Born in town of Kutaisi (Georgia). In 1966, she completed her studies at the Tbilisi Conservatory (Vera Davydova’s class). In the same year, she made her debut at the Bolshoi Theatre. In 2000, she was appointed director of the Bolshoi Theatre Opera Company collectives.
Her repertoire at the Bolshoi Theatre included the following, among other, roles:
The Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro)
Tatiana, Larina (Eugene Onegin)
Lyubka (Sergei Prokofiev’s Semyon Kotko)
Natasha Rostova (Prokofiev’s War and Peace)
Olga (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Maid of Pskov)
Title role (Tosca)
Leonora (Il Trovatore)
Title role (Sergei Rachmaninov’s Francesca da Rimini)
Polina (Prokofiev’s The Gambler)
Title role (Iolanta)
Tamar (Otar Taktakishvili’s Abduction of the Moon) — creator of role
Donna Anna (Alexander Dargomyzhsky’s The Stone Guest)
Liza (The Queen of Spades)
Amelia (Un Ballo in Maschera)
Fevronia (Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and of the Maiden Fevronia)
Santuzza ( Cavalleria Rusticana)
Voyslava (Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mlada)
Joan of Arc (Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s The Maid of Orleans)
Title role, Amneris (Aida)
Title role (Adriana Lecouvreur)
Title role (Turandot)
She has an extensive concert repertoire including romances by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Manuel de Falla, Russian and Western European church music, Rossini’s Petite messe solemnelle, Verdi’s Requiem, Bruckner’s Te Deum, Britten’s The War Requiem, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14.
The singer’s international career took off with her triumphant debut, in 1979, at the Metropolitan Opera (as Tatiana in Eugene Onegin).
As a guest star, Makvala Kasrashvili has sung at the world’s leading opera houses. For four seasons from 1984, she appeared at Royal Opera in London where she sang Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Vitellia (La Clemenza di Tito).
She sang Donna Anna too for Hamburgische Staatsoper and Prague National Opera.
In 1984, she made her debut as Aida at Bayerische Staatsoper, here she also sang Desdemona (Otello) and Amelia (Un Ballo in maschera).
She also appeared in the latter role at the Met.
She gave two appearances as Elizaveta (Don Carlos) at the Savonlinna Opera Festival (Finland).
She sang the title role in Aida at Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro Arena di Verona, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and at Opera New Jersey she sang Amneris.
She appeared as Santuzza (Cavalleria rusticana) at Huston Grand Opera, Finnish National Opera, Opera Seattle and Washington National Opera.
For Norwegian Opera, Polish National Opera and Florida Grand Opera, she sang the title role in Tosca. Apart from her appearance in the role at the Metropolitan Opera, she also sang Tatiana (Eugene Onegin) for Hungarian State Opera, Polish National Opera and Prague Opera.
At the Ceylon Opera Theatre, she sang Maddalena (Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chenier), for Canadian Opera Company (Toronto) — Chrysothemis (Electra by Richard Strauss), for Teatro Comunale (Bologna) — Liza (The Queen of Spades).
At the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, in Rome, she sang the title role in Francesca da Rimini.
At the Mariinsky Theatre, with Valery Gergiev conducting, she sang Herodias (Richard Strauss’ Salome) and Ortrud (Lohengrin).
She has appeared with solo concerts at, among other venues, the Newport Festival (four times in 1979) and the Dmitry Shostakovich Festival in Seattle (1999). She has often appeared at the Bard Music Festival (USA) where, in 1998, she sang the lead in The Maid of Orleans and, in 2004 — the Shostakovich’s From Jewish Folk Poetry cycle (conductor Leon Botstein). She also took part in a production by Francesca Zambello of works by Shostakovich: his opera The Nose (Podtochina) and his operetta Moscow-Cheryomushki (Vava).
She has appeared with the Pittsburg Symphonic Orchestra and with Philharmonic Orchestra in London (as Voyslava in Mlada
), with the Montreal Symphonic Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14). She also sang this symphony with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia orchestra (conductor Krzysztof Penderecki). She has appeared in many countries in Britten’s War Requiem
, including in London, at the Albert Hall with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and, in Tokyo, with the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Japan (conductor Mstislav Rostropovich). She has sung Verdi’s Requiem with the Oslo Symphony Orchestra.
Rachmaninov’s Francesca da Rimini — Title role, conductor Mark Ermler, Melodiya, 1977
Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and of the Maiden Fevronia — Fevronia, conductor Evgeny Svetlanov, Melodiya (“live” recording), 1983
Prokofiev’s The Gambler — Polina, conductor Alexander Lazarev, Melodiya, 1987
Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mlada — Voyslava, conductor Alexander Lazarev, director Boris Pokrovsky, Bolshoi Theatre production, VHS, 1989
Opera Arias, conductor Mark Ermler, Melodiya (Bolshoi Theatre 200th Aniversary series), 1976
Six Tchaikovsky Duets, Makvala Kasrashvili with Irina Arkhipova (mezzo-soprano), Natalya Rassudova (piano), Melodiya
Tchaikovsky Romances, Liya Mogilevskaya (piano), Melodiya, 1991
Shostakovich Symphony No. 14, conductor Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Melodiya
Symphonies. Prokofiev, Debussy...(Shostakovich Symphony No. 14), conductors Alexander Lazarev/ Alberto Zedda, EMI Classics, 2002
Shostakovich’s Satyrs to verse by Sasha Chyorny, Melodiya
© Photo by Bolshoi Theatre, Damir Yusupov
© Bolshoi Theatre