Maria Maksakova: rising star of Russian opera, successor of famous artistic family.

Maria was born in Munich. The marriage of her mother, a famous russian actress Ludmila Maksakova to the foreigner Peter Igenbergs, was a very untypical event for the Soviet Union of those days.

She began to study music from the age of 3 and aged six she enrolled at the piano department of the Central Music School attached to the Moscow Conservatoire.

At the age of 17 she joined the Russian Gnesin Academy of Music. Maria also attended master-classes. She went to Italy to study under Katya Ricciarelli (on completing her studies with Ricciarelli she made her debut at Parma Opera House) and Miwako Matsumoto (she appeared several times in concerts in Tokyo, Cagliari etc with her). Her other teachers include: Gianfranco Pastine, Zurab Sotkilava (with whom Maria went on tour to the Russian towns of Donetsk, Rostov-on-Don and Tver and sang in concerts in Moscow). Maria graduated from the Academy with a red diploma (honors). For her opera studio work, her interpretation of the role of Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, she won the Moscow Opera Festival 2000 prize for best debut.

Evgeny Kolobov invited her to join Moscow New Opera where from 2000 to 2006 Mariya sang many leading roles.

In 2003 Maria became Bolshoi Theatre guest soloist. Since then Maria began to work on her roles with a brilliant operatic performer, soloist of Bolshoi theatre, Honored Artist of Russia Badri Maisuradze.

2006 -2011Maria Maksakova has been a soloist at Moscowís Helikon-Opera. She has appeared as The Princess in Antonin Dvorzhakís The Mermaid, Rosina in II Barbiere di Siviglia, Susanna in Mozartís Le nozze di Figaro.

Especially successful was the role of Ekaterina the Great in Tuchmanov's opera "Tsaritsa". ( Maria is the first interpretor of this part). Performed in the Great Kremlin Hall.

Maria became soloist with the Mariinsky Opera Company since 2011. Her repertoire at the theatre includes

Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte),

Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro),

Frugola (Il tabarro),

The Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos),

Nicklausse (Les contes d'Hoffmann).

The plans for comming season :

Siebel ( Faust),

Donna Elvira ( Don Giovanni),

Eboli ( Don Carlos).

19 September 2012 Maria will perform in the Grand Conservatory Hall a new Russian opera Giselle ( composer - A. Zhurbin).

In June 2013 she made her debut in the part of Carmen (opera Bizet "Carmen") in Gelikon Opera , director - D.Bertman.

In summer 2013 she performed one of leading roles in the World premiere Rodion Schedrinís opera "Levsha" (conductor - Valeriy Gergiev).

Maria sang the duet with Aleksander Gradsky on the Opening part of ďUniversiada-2013Ē in Kazan.

Maria also plays in films, here are some examples: The Barber