Elena Bocharova "est une révélation" read the headline in Le Monde a French newspaper in Toulouse. The mezzosoprano replaced Olga Borodina as Dalila with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse performances in Toulouse and the Salle Pleyel in Paris (w/Ben Heppner) last May. "Voix voluptuese, controle d'ligne, aigu facile, la mezzo-soprano campe un Dalila de haut vol".
2010-11 was an important season for Ms. Bocharova’s evolution to the spinto mezzo repertoire. She covered Azucena at the Metropolitan Opera this spring after her debut as Marina with voluptuous tones, a voice of radiance and gorgeously rich texture and nuance" in Dallas Opera's new Boris. In her performances in Trieste's Verdi Requiem and in the title role of Dalila for Trieste's Samson et Dalila she received great public and critical acclamation! Another great triumph with multiple standing ovations, was for her Azucena at the Macau Festival's Trovatore. In 2010 she debuted as the Principessa in Adriana LeCouvreur in Firenze and also performed in a New Years Eve concert at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto to great acclaim.
In summer 2009, "Ms. Bocharova was the excellent Amneris, voluptuous of voice and certainly the strongest character on stage" in the Minnesota Orchestra's concert performance of Aida. Career highlights include a lengthy list of accolades and distinctions. In her most recent performances of the Verdi Requiem with the Bergen Philharmonic under Mº Litton, she was hailed as having “absolute command and beauty of her glorious mezzosoprano voice.” Performing Amneris at the Savonlinna Festival in Finland, and Amneris in 2008 with Opera Carolina, she received stunning reviews as a “formidable opponent to Aida, her rival in love. Letting fly with vibrant high notes, belting out gutsy low ones, she filled Amneris’ steely resolve”. The Opera Omaha production of Butterfly witnessed her “consistently appealing Suzuki sung with warmth and as much color as the incredible sets,” and her breathtaking Dalila for Dayton Opera was performed to critical acclaim “with assurance and beauty of tone…her voice blooms at both top and bottom and she uses it to dramatic effect”. In fact she sounded as fresh and powerful at the end of the opera as she had at the beginning!”
Born in Russia, and a graduate of the Adler Fellowship program, her debut as Flosshilde marked the beginning of a prominent run with the San Francisco Opera, roles including Dorabella in Cosi, Orlofsky in Fledermaus, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas. Her 2003 New York debut witnessed a “sensual and vocally attractive” Carmen with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center.
Carmen has remained a consistent part of Ms. Bocharova’s repertoire, with highlights including a breathtaking performance in the title role with the Semperoper, Dresden, a concert performance in Köln to commemorate the opening of the 2006 World Cup, a performance with Dayton Opera praising her “voice of enveloping warmth […] seething with sensuality […] a certainty of self that carries its own magnetism,” and with a “thrillingly gutsy mezzo” for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Other career highlights include concerts at La Monnaie/Antwerp, her debut in Brussels in a gala with Jose Van Dam, a “rich-voiced mezzo” as Cornelia in Utah’s Julius Caesar, her Opera de Paris debut in Boris Godunov, a Richard Tucker Gala at Avery Fisher Hall, Suzuki for Tulsa Opera’s Butterfly, and a Tucker Music Foundation concert in Stamford, in which she was “impressing with a rich mezzo voice that was very expressive and full of beautiful, plummy tone”. In concert Ms. Bocharova has performed varied works including the Mozart Requiem, the Beethoven Ninth Symphony and Handel’s Messiah in San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall. She has a recording: Maggie in The Gift of the Magi (world-premiere).
Future engagements include Amneris in a new production as well as Laura, with the Paris Opera, in future seasons. She will also be making her debut as Santuzza in Mumbai, India in 2012 and opens the next season as Amneris in a gala anniversary production of Aida with Edmonton Opera. She returns for concerts with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse in '12-13. Roles in preparation include: Eboli and Jeanne d'Arc.
