The young Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva convinces and inspires internationally: her voice has been described as “angelic” (The New York Times), she sings with “pure tone” (Opernwelt) and “immaculate technique” (The Guardian). Finally, the Süddeutsche Zeitung sees her as a sorceress: she can make her voice almost disappear while performing the most insane vocal tricks and garland fireworks.”
Julia Lezhneva’s international career began with a bang when she caused a sensation at the 2010 Classical Brit Awards at London’s Royal Albert Hall with Rossini’s Fra il padre at the invitation of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
Just a decade later she discovers a broad repertoire with various orchestras, conductors, operas and oratorios. She made her debuts with the Berlin Philharmonic in October 2019 and at the Musikverein in Vienna in December 2019 with great success. She was invited back to the Mozart Week Salzburg in January 2020, this time under Sir András Schiff in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and will be performing there in 2023 Sing Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
In December 2020 she made her acclaimed debut with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Herbert Blomstedt.
Orchestras such as the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Mariinsky Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Orquestra Nacional de España, the Evgeny Svetlanov Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic invite Julia Lezhneva again and again, and she regularly works with them renowned conductors such as Adam Fischer, Giovanni Antonini, Herbert Blomstedt, Paavo Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski and Andrea Marcon.
Julia Lezhneva is a welcome guest at the Salzburg Festival, the Schwetzinger Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Dubrovnik Festival, the Festival de la Vézère, the Sion Festival, the Nordland Musikfestukke
Julia Lezhneva’s debut in Handel’s Alcina (Morgana) at the Hamburg State Opera was celebrated with jubilation in September 2018 and she was immediately invited back for Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and other performances of Alcina. In 2021 she sang the role of Poppea in Handel’s new production of Agrippina (director: Barrie Kosky), in 2022 Zerlina in Don Giovanni – again at the Hamburg State Opera. In addition, she appears in several other opera productions, including Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso (Angelica), Porpora’s Polifemo (Galatea), Germanico in Germania (Ersinda), Carlo il Calvo (Gildippe), Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Susanna, Barberina), Handel’s Tamerlano and Oreste.
In winter 2019 she made her debut in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (conducted by Vladimir Jurowski); in the same season she sang in Handel’s Messiah and La Resurrezione, Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans; as well as in Haydn’s Creation and Mahler’s 4th Symphony.
Julia Lezhneva regularly gives recitals. Her repertoire includes songs and arias by Russian, English, Italian and German composers.
Julia Lezhneva releases exclusively on DECCA records. In April 2017 she released her last solo album with arias by Carl Heinrich Graun together with Concerto Köln. For this she received the OPUS Klassik 2018. Recent publications are Porpora’s Carlo il Calvo (2022), Vivaldi’s Gloria with Franco Fagioli and Diego Fasolis (2018), Porpora’s Germanico in Germania with Max Emanuel Cencic (2018), Handel’s arias with Il Giardino Armonico ( 2015) and her acclaimed debut album Alleluia also with Il Giardino Armonico (2014), also Pergolesi Stabat Mater with Philippe Jaroussky, Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti (2013).
Julia Lezhneva was born in 1989 as the daughter of two geophysicists on the Russian island of Sakhalin and began taking piano and singing lessons at the age of five. She graduated from the Gretchaninov Music School and continued her singing and piano studies at the Moscow Conservatory. She gained international attention at 17 when she won the Elena Obraztsova International Competition and at 18 opened the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro with Juan Diego Flórez. In 2009 she was awarded first prize at the Paris Opera Competition, becoming the youngest ever winner of the competition. The magazine “Opernwelt” named her “Young Singer of the Year” in 2011 for her debut at La Monnaie in Brussels. The following year she performed with the Victoires de la Monnaie in Brussels.
Julia Lezhneva’s teachers and mentors include Dennis O’Neill, Yvonne Kenny, Elena Obraztsova, Alberto Zedda, Richard Bonynge and Thomas Quasthoff.