Julia Lezhneva (Russian: Юлия Михайловна Лежнева) (born December 5, 1989) is a Russian soprano and coloratura mezzo-soprano opera singer.
She has studied with Elena Obraztsova, Dennis O'Neill and Yvonne Kenny.
Official website (French): http://julialezhneva.com/
Julia Lezhneva was born on December 5, 1989 in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Sakhalin island), Russia, into a family of geophysicists.
In 2004 Lezhneva graduated with distinction from the Gretchaninov Music School in Moscow.
In June 2008 she received an honours degree for her vocal studies and a diploma for piano at the Moscow Conservatory Academic Music College.
She pursued her studies from 2008 at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice (CIAV) under Dennis O'Neill.
While at CIAV, Lezhneva participated in masterclasses of Richard Bonynge, Carlo Rizzi, John Fisher, Kiri te Kanawa, Ileana Cotrubas, and Rebecca Evans.
She has attended masterclasses with Elena Obraztsova in St. Petersburg in 2007, and with Alberto Zedda at the Accademia Rossiniana in Pesaro in 2008.
She also attended masterclasses with Thomas Quasthoff during the 2009 Verbier Festival.
She has given solo appearances at the Great, Small and Rachmaninoff Halls of Moscow State Conservatory, the Great and Small Halls of Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic, the Bolshoi Theatre and also internationally in Poland, Japan, Slovakia, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Norway and Italy.
At the age of 12 Lezhneva began to participate in vocal competitions and festivals.
She won the Grand Prix at both of Elena Obraztsova's international competitions, the 1st Competition for Young Vocalists (2006) and the 6th Competition for Young Opera Singers (2007), for which she also won all special prizes.
In August 2009 she became the youngest ever winner of the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition, winning the 1st prize during its 6th competition.
Among Lezhneva's many other awards is the Russian 'Triumph' award for her contribution to culture and art. Lezhneva performed in concerts at such international festivals as the Salzburg Mozartwoche Festival (with conductor Marc Minkowski) and Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro (with conductor Alberto Zedda and tenor Juan Diego Flórez).
Julia caused an absolute sensation at the 2010 Classical Brit Awards at London‟s Royal Albert Hall when she performed Rossini‟s Fra il padre at the invitation of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Since then, her status as a remarkable new talent has been confirmed with appearances at the Salzburg Festival and Mozartwoche, London Barbican, Konzerthaus Wien, Paris Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Berlin Staatsoper, Lincoln Center New York, Severance Hall Cleveland, as well as her stage debut in 2011 at La Monnaie, Brussels for which she was named „Newcomer of the Year‟ by Die Opernwelt magazine.
Alex Ross in The Rest is Noise: „she sent me scurrying to the Internet to find out more… Lezhneva has extraordinary potential as a Baroque and bel canto singer‟;
The Independent: „few young singers being widely celebrated so early in their careers‟;
Norman Lebrecht: „heading for the stratosphere‟;
Die Welt: „Ein neuer Singstern ist geboren‟.
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