Artist Of The Week: Elena Stikhina

Russian Soprano Makes Salzburg Festival In ‘Medée’

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Daniil Rabovsky)

Cherubini’s “Medée” has never been a major repertory staple. After all the work requires a star soprano who can bring the drama to life not only through fearless singing, but equally potent acting. Maria Callas, for many, is the last truly iconic interpreter of the title role.

For the new production by Simon Stone, the Salzburg Festival has assembled an all-star cast that should make an argument for the return of the work to the major repertoire. But in the title role, a major rising star will make her role debut and festival debut.

Elena Stikhina, one of the promising sopranos of her generation, will take on the role of Medée for the first time, showing her dramatic stage presence and her acclaimed voice. OperaWire noted of her Leonora in “La Forza del Destino” that she has a “gorgeous instrument that has brightness throughout her range.”

The soprano’s debut will also bring her international attention as the Salzburg Festival has led numerous stars to break out in the industry; the production will be broadcast live throughout the world. It will also mark Stikhina’s return to the late 18th-century repertory since her foray into Mozart’s “Idomeneo” in 2017.

After Salzburg, the soprano continues a busy 2019-20 season singing the title roles of “Aida,” “Norma” and “Adriana Lecouvreur.” She also returns to the Opéra de Paris, Boston Lyric Opera, and Bayerische Staatsoper.


While Stikhina does not have any commercial recordings, the soprano has a number of YouTube videos performing some signature roles.

Here she is performing the role of Cio-Cio San from “Madama Butterfly.”

And here she is singing “Vissi d’arte” from “Tosca.”


Artist of the WeekNews