Artist Profile: Sergei Leiferkus, Renowned Russian Baritone

By David Salazar

Sergei Leiferkus was born on April 4, 1946 and would go on to a heralded international career.

The native of Leningrad graduated from his local Conservatory in 1972, though he was already building up great success before his graduation. He was the winner of the All-Union Mikhail Glinka Vocalists’ Competition in 1971 and in 1972, he joined the Maly Musorgsky Opera and Ballet Theatre.

By the end of the decade, he became a member of the Mariinsky Opera Company. Major debuts at the Wexford Festival, Royal Opera House, and Metropolitan Opera would come in 1982, 1988, and 1992, respectively.

From there he has managed a career spanning opera houses around the world, including the Vienna State opera, the Paris Opera, the Teatro alla Scala, and the Teatro Colón, among others.

In addition to his extensive repertory, Leiferkus has recorded over 40 albums, earning a Grammy nomination for his first CD recording of Mussorgsky songs. He was also awarded the Diapason d’Or prize.

Signature Roles

The baritone dominated the Russian repertory, though he also appeared extensively in a number of Italian operas especially villainous characters like Iago in “Otello” and Scarpia in “Tosca.”

Read More on Leiferkus

Fun Facts About His Met Carreer

Watch and Listen

Leiferkus recorded an album of Mussorgsky’s music.

Watch him teach a masterclass.


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