied vocal performance at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. A passionate advocate for children’s causes, she supports a number of charitable organizations, including SOS Kinderdorf International and the Russian Children’s Welfare Society. She holds dual Russian and Austrian citizenship, and since 2006 she has been a global ambassador for Chopard jewelry.