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Aleix Palau | 14 February 2022

Soprano Julia Lezhneva returns to the Palau de la Música Catalana to make her debut at L’Auditori’s Festival Mozart

With the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dani Espasa.
16 July at the Palau de la Música Catalana.

Soprano Julia Lezhneva returns to the Palau de la Música Catalana to make her debut at L’Auditori’s Festival Mozart

Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva will be returning to the Palau de la Música Catalana, following her success on 7 February, to take part for the first time in Festival Mozart Nits d’Estiu at L’Auditori, alongside the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra on 16 July. This concert is a co-production with the Palau de la Música Catalana and it will also be Lezhneva’s debut with the OBC. The programme, which is yet to be confirmed, will be conducted by Dani Espasa.

Julia Lezhneva will be replacing French soprano Patricia Petibon, who was forced to cancel her appearance at the festival for personal reasons. All tickets already purchased for this concert will still be valid.

Julia Lezhneva’s links with L’Auditori date back to 2012, when she recorded the CD Alleluia for Decca, with Giovanni Antonini and Il Giardino Armonico, on stage in Hall 1, Pau Casals. It was a recording with a subsequent concert that the soprano was unable to take part in for health reasons.

About Julia Lezhneva
Lezhneva was born into a family of geophysicists in 1989 on the island of Sakhalin, on the Pacific coast just off eastern Russia. She began to play the piano and sing when she was five years old. On her graduation from the Gretchaninov School of Music, she continued her vocal and piano studies at the Moscow Conservatory Academic Music College. When she was seventeen, she attracted international attention by winning the Elena Obraztsova Competition for Opera Singers. The following year, she shared the stage with Juan Diego Flórez at the opening of the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. In 2009, she was awarded first prize at the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in Helsinki and, the following year, first prize at the Paris Opera Competition. In both cases, she was the youngest entrant in the history of the respective competitions. In 2011, the magazine “Opernwelt” named her Young Singer of the Year following her debut at La Monnaie Opera House in Brussels. The next year, she performed at the Victoires de la Musique Classique in Paris.

Her teachers and mentors include Dennis O’Neill, Yvonne Kenny, Elena Obraztsova, Alberto Zedda, Richard Bonynge and Thomas Quasthoff.

Soprano Julia Lezhneva’s international career took off in 2010 during the Classical Brit Awards, at London’s Royal Albert Hall, where she sang Fra il padre by Rossini to great acclaim at the invitation of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

In 2019, she made her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker at the Musikverein in Vienna, where she triumphed with both the public and the critics. In January 2020, she featured once again at Mozart Week in Salzburg, performing The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, under the baton of András Schiff. In 2023, she returned there to sing in the opera Don Giovanni by Mozart. In December 2020, she performed for the first time with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, conducted by Herbert Blomstedt.

She has worked with orchestras as prestigious as the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie in Bremen, the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Orquesta Nacional de España, the Evgeny Svetlanov State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. They repeatedly invite Julia Lezhneva to perform under the baton of acclaimed conductors, such as Ádám Fischer, Giovanni Antonini, Herbert Blomstedt, Paavo Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski and Andrea Marcon.

In 2019, she was the artist in residence at the Kissinger Sommer. She is a regular guest at many festivals, including the Salzburger Festspiele, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Lucerne Festival, Dubrovačke Ljetne Igre, Festival de la Vézère, Sion Festival, Nordland Musikfestukke and Tongyeong International Music Festival (South Korea).

In September 2018, she made her debut at the Hamburg State Opera as Morgana in Handel’s Alcina. Shortly afterwards, she returned there to take part in The Barber of Seville by Rossini, and in other performances of Alcina. In the spring of 2021, the press praised her performance as Poppea in the new production of Agrippina by Handel, conducted by Barrie Kosky, also at the Hamburg State Opera. She also took part in productions of other operas, such as Orlando Furioso (Angelica) by Vivaldi; Polifemo (Galatea), Germanico in Germania (Ersinda) and Carlo il Calvo (Gildippe) by Porpora; The Marriage of Figaro (Susanna and Barberina) by Mozart, and Tamerlano and Oreste by Handel.

In the winter of 2019, she performed Bach’s Christmas Oratorio for the first time, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. That same season, she sang in theMessiah and in La Resurrezione by Handel, Juditha Triumphans by Vivaldi, The Creation by Haydn and in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.

She regularly gives recitals in Moscow and elsewhere in Europe, including Bavaria at the Kissinger Sommer (2019) and Vienna (2019). Her repertoire includes songs by Russian, British and German composers.
Julia Lezhneva records exclusively on the Decca record label. In April 2017, her second solo album went on sale, featuring arias by Carl Heinrich Graun performed with the ensemble Concerto Köln. Other recent albums by the soprano include Vivaldi: Gloria, with Franco Fagioli and Diego Fasolis (2018); Germanico in Germania by Porpora, with Max Emanuel Cencic (2018); Handel’s Arias, with Il Giardino Armonico (2015); the much acclaimed Alleluia, also featuring Il Giardino Armonico (2014); and Stabat Mater by Pergolesi, with Philippe Jaroussky, Diego Fasolis and I Barocchisti (2013).

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