Dramatic amber-coloured voice
"I have Puccini in my blood, but Dvořák is in my soul." - Kristine Opolais
Latvia is known for its rich resources of amber that are brought to the country's coasts by the surf, especially during autumn and winter storms. The comparison is therefore quite obvious: The voice of Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais reminds of the “gold of the Baltic Sea”. In addition to a honey-coloured, healthy foundation and a vibrant high register, her voice is embellished by richness of sound, velvety splendour and character. These qualities of her dramatic spinto soprano predestine Opolais for the roles of Puccini-heroines. And Opolais loves Puccini-roles such as Magda (La rondine), Mimì, (La Bohème), Tosca, Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly) or Manon (Manon Lescaut). Besides the title role in Verdi's Aida, she also shines in operas by Mozart such as Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira), in Tchaikovsky's “Eugene Onegin” (Tatjana) or in the title role of Janáček's “Jenůfa”. In addition, Opolais feels a very special connection with the role of water nymph Rusalka in Dvořáks lyrical fairytale of the same name.
Opolais is known for her great acting talent that she applies to even the most demanding directorial concepts. Kristine Opolais was born into a musical family in the Latvian city of Rēzekne. Her mother sang, her father played the trumpet both in jazz and classical style. She began her musical education at the age of seven and attended a specialized high school for musical education. At the Latvian Academy of Music Jāzeps Vitols in Riga she studied singing with Regina Frinberga, with Margarita Gruzdeva and Lilija Greidāne. In Amsterdam she continued her studies with Margreet Honig.
In 2003 Opolais became a member of the Latvian National Opera in Riga. In 2006 she had her debut at the Berlin “Staatsoper im Schillertheater”. Two years later she sang for the first time at “La Scala” in Milan and at the Vienna “Staatsoper”. In 2010 she made her debut at Covent Garden as Magda in "La Rondine". She proved her great discipline when, after making her debut as Cio-Cio-San in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at the New York Met in 2014, she stood in for Anita Hartig the following evening as Mimì, although she received the phone call asking her to save the premiere only a few hours before the curtain went up. In the same year Kristine Opolais sang Manon Lescaut at the Royal Opera in London and in place of Anna Netrebko at the Bavarian State Opera. Kristine Opolais is also a much sought-after concert singer. She has appeared as such at the Tonhalle Zürich, the Burgtheater, the Nobel Prize Concert in Stockholm and at the Salzburg Festival.
Russia, CIS countries and Baltic states