Julia Lezhneva (Soprano)
Born: 5th December 1989, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sakhalin Island
Artist's website: https://www.julialezhneva.com
Julia Lezhneva was born in 1989 in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and studied in Moscow and at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice, where she was mentored by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (who brought her to international prominence in 2010 by inviting her to perform at the Classical Brit Awards). Other early successes included the Grand Prix at the Elena Obraztsova International Competition aged just 17 (singing ‘Riedi al soglio’ from Rossini’s Zelmira and the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in 2009.
Lezhneva is renowned for her phenomenal vocal agility, and at the beginning of her career sang both mezzo and soprano repertoire; her debut solo recording (an all-Rossini programme with Marc Minkowski and Sinfonia Varsovia) was released on Naïve in 2011 and was praised by Opera Now for the ‘pinpoint accuracy, real elegance and musicality’ of her singing. Shortly afterwards, she signed to Decca Classics, where her discography has included Alleluia (sacred motets by Vivaldi, Porpora, Handel and Mozart), solo recitals of Handel and Graun, and studio recordings of two little-known baroque operas in collaboration with Parnassus Arts and Viennese countertenor Max Cencic: Laodice in Hasse’s Siroe Re di Persia (‘Lezhneva shows that it is possible to negotiate Hasse’s vocal writing with stylishness and beauty of tone as well as accuracy’ – The Guardian) and Ersinda in Porpora’s Germanico in Germania.
Further Reading: Julia Lezhneva
Katherine talks to the Russian soprano about unearthing a treasure-trove of Italian opera arias by the German baroque composer.
The phenomenal young Russian soprano talks to Katherine about her recent disc of motets by Vivaldi, Handel, Porpora and Mozart, and her plans for the future.