Carmen Carmen Bizet
Principessa Adriana LeCouvreur Cilea
Santuzza [from 2011] Cavalleria Rusticana Mascagni
Charlotte Werther Massenet
Marina Boris Godunov Mussorgsky
Marfa Khovanchina Mussorgsky
La Cieca, Laura [from 2010] La Gioconda Ponchielli
Suzuki Madama Butterfly Puccini
Lubasha The Tsar’s Bride Rimsky-Korsakov
Dalila Samson et Dalila Saint-Saëns
Pauline Pique Dame Tchaikovsky
Amneris Aida Verdi
Eboli [from 2011] Don Carlo Verdi
Fenena Nabucco Verdi
Azucena Il Trovatore Verdi
Messa di Requiem Verdi
REVIEWS FOR ELENA BOCHAROVA
Samson et Dalila - Orchestre National du Capitol de Toulouse
Elena Bocharova est une révélation : voix voluptueuse, contrôle de la ligne, aigu facile, la mezzo-soprano campe une Dalila de haut vol.
Anne-Marie Chouchan, La Depeche, May 15 2011
Mais une créature haute en couleur, comme sortie d'un film de Federico Fellini ou de John Waters, fait le spectacle à elle seule : la Russe Elena Bocharova - une blonde platinée sursaturée au jeté pectoral opulent, strassée jusqu'aux faux cils - remplace au pied levé sa compatriote Olga Borodina, grande vedette familière du rôle. Mais Bocharova fait oublier Borodina en quelques secondes : présence captivante et voix capiteuse, aigus et graves faciles, diction plus que satisfaisante. Une nature, comme on dit, mais surtout une impeccable musicienne.
Renaud Machart, Le Monde, May 14, 2011
Boris Godunov - Dallas Opera
As Princess Marina, Elena Borcharova exudes voluptuous tones and feminine wiles.
Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News, April 2, 2011
Mezzo soprano Elena Bocharova is radiant as the scheming Marina.
Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones, April 2, 2011
Russian mezzo Elena Bocharova portrayed Marina, who sings or is otherwise the center of attention for some of Mussorgsky’s most lyrical music. A San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow in 1999-2000....including the memorable 2000 production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Tsar’s Bride” with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Anna Netrebko, Nikolai Gassiev and Olga Borodina. Here, her star power was evident, particularly with Akimov’s Grigori/Dmitri in what passes for a “love duet” for Russian opera’s most duplicitous power couple.
Opera Warhorses, April 3, 2011
Elena Bocharova as Marina, the power hungry temptress, makes her blocking seem natural. I know exactly why she sits down when she does, or turns her face away when dealing with Rangoni. Her intentions are clearly stated both vocally and physically. There is subtext to her performance. If only she had been in the entire opera!
Mark-Brian Sonna, Pegasus News, April 5, 2011
Samson et Dalila - Trieste
La compagnia di canto ripaga molto delle attenzione. Per la presenza di Elena Bocharova che deve affinare il personaggio ma offre un'intonazione impeccabile, una voce calda e brunita, un timbro coinvolgente e vellutato atto alla sincerita menzognera
Claudio Gherbitz, Il Piccolo, February 20, 2011
Dopo la rinuncia dell’attesa cantante friulana Luciana D’Intino, il capolavoro di Camille Saint-Saëns, Samson et Dalila, è ritornato dopo 27 anni al Verdi di Trieste, per la prima volta in francese con sopratitoli, grazie alla promozione dalla seconda alla prima compagnia del mezzosoprano russo Elena Bocharova, che anche il pubblico udinese ha applaudito nel Requiem verdiano. Promozione in complesso meritata, poiché quella della Bocharova è una prestazione di rilievo, con accenti vibranti, uniti a una resa scenica non priva di sensuale drammaticità.
Danilo Soli, Il Messegaro Veneto, February 20, 2011
Verdi Requiem - Trieste
Il biondo del mezzosoprano russo Elena Bocharova, con note calde e appassionate, già dall’accorato Liber scriptum, ottima premessa per il suo Sansone e Dalila.
Danilo Soli, Il Messegaro Veneto, February 6, 2011
la sorpresa lieta è venuta dalla cantante russa, voce di peso, ricca di sfumature, una promessa quale imminente Dalila.
Claudio Gherbitz, Il Piccolo, February 6, 2011
Aida, Minnesota Orchestra
Elena Bocharova was the excellent Amneris, voluptuos of voice and certainly the stongest character on stage - the Egyptian princess as a nubile young woman rather than the nagging wench so often seen in this role.
Michael Anthony, Star Tribune, August 3, 2009
Verdi Requiem - Bergen Philharmonie, Bergen Norway
The soloists are central in Verdi’s Requiem and the score puts heavy demands on the singers. With their different personalities, the soloist quartet managed to add new characters to the musical narrative. Particularly Elena Bocharova with her golden and dark voice stood up as the essence of all all the heartfelt warmth. She was the one who made the difference and who carried long stretches on her own.
Glenn Erik Haugland, Bergen Tidende, Norway, 27 November, 2008
Il Trovatore – Southern Opera, New Zealand
The remarkable voice and striking stage presence of Elena Bocharova (Azucena) dominated as it should. (Verdi loved oddball characters as Rigoletto showed.) Azucena’s role demands a huge compass, from guttural chest register to upper mezzosphere. Both extremes were admirably exploited with Bocharova’s rich, strong voice.
The Listener, October 14, 2008
The real stars, of course, were the international singers. Elena Bocharova (Russia) played the gypsy Azucena with convincing characterization and a huge voice with a lush lower register which was never lost amongst orchestration.
Otago Daily Times, October 13, 2008
Aida – Opera Carolina
Elena Bocharova made the princess Amneris – Aida’s rival in love- a formidable opponent. Letting fly with vibrant high notes, belting out gusty low ones, she filled Amneris’ threats with steely resolve.
Steven Brown, The Charlotte Observer, February 02, 2008
Also satisfying was Elena Bocharova’s Amneris. She possesses power at both extremes of her range, and her plangent middle voice could convey both royal imperiousness and womanly tenderness.
Luther Wade, Opera New Online, February 2, 2008
A solid mezzo-soprano can easily steal the show as the Pharaoh’s daughter, Amneris. This character has the wildest range of emotions and the most dramatic personal growth, beginning as an entitled and jealous lover, becoming a vengeful, wronged lover, and ending transcending her personal loss to plead for Radames’ life and mourning his cruel death. Elena Bocharova brought an almost contralto-like lower range and fiery temperament that packed quite an impact. She was terrific.
William-Thomas Walker, January 31, 2008
Samson et Dalila – Dayton Opera
Elena Bocharova is a true contralto, plumbing the vocal depths with massive tone, producing a seamless column of sensuous sound through the range. While acting in the grand manner, bringing to mind Theda Bara, Bocharova hurled stunning vocal thunderbolts. The entire production was one of Dayton Opera’s best and a triumphant ending to the season.
Charles H. Parsons, Opera News Online, May 2007
The singers, led by the amazing mezzo-soprano voice of Elena Bocharova, delivered the splendor of the score. Bocharova, well remembered as Carmen in 2005, has such musical power that we sense that there is always more. Nothing is forced, all is beautiful.
Burt Saidel, The Oakwood Register, March 20, 2007
Russian-born Elena Bocharova is voluptuous is both voice and physique, and her rich-toned instrument is well suited to the exacting demands of Delilah, one of the plums of the mezzo-sopranorepertoire. Although this was her first performance in the role, she sang Delilah with assurance and beauty of tone, never fudging or blurring. Her voice “blooms” at the top and bottom, and she uses it to dramatic effect. In fact, she sounded as fresh and powerful at the end of the opera as she had at the beginning. For her pivotal second act seduction scene, opposite South Korean tenor Dongwon Shin as Samson, she was particularly sultry in voice and demeanor. Anyone who saw her stretched languorously on her chaise lounge as the curtain went up would understand why Samson was bound to lose his hair before the next intermission. It was an auspicious first outing in the role.
Eric Street, Dayton City Paper, March 7, 2007