Born in Saratov, into a family of singers. While still a lst-year student at the Saratov Conservatory, she appeared with the Saratov Theatre of Opera and Ballet. At the age of 23, she sang Marfa in Khovanshchina.
She continued her vocal education at the Moscow Conservatory (Irina Arkhipova’s class). In 2000, she completed her studies at the Conservatory and in 2002 — her post-graduate work there.
In 1999, Elena Manistina joined Moscow’s Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre where she sang the following roles:
Duenna (Sergei Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery)
Prince Orlovsky (Die Fledermaus)
Babarikha (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan)
Ratmir (Mikhail Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila)
Since 2000, Elena Manistina has also been appearing at the Bolshoi Theatre.
At the Bolshoi:
Governess (The Queen of Spades)
Ulrica (Un Ballo in maschera)
Nurse (Eugene Onegin)
Amelfa (The Golden Cockerel)
Preziosilla ( La Forza del destino)
Mistress Quickly (Falstaff)
Helene Bezukhova (War and Peace)
Marina Mnishek (Boris Godunov)
Lyubasha (The Tsar’s bride)
Alkonost (Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and of the Maiden Fevronia)
Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus)
Spring (The Snow Maiden)
Princess Evpraksia Romanovna (The Enchantress)
In 2001, at the Bolshoi Theatre world premiere of the first version of Prokofiev’s The Gambler, Elena Manistina sang the role of Babulenka (conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, director Alexander Titel, designer David Borovsky).
After winning 1st prize at Placido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, in 2002, Elena Manistina has often appeared in the productions of companies of which Domingo is General Director. For instance, for Washington National Opera she has sung the roles of Governess and The Countess in The Queen of Spades and Ulrica in Un Ballo in maschera; and for Los Angeles Opera she has sung in Jacques Offenbach’s Les Contes d’ Hoffmann (the voice of Antonia’s mother).
In 2002, at the Theatre du Chatelet she sang Amelfa in a Mariinsky Theatre production of The Golden Cockerel (director Ennosuke Ichikawa), with the Paris Orchestra (conductor Kent Nagano).
In 2003, she sang Lyubasha (The Tsar’s Bride) at the Theatre du Chatelet (a Theatre du Chatelet co-production with Opera Bordeaux, director Temur Chkheidze). She also sang this role for Opera Bordeaux. In the same year and also at Theatre du Chatelet she took part in a concert performance of Iolanta (Saint-Peterburg Philharmonia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov).
In September 2004, she sang Azucena (Il Trovatore) for Deutsche Opera (Berlin), and in October — for the Washington National Opera (co-production with Los Angeles Opera and Goteborg Opera, at the John F. Kennedy Center).
In December 2004, she made her Paris Opera debut in the role of Azucena (Il Trovatore — director Francesca Zambello).
In 2005, at Opera Bastille she sang the part of Marina Mnishek in a new production of Boris Godunov (conductor Alexander Vedernikov) and, at Covent Garden — the role of Sosostris in Sir Michael Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage (conductor Richard Hickox, director Graham Vick).
In 2006, she sang Amneris for Opera Bordeaux and Lyubasha for Frankfurt Opera (conductor Mikhail Yurovsky, director Stein Winge).
In 2007, she sang The Fortune-teller in The Fiery Angel at La Theatre de la Monnaie (Brussels, conductor Kazushi Ono, director Richard Jones), Preziosilla (La Forza del Destino) at Teatro Carlo Felice (Genoa), Ulrica at Paris Opera (conductor Semyon Bychkov, director Gilbert Deflo), Amneris at Arena di Verona.
In 2008, she sang Ulrica at Opera Bordeaux and Kashcheyevna (Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kashchey the Immortal) in a concert performance at the Royal Albert Hall (conductor Mikhail Yurovsky).
She has sung the part of mezzo-soprano in Mahler’s symphonies: — No.3 (1999, conductor Yuri Kochnev, Sobinov Festival, Saratov) — No.2 (2003, Nice) — No.8 (2004, conductor Kent Nagano, Berlin); — and in Verdi’s Requiem: (2002, conductor Carlo Rizzi, the Netherlands; 2004, Moscow’s International House of Music, conductor Vladimir Fedoseyev).
(c) Text by Bolshoi Theatre