Sergei Leiferkus (born April 4, 1946)
is considered one of the world’s most renowned performing artists, known for his dramatic technique and powerful voice particularly in Russian and Italian language repertoire. His ability to convey both nobility and evil makes him most noted for roles such as Scarpia in Tosca, Iago in Otello, Boris Godunov, Telramund in Lohengrin and Alberich in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Grand-prétre de Dagon in Samson et Dalila and Simon Boccanegra as the title role. Leiferkus was born in Leningrad (now known as St. Petersburg), Russia. He studied music at the St. Petersburg conservatory. In 1972, he made his debut with Maly Theatre of Leningrad and received recognition for Eugene Onegin, Iolanta, Barber of Seville and Don Giovanni. He joined Kirov Opera Company in 1977 performing in Prokofiev's War and Peace as Andrei. While at the Kirov Opera, Leiferkus's talent began to receive international reputation as a powerful singer and imaginative actor. He has appeared at opera houses throughout the world including Royal Opera House, Vienna State Opera, Opéra Bastille in Paris, Teatro alla Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Palau de les Arts, Valencia, Netherlands Opera, Teatro Colón, at the Edinburgh Festival, Bregenzer Festspiele, Glyndebourne and Salzburg Easter Festival. He has also worked with many notable conductors and orchestras including Sir Georg Solti, James Levine, Claudio Abbado, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Kent Nagano, Leonard Slatkin, Vladimir Jurovski, Kurt Masur and Seiji Ozawa with London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic.
Further highlights of the 2014/2015 season include Scarpia, Miserly Knight and his debut in the title role of Boris Godounov in St Petersburg. The latter two roles he will also sing in concert in London in early 2015. Further concerts include Shostakovich’s 13th Symphony (Babi Yar) in Vladivostok and Francesca da Rimini in Darmstadt.
Sergei Leiferkus has recorded almost forty CDs. His first CD recording of songs by Mussorgsky received a Grammy nomination, while another recording of all of Mussorgsky’s songs (on four CDs) was awarded the Cannes Classical Award and the Diapason d’Or Prize in 1997. The catalogue of Sergei Leiferkus’ video recordings includes operas staged at the Mariinsky Theatre (Eugene Onegin and The Fiery Angel) and at Covent Garden (Prince Igor and Otello), three versions of The Queen of Spades (Mariinsky Theatre, Wiener Staatsoper and Glyndebourne) and Nabucco (Bregenz Festival). One of the most recent productions featuring Sergei Leiferkus has been acclaimed director Robert Wilson’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris. Besides his frequent appearances in opera, concert and recital, Sergei Leiferkus also gives master classes and teaches in Berlin, Toronto, Moscow and Boston, as well as at the renowned Britten-Pears School, Aldeburgh.
Photo: Medien Verlags GmbH Dresden