Elīna Garanča was born into a musical family in Riga, Latvia. She studied at the Latvian Academy of Music with her mother. She won the Mirjam Helin Singing Competition in 1999 and was a finalist in the 2001 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
She began her professional career as a resident artist with the Südthüringischer Staatstheater in Meiningen where she appeared in many leading roles. She later appeared as a resident artist with Oper Frankfurt.
Since then, Elīna has established herself as one of the music world’s major stars through her performances with leading opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world. She has captured critical and popular acclaim for her beautiful voice, intelligent musicianship, and compelling stage portrayals.
In September 2005 Elīna became an exclusive artist with Deutsche Grammophon (DG). Her first solo recording ‘Aria Cantilena’ was released in March 2007 to great popular and critical acclaim. Two of her previous albums (‘Romantique’ and ‘Meditation’) both won an ECHO Klassik award. Her most recent album ‘Sol y Vida’ was released in May 2019 and has been unanimously praised by the critics: “Garanča’s selection of flamboyant Mediterranean and Latin American songs is a predictably good fit for her ripe and beguiling timbre.” (Gramophone).
During the 2019/20 season, Elīna will star as Dalila in a new production of Samson et Dalila at Staatsoper Berlin with Daniel Barenboim, she will sing her first Italian-language Princess Eboli at the Bayerische Staatsoper, reprising the role later in the season at the Royal Opera House, as well as returning to the Metropolitan Opera as Marguerite in La damnation de Faust. On the concert platform, Elīna will sing Sea Pictures with Daniel Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin, Mahler 3 with Berlin Philharmonic and Yannick Nézet-Séguin,and Wesendonck-Lieder with Christian Thielemann at the Salzburg Festival. Elīna will also star at various festivals and galas throughout Europe, Japan, South America and beyond.
Recent highlights include a critically-acclaimed role debuts in new productions as Princess Eboli in Don Carlos at the Opéra national de Paris, and Dalila in Samson et Dalila at the Wiener Staatsoper and Metropolitan Opera. Other highlights include a new production of La Favorite at Bayerische Staatsoper (recently released on DVD by DG). She also starred in a new production of Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera – broadcast in cinemas worldwide.
Ms Garanča has been the recipient of many awards: Musical America’s ‘Vocalist of the Year’ 2010; MIDEM’s ‘Singer of the Year’ 2007 and the ECHO Klassik award for ‘Female Singer of the Year’ the same year.
She has also given numerous gala concerts and recitals across the world, including the Verdi Requiem from Teatro alla Scala with Daniel Barenboim, Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape (also released as CD/DVD on Decca) and regular recitals at Carnegie Hall in New York and Wigmore Hall in London.
In May 2013, Ms Garanča was honoured by the Wiener Staatsoper with the title of ‘Kammersängerin’. One of the youngest recipients of the Award, Ms Garanča was honoured for her devotion to the House, singing over one hundred and forty performances of eighteen roles since her debut in the House in 2003, beginning with the small role of Lola, and now the House’s reigning Carmen, Sesto, Giovanna Seymour, Charlotte and Octavian.