Marina Poplavskaya

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Marina Poplavskaya during the Salzburg Festival in 2008

Marina Poplavskaya (Russian: Марина Поплавская; born 12 September 1977) is a Russian operatic soprano. Her repertoire includes leading roles in operas of the Romantic era;[1] she is particularly known for her performances in the operas of Verdi.[2]

Born in Moscow and educated at the Ippolitov-Ivanov State Music Institute there with professor Peter Tarassov,[1] she sang in the children's chorus of the Bolshoi Theatre from the age of 9.[3] She became a soloist at Moscow's Novaya Opera Theatre,[4] where she performed during 1996–98,[1] and where she was mentored by its founder Yevgeny Kolobov.[4] She performed as a soloist during 2001–2004 at the Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre, and debuted at the Bolshoi Theatre in 2003 as Ann Truelove in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress; the next year at the Bolshoi she sang Maria in Mazeppa.[1]

In 2005 her association with the Royal Opera, London began when she joined its Young Artists Programme,[1] and in 2006 she received critical acclaim when she sang the title role of Rachel in a London concert performance of Halévy's La Juive.[2] At the Royal Opera she went on to greater prominence from 2007 when she stood in at short notice for Anna Netrebko as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni,[2] and took on the role of Elisabetta, which had been declined by Angela Gheorghiu, in Nicholas Hytner's new production of Verdi's Don Carlo, which premiered in London in June 2008.[3]

In December 2007 she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera as Natasha in War and Peace.[3] At the Met she subsequently performed in 2009 as Liù in Turandot,[2] and in 2010 as Elisabetta, when Hytner's production of Don Carlo was taken to New York, and as Violetta in La traviata, in the New York staging of Willy Decker's production,[3] in which she had sung the role at De Nederlandse Opera in 2009.[5] In 2009 she had also sung Violetta at the Los Angeles Opera.[6]

She secured the role of Violetta at the Met in 2010 after Anna Netrebko dropped out.[3] In June 2011 Netrebko withdrew from a Metropolitan Opera tour of Japan, citing fears of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.[7] Poplavskaya joined the tour at short notice to sing Elisabetta in Don Carlo, after Barbara Frittoli vacated the role of Elisabetta in order to replace Netrebko as Mimì in La bohème.[8] In the 2011–2012 season Poplavskaya performed Marguerite in Gounod's Faust, including in the Met's HD simulcast on 10 December 2011,[9] and in the fall of 2013 she sang five performances as Tatiana in the Met's new production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, replacing Netrebko, who had sung the role earlier in the run.[10] Vivian Schweitzer, reviewing the performance for The New York Times, wrote that "Poplavskaya lacks the voluptuous sound of Anna Netrebko, who sang the role of Tatiana on opening night, but offered a more arresting portrayal dramatically."[11]

In the fall of 2014, Poplavskaya withdrew from the Met's productions of Le Nozze di Figaro and La Traviata.[12] The Met's general manager, Peter Gelb, stated that Poplavskaya "is a wonderful performer, but I know she’s been having some vocal difficulties in recent months."[13] Operabase shows no engagements for her after 2014.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e "LA Opera – Marina Poplavskaya". Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d David Belcher (December 2010). "Independent Streak". Opera News. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e Gurewitsch, Matthew (24 December 2010). "Want to Be a Star? Take Your Lumps". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  4. ^ a b Duchen, Jessica (27 February 2008). "Marina Poplavskaya: At full throttle". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Marina Poplavskaya". Operabase. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  6. ^ "La Traviata Production Information". Los Angeles Opera. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  7. ^ Usborne, David (1 June 2011). "Opera stars pull out of tour of Japan over radiation fears". The Independent. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  8. ^ Wakin, Daniel J. (31 May 2011). "Met Stars Back Out of Tour to Japan". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  9. ^ Anthony Tommasini, "Music Review: This Faust Builds Atom Bombs (He Still Sings)", The New York Times, 30 November 2011; Met Opera Archive; streaming video available at Met Opera on Demand.
  10. ^ Met Opera Archive (Netrebko sang performances 136–143, Poplavskaya, 144–148).
  11. ^ Vivian Schweitzer, "Opera Review: After Recovery, a Return Fit for Longing and Loss", The New York Times, 27 November 2013.
  12. ^ Michael Cooper, "Yoncheva to Replace Poplavskaya in Met’s ‘La Traviata’", The New York Times, 30 October 2014.
  13. ^ Zachary Woolfe, "A Ruckus Offstage, Then On", The New York Times, 17 September 2014.
  14. ^ [1] Retrieved 22 March 2018