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Anna Netrebko

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Anna Jurjewna Netrebko (Russian: Анна Юрьевна Нетребко), (born 18 September 1971 in Krasnodar, Russia) is a Russian soprano who also holds Austrian citizenship.

While a student at the conservatory of Saint Petersburg, Netrebko worked as a floor cleaner as an odd job at St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre (home of the Kirov Opera). Later, she auditioned for the Mariinsky company, where conductor Valery Gergiev recognised her from her prior odd-job work. He subsequently became her vocal mentor. Guided by him, she made her operatic stage debut at the Mariinsky as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. She went on to sing many prominent roles with the Kirov Opera, including Amina in La Sonnambula, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor.

In 1995, the 24-year-old Netrebko made her American debut as Lyudmila in Glinka's Ruslan and Lyudmila at the San Francisco Opera. Following this successful performance, she became a frequent guest singer in San Francisco. She also appeared in other cities in the US and is known as an acclaimed interpreter of Russian operatic roles, such as Lyudmila, Natasha in Prokofiev's War and Peace, Louisa in his Betrothal in a Monastery and Marfa in The Tsar's Bride. Netrebko has also made successful forays into bel canto and romantic roles such as Gilda in Rigoletto, Musetta in La Bohème and Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi.

Her 2003 repertoire included performances as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata in Munich, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Los Angeles Opera, and Donna Anna at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. That year also saw the release of her first studio album, Opera Arias, which became one of the best selling classical recordings of the year. Her second album, Sempre Libera, was released the following year. She sang a highly regarded Roméo et Juliette with Rolando Villazón, with whom she also performed in L'Elisir d'Amore in 2005. In the same year, she appeared as Violetta Valéry in La Traviata at the Salzburg Festival, conducted by Carlo Rizzi, again with Villazón. Her most recent role (2007) is the character Elvira of Vincenzo Bellini's I Puritani at the Metropolitan Opera.

In March 2006, Netrebko applied to become an Austrian citizen, receiving her citizenship in late July. According to an interview in the Austrian weekly news, she will live in Vienna and Salzburg. This has led to some backlash in Russia. As the main reason for obtaining Austrian citizenship Netrebko cites a very cumbersome and humiliating process of obtaining visas as a Russian citizen for her frequent performances abroad.

In March 2007, Netrebko announced that she would be an ambassador for SOS Children's Village in Austria, and be a sponsor for the Tomilino village in Russia

On May 30, 2007, Netrebko made her Carnegie Hall debut with Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. Originally scheduled for March 2, 2006, Netrebko postponed this recital because she did not feel artistically ready.

In September and December of 2007 she will be reprising her role as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette with Rolando Villazon (among others) at the Metropolitan Opera. Her run will include the annual New Year's Eve Gala and will be conducted by Placido Domingo. She also performed at the Last Night of the Proms on 8 September 2007, one of the most prestigious musical events in the calendar.


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