Elina Garanca was born in Riga in 1976 into a musical family. In 1996 she entered the Latvian Academy of Music in Riga. Whilst still a student, she performed the role of Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena with only ten days' notice and uncovered a deep affinity with the bel canto repertoire. She made her Met debut in 2008 as Rosina and includes roles as diverse as Charlotte, Carmen, Oktavian, Romeo and Cenerentola in her repertoire. In 2007 she was honoured with an Echo Award for Aria cantilena – her first solo recording for Deutsche Grammophon, and the Three-Star Order from the Latvian State.