"Bakanova brought a dramatic intensity to the part and embodied the desperation, dramatic extremity, and existential plight of Violetta more completely than any other performance I have seen.."
Tom Service, The Guardian
Ekaterina Bakanova begins the 2017/18 season in the role of Violetta La Traviata with performances at Semperoper Dresden, Teatro La Fenice Venice and later in the season at Teatro Nacional de São Carlos Lisbon. She travels to Opera di Firenze to appear as Magda La Rondine. Other performances this season include Micaëla Carmen with Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León and Ensemble Matheus, conducted by Jean-Christophe Spinosi. Bakanova then appears as Donna Anna Don Giovanni at Israeli Opera.
Recent successes include a return to Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova as Fiordiligi Cosi fan tutte, Micaëla Carmen at Teatro La Fenice and shortly after as Donna Anna Don Giovanni in Dresden at the Semperoper. The role of Pamina Die Zauberflöte took her to Teatro Reggio di Torino, and at the end of the season the artist returned to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden again as Violetta where she received outstanding reviews for her performance.
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Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, June 2017
Bakanova fared well, better suited to the vocal demands of Act 1 than several recent sopranos here…her coloratura and trills were clean, and she placed the high As in Violetta's response to Alfredo's “Un dì felice” very deliberately. She has a keen dramatic sense; hearing Alfredo off-stage really knocked the stuffing out of her…Bakanova's diminutive figure and the brittleness of her soprano helped her cut an affecting figure later on, with “Addio del passato” affectingly delivered. Up against a burly-voiced Germont in Act 2, Bakanova's “Dite alla giovine” was touchingly fragile…
Bachtrack, Mark Pullinger, 15 June 2017
Against this sumptuous background, Russian soprano Ekaterina Bakanova stands out as a stunning Violetta…Bakanova’s beautiful performance earned her a standing ovation. She acts the role particularly well, allowing her Violetta to tread the fine line between worldly wisdom and innocent naivety that is essential to both the story and the character.
The Upcoming, Anna Souter, 15 June 2017
...it was immediately clear how she had cast such a spell two years ago. Her voice is bright, lean and free of any hint of oversized luxuriousness, her vocal persona fired up by a generous spirit and expertly applied musicality. The clincher, though, in terms of technique, was the way all her accomplished decorative work was hugely expressive and unobtrusively well defined. ‘Sempre libera’…was a show-stopper and her reaction to Alfredo’s serenade expanded the drama at this point in a way that rarely happens. It helped, obviously, that, with her fine good looks and an intensely communicative stage presence, Bakanova had no problems recreating the extremes of Violetta’s defiance and desperation, her fragility and fatal sickness. I could go on about the conversational directness of her recitative singing, the emotional verismo of her and Germont pere’s brokering her break-off with Alfredo, and the pallor that seeped into her voice for her beautifully paced death scene, but the point is made that Bakanova’s portrayal of Violetta was outstanding.
Opera Magazine, Peter Reed, 20 June 2017
Bakanova is undeniably the star of the show. Her voice, pure and clean, dips and rises above the orchestra. She exudes a simmering balance of gentility and intensity, weakness and strength. Her dramatization of Violetta is as brilliant and vibrant as her voice, and the emotion she injects into her arias, particularly Amami, Alfredo and the haunting Addio, del passato, is palpable...Bakanova is so mesmerising.
A Younger Theatre, Jessica Handscomb, 26 June 2017
Her voice is interesting in that in its lower registers it takes on an almost mezzo-ish hue, whereas up top it can glisten...Her voice is wonderfully free, and in the final act she thinned her tone to reflect the nature of her character’s illness...It was in the affecting nature of Verdi’s writing in the final act that she shone brightest.
Seen and Heard International, Colin Clarke, 26 June 2017
Bakanova’s free-loving Violetta, is frail yet resolute. Her approach to the character is a fine balance between confident, beautiful and fun loving, and a woman in need of affection, warmth and love. Her singing is delectably mellifluous, with the virtuosity that the bravura role of Violetta requires.
Plays to See, Rivka Jacobson, 18 June 2017
Now she is back in her own right in an outstandingly focused interpretation of the role. It was an extraordinary performance and one of those where you were glad to be able to say “I was there”. Her performance was reminiscent of some of the great Violettas of the past. She has an incredibly flexible vocal range with great vocal attack and shading when required. She is young and hugely expressive and always looked and acted the part particularly in her act 3 tearful final aria...There was a deserved standing ovation at the end where Bakanova’s performance was properly recognised by the audience, orchestra and fellow artists alike. A wonderful evening.
Opera Spy, David Buchler, 15 June 2017
Lucia di Lammermoor
Teatro Regio di Parma, April 2016
Ekaterina Bakanova is an amazing Lucia at the Teatro Regio di Parma.
L’Ape Musicale, Valentina Anzani, 5 April
The singer (Bakanova) debuted the role of Lucia with the same set-up in 2012 and over time has been able to acquire a mastery of technique and a physical agility that make her master of the stage…Bakanova ended her last performance in a triumph.
L’Ape Musicale, Valentina Anzani, 5 April
Lucia is played by Ekaterina Bakanova, light lyric soprano with important stamp, solid technique of acute agility. Singing with grace and fullness of sound, touching colours and shades. The long mad scene, perfectly carried out, has an almost hypnotic grip on the audience…
Operaclick, Patrizia Monteverdi, 30 March
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, July 2015
One hell of a way to make a Royal Opera debut…Russian soprano Ekaterina Bakanova stepped in to sing Violetta at Covent Garden with only hours’ notice, and gave the performance of her life.
And she did, spectacularly. Except it wasn’t simply the sense of a job well done that the standing ovation she got was recognizing…Bakanova managed the evening without a slip from Verdi’s score and, seemingly, without putting a foot, a facial gesture, or a prop in the wrong place in Richard Eyre’s luxuriant production. But she did something else. She had the audience spellbound from pretty well her first notes, and her scintillating vocal power in the big numbers such as Sempre Libera brought the house down.
Bakanova brought a no doubt partly adrenaline-fuelled dramatic intensity to the part and embodied the desperation, dramatic extremity, and existential plight of Violetta more completely than any other performance I have seen…She gave herself so completely to Verdi’s heroine that she made Violetta seem as if she was being created for the first time…a night in Covent Garden’s history where a new operatic star just might have been born.
The Guardian, Tom Service, 7 July
Arena di Verona, July 2016
The crowd that night was very appreciative, with the occasional shouting out of appreciation in the form of bravo, brava, or bravi, especially for Ekaterina Bakanova, who interpreted the role of the protagonist, Violetta.
Huffington Post, 22 July
Ekaterina Bakanova Opera Repertoire
I Puritani (Elvira)
Don Pasquale (Norina)
Ruslan i Ludmila (Ludmila)*
Romeo et Juliette (Juliette)*
Orlando paladino (Angelica)
Das Land des Lächelns (Lisa)
Le nozze di Figaro (Susanna, Contessa*)
La Serva Padrona (Serpina)
La bohème (Musetta)
Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina)
Un ballo in maschera (Oscar)
*roles in preparation
War and Piece (Natasha Rostova)
Ekaterina Bakanova Concert Repertoire
Symphony no. 9
Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda