Elena Tsallagova was born in Vladikavkaz, southern Russia. She was awarded a bursary to attend the famous Saint Petersburg Conservatory and went on to sing several roles at the Mariinsky Theatre (Le Coq d’Or, Suor Angelica).
She studied repertoire and interpretation with Mme Ileana Cotrubas, working on such roles as Ilia (Idomeneo), Marzellina (Fidelio), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), Adèle (Die Fledermaus). Winner of the regional Rachmaninov vocal competition in Saint Petersburg, she integrated the young artists programme at the Opéra National de Paris in October 2006. In December 2007 she sang the soprano role in Cimarosa’s Il Ritorno di Don Calandrino under Maestro Riccardo Muti’s direction having made her Salzburg Festival debut in summer 2007 as Zelmira (Armida, Haydn).
In autumn 2008 she was invited back to the Paris Opera for the title role of Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen for which she received outstanding reviews. The production was shown on French television and has now been released as a DVD, winning DVD of the year at ‘Les Victoires de la Musique’ awards.
In November 2008 Elena began a two year contract with the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich where among the roles she sang Despina (Così fan tutte), Sophie (Werther), Nanetta (Falstaff), Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Musetta (La Bohème). She returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper last season for Der Zwerg. She made her UK debut as Nanetta with Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 2009 and returns to the Glydnebourne Festival in 2013 as Nanetta, a role she will also sing at the Paris Opera.
Following her debut at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro in summer 2011, she sang La Contessa de Folleville at De Vlaamse Opera in Il Viaggio a Reims.
Past opera engagements include her debut at Teatro Real in Madrid (L’Incoronazione di Poppea), her return to the Paris Opera to sing her first Mélisande under Philippe Jordan’s direction (released on DVD), Agrippina in Antwerp and Oviedo, L’Occasione fa il ladro in Pesaro. At the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Elena has sung Nanetta in a new production of Falstaff and has further triumphed adding the roles of Micaela (Carmen) and Gilda (Rigoletto) to her repertoire.
Recent concert engagements include her debut at the Lucerne Festival in a programme of Bach Cantatas and her return there in The Bells by Rachmaninoff, Ravel’s Sheherezade with the MDR Leipzig, Mozart Concert Arias with concerto Köln conducted by Ivor Bolton as part of their anniversary.
Recently she returned to Madrid as Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), returned to Paris to sing Musetta and Mélisande and was Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore) and Sophie (Rosenkavalier) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Upcoming highlights include Mélisande in a new production at the Bayerische Staatsoper, the title role of The Cunning Little Vixen in a new production at the Glyndebourne Festival.