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Julia Lezhneva

Soprano Julia Lezhneva has a flexible voice that enables her to perform opera and art song in various languages. She has appeared in mezzo-soprano as well as soprano roles. Lezhneva was born on December 5, 1989 in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on Sakhalin Island in Russia's far east. Her parents were both geophysicists, but she showed obvious vocal talent as a child and was sent to the Gretchaninov Music School in Moscow, from which she graduated in 2004. Lezhneva went on to the Moscow Conservatory in 2008, earning honors in voice and piano and taking master classes from Elena Obraztsova in St. Petersburg and Alberto Zedda at the Accademia Rossiniana in Pesaro, Italy. She rounded out her education at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice in Wales, U.K., with Dennis O'Neill and also attended master classes with the likes of singers Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Ileana Cotrubas and conductor Richard Bonynge. Lezhneva made her debut in Liverpool, England, in 2009, and the following year, she sang Elena's final Rondo from Rossini's La donna del lago at the Classical Brit Awards at the Royal Albert Hall; she was introduced by Te Kanawa as her protégée. In 2009, she took a master class with Thomas Quasthoff at the Verbier Festival, and that year, she became the youngest-ever winner at the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition. Her continental debut came at the Mozart Festival in Salzburg, Austria, in 2010, singing the soprano solo part in Mozart's Mass in C minor, K. 427. Her recording debut came in 2011 on the Naïve label with the operatic recital Julia Lezhneva Sings Rossini. Lezhneva has performed widely around Europe, Japan, and her native Russia. She has a large repertory, including roles by such composers as Mozart and Meyerbeer, but her recordings have focused on Baroque music, especially operas by Handel. Lezhneva has shared stages with such stars as Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, and Natalie Dessay. She is also in demand as a concert music soloist and as a song recitalist. Since 2012, Lezhneva has recorded for the Decca label. She has issued albums devoted to Handel and Vivaldi but also to lesser-known Baroque composers such as Carl Heinrich Graun and Nicola Porpora, whose opera Carlo il Calvo she recorded in 2023 with countertenors Max Emanuel Cenčić and Franco Fagioli.
© James Manheim /TiVo


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