Russian mezzo-soprano Anna Smirnova made her LA Opera debut as Princess Eboli in Don Carlo (September 2018).
One of the most exciting Verdi mezzos on the international scene, she possesses a true dramatic Verdi mezzo-soprano voice, in the tradition of Simionato, Cossotto and the young Obratzsova. Born in Moscow to a family of musicians, she studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. She made one of her very first operatic appearances on the stage of the Teatro alla Scala in 2007 as the Principessa in Adriana Lecouvreur. Within two years of this debut, she was engaged to debut in every major opera company in the world.
Highlights of her 2017/18 season include Ortrud in Lohengrin, Amneris in Aida and Abigaille in Nabucco at the Deutsche Oper Berlin; her role debut as Brunnhilde in Die Walkure at Theatre du Capitole; and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.
She appeared in 2007 as Amneris in Aida at the Berlin State Opera, a role she later sang at the Deutsch Oper in Berlin. She was heard as Eboli in Don Carlo under the direction of Lorin Maazel in Valencia in 2008 and appeared as Eboli that same year at La Scala. She has also appeared as Eboli during La Scala's tour to Japan in September of 2009. Other engagements for the 2008/09 season included her debut in Verona as Amneris in Aida, a role she also sang that season at the Rome Opera and at La Scala.
She sang her first performances of Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana at the Teatro la Fenice in 2009 and appeared in this role in the 2009/10 season in Valencia conducted by Lorin Maazel. Also that season, she appeared in Il Trovatore in Florence and as Amneris in Tel Aviv.
In the 2010/11 season, Anna Smirnova appeared at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin in Adriana Lecouvreur opposite Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kaufmann. She made her Vienna State Opera debut that season as Amneris and made her debut at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in the same role. She sang her first performances as Lady Macbeth in Verdi's opera at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Don Carlo.
In the 2011/12 season, she made her debut at the Chicago Lyric Opera as Amneris. Further engagements also included her Chicago Lyric Opera debut as Amneris, her debut at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich as Eboli in Don Carlo and her debut at the Liceu in Barcelona as Preziosilla in La Forza del Destino. She was also heard in Munich as Amneris and returned to Berlin for Don Carlo. Appearances in recent seasons include Amneris in Aida in Savonlinna Aida (Amneris), Abigaille in Nabucco with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Vienna State Opera, a reprise of Eboli in Don Carlo at the Met, and Azucena in Il Trovatore at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.