Kristine Opolais is acknowledged as one of the most exciting young sopranos before the public today. In October of 2010, she made a sensational debut at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in the title role of the new production of Dvorak’s Rusalka directed by Martin Kusej. This was followed in June of 2011 by her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly which was received with extraordinary critical and public acclaim.
Performances for the 2013/2014 season included Kristine Opolais returning to the Metropolitan Opera in the title role of Madama Butterfly. She starred as as Vitellia in a new production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich where she will also appear as Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. She will also returns to Zurich as Jenufa. In June of 2014 Opolais joined Jonas Kaufmann in a new production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut conducted by Antonia Pappano at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Engagements for the 2014/2015 season include returning to the Metropolitan Opera as Mimi in La Boheme, and to Bayerische Staatsoper as Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito, Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly, and Tatjana in Eugene Onegin amongst others.
In the 2012/2013 season Opolais made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera singing her first Magda in La Rondine. Zachary Woolfe of the New York Observer wrote: “Ms. Opolais seemed to live with it, growing in stature as the evening went on and radiating the kind of aura – one that demands you watch her, and sympathize with her – that defines a star… She is a performer with a tremendous future ahead of her. New York will be lucky to have her”. The New York Times praised her as “a lovely woman and an affectingly natural actress”. Opolais then returned to the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in March of 2013 as Tosca. Opolais also appeared in Vienna as Mimi at the Vienna State Opera and with Thomas Hampson and Joseph Calleja in two gala performances of Simon Boccanegra at the Vienna Konzerthaus, which were recorded for release by Decca. She returned to the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in June 2013 in a new production of the work directed by Dmitry Cherniakov and conducted by Brtrand de Billy. Opolais then made her debut with the Boston Symphony in July of 2013 at 2013 Tanglewood Festival in Verdi’s Requiem conducted by Andris Nelsons.
Kristine Opolais was born in Latvia in 1979. She completed her musical studies at the Latvian Academy of Music and subsequently made her operatic stage debut in 2003 as Musetta in La Boheme with the Latvian National Opera n Riga. Opolais remained a member of the company from 2003 until 2007, appearing in an astonishing variety of roles including the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Mimi in La Bohème, Liù in Turandot, Violetta in La Traviata, Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly, the title role in Aida, and as Tamara in Rubinstein’s The Demon. Her performances as Lisa in The Queen of Spades, Katerina in Schostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and as Floria in Tosca brought her to the attention of important theatres in Europe. Opolais made her debut at the Berlin State Opera in 2006 as Tosca, and was then invited to return there as Pauline in The Gambler in 2007 in a new production under Daniel Barenboim. Pauline was also the role for her debut at the Teatro alla Scala in 2008 and with the Opera de Lyon in 2009. She debuted at the Vienna State Opera in December 2008 as Mimi in La Boheme opposite Rolando Villazon and also sang this role for her British operatic debut in concert performances with the Birmingham Symphony under Andris Nelsons. Opolais subsequently debuted, the Teatro Regio in Torino as Lisa in The Queen of Spades under Gianandrea Noseda, and with the the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki as Violetta. In the 2009/2010 season she made her Salzburg Festival debut in Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony under Andris Nelsons. During the summer of 2010 Opolais made her debut at the Aix en Provence Festival as Donna Elvira in Cherniakov’s acclaimed production of Don Giovanni. In 2011 she returned to the Teatro alla Scala in Milan as Nedda in Pagliacci and made her debut in Valencia as Tatjna in Eugene Onegin.