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Anna Netrebko, world-famous operatic Diva from Russia

Great Russian women - Anna Netrebko, opera star

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Anna Netrebko

Anna Netrebko is one of the present day greatest sopranos, especially famous for her beautiful, dark, and distinctive voice, elegant and alluring stage presence, imagination, acting, attitude and glamour. She is called "La Bellissima", "the reigning new diva of the early 21st century" and is known and welcomed around the globe.

Anna Yuryevna Netrebko was born on 18 September 1971 in a family of Ukrainian and Kuban Cossack background and grew up in the city of Krasnodar, Russia. She left home when she was 16 to enter St. Petersburg conservatoire At the same time and took a job at the city's famous Mariinksy Theatre - washing the floors. That was her day job, and it gave her a chance at night to soak up the music. "I was surprised why such an attractive girl decided to do such a job," recalls maestro Valery Gergiev, the musical director of the Mariinksy Theatre. He says he was even more surprised to see the cleaning lady turn up at one of his auditions - but he noticed her immediately. "After her first minute of audition, it was clear, of course, I immediately offered her to become a young member of our ensemble," says Gergiev. "A Cinderella story."

He subsequently became her vocal mentor. Under Gergiev's guidance, Netrebko made her operatic stage debut at the Mariinsky at age 22, as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She also started touring the world with his company, singing mostly Russian repertoire.

She went on to sing many prominent roles with the Kirov Opera, including Amina in La sonnambula, Pamina in Die Zauberflote, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. In 1994, she sang the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflote with the Riga Independent Opera Avangarda Akademija under conductor David Milnes.

After her triumphant Salzburg Festival debut in 2002 as Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Anna Netrebko has gone on to appear with nearly all of the world's great opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, London's Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, the Paris Opera, the Zurich Opera, the Berlin State Opera, and Munich's Bavarian State Opera.

She also frequently returns to the Kirov Opera at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg to collaborate with her longtime mentor, conductor Valery Gergiev.

Anna Netrebko made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2002 as Natasha in Prokofiev's War and Peace, a role she has also sung at London's Covent Garden, Milan's Teatro alla Scala, and Madrid's Teatro Real. Ms. Netrebko's other signature roles include Mimi in Puccini's La boheme; Violetta in Verdi's La traviata; Giulietta in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Elvira in his I puritani, and Amina in his La sonnambula; Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Susanna in his Nozze di Figaro; Norina in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Adina in his L'elisir d'amore, Juliette in Gounod's Romeo et Juliette.

Anna Netrebko takes part in charity programs and actions, both in Russia and abroad. One of the most serious programs is SOS-KinderDorf project which functions in 104 countries of the world. Besides, the singer takes part in "Anna" project (program for helping orphan houses in Kaliningrad and Kaliningrad region), helps the international charity fund "Roerich Heritage", and also aids the Institute of Children's Orthopaedics Centre n.a. G. I. Turner in the town of Pushkin.

Netrebko is married Uruguayan baritone Erwin Schrott. Her son Tiago Arua Schrott was born on 5 September 2008. She now holds dual Russian and Austrian citizenship and currently resides in Vienna

Anna Netrebko has an extensive discography that includes solo albums, complete opera recordings, and DVDs. To date, all of her solo albums have earned platinum status in Germany and Austria Her recording Duets, with her frequent stage partner, tenor Rolando Villazon, claimed the top spot on the Billboard classical chart shortly after its release in the U.S., and in Europe Duets set a record for the best debut ever for a classical album, climbing to the top of the pop charts in several countries.

In 2007 Anna Netrebko became the first opera singer ever to be named to the TIME 100 list - Time magazine's list of the most influential people in the world. That same year she serenaded film director Martin Scorsese on the CBS broadcast of the 30th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, and in 2008 she performed alongside Andrea Bocelli on the BBC telecast of the Classical BRIT Awards. Ms. Netrebko has been profiled in numerous glossy magazines, including Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Town & Country. etc.

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