Graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1964. While still a student she debuted on December 17, 1963 at the Bolshoi Theatre in the role of Marina Mnishek in Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov.
In 1973-94, she taught at the Moscow State Conservatoire. Teaches at the Musashino Academy of Music in Tokyo, gives master classes in Europe and Japan.
In 2007-08, Yelena Obraztsova was artistic director of the Opera Company of St. Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Theatre.
At the Bolshoi Theatre:
Polina, the Governess, the Countess (The Queen of Spades)
Marya (Prokofiev’s War and Peace)
Oberon (Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Lyubasha (The Tsar’s Bride)
Konchakovna (Prince Igor)
Frosya (Prokofiev’s Semyon Kotko)
Helene Bezukhova (War and Peace)
Azucena (Il Trovatore)
Eboli (Don Carlos)
Zhenya Komelkova (Molchanov’s Quiet Are the Dawns Here)
Judith (Bartok’s Count Bluebeard’s Castle)
Ulrica (Un Ballo in Maschera)
Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana)
Also in repertoire:
Princess de Bouillon (Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur)
Giovanna Seymour (Anna Bolena)
Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice)
Neris (Cherubini’s Medea)
Leonora (Donizetti’s La Favorita)
The Princess (Suor Angelica)
Dalila (Samson et Dalila)
Jocasta (Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex)
Silvana (Respighi’s La Fiamma)
Akhrosimova (War and Peace)
Babulenka (The Gambler)
In 1986, she made her debut as stage director at the Bolshoi Theahtre (Werther).
Ms. Obraztsova has performed on the most celebrated opera stages of the world:
Opera du Marseille (debut in 1973 — Carmen)
Teatro Liceo in Barcelona (debut in 1974 — Dalila)
Vienna State Opera (debut in 1975 — Carmen)
San Francisco Opera (debut in 1975 — Azucena)
La Scala (debut in 1976 — Charlotta)
Metropolitan Opera (debut in 1976 — Amneris)
Covent Garden (debut in 1981 — Azucena)
Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires (debut in 1982 — Marfa)
She has performed under the most prominent opera and symphony orchestra conductors, including Herbert von Karajan, Ricardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Claudio Abbado, Giuseppe Sinopoli, James Levine, Daniel Barenboim, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Yuri Temirkanov, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Fedoseyev and others.
She has performed and collaborated with many of the worlds most famous singers like Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Mirella Freni, Joan Sutherland, Leontyne Price, Renata Scotto, Carlo Bergonzi, Alfredo Kraus, Fedora Barbieri, Montserrat Caballe...
In 1962, Ms. Obraztsova was awarded Gold Medals at competitions in Helsinki and Moscow. In 1970 she won two major international competitions in Moscow (Tchaikovsky Competition) and Barcelona (Francisco Vinas Competition).
She has received all of the highest awards of the USSR and Russia, as well as, many prestigious awards from other countries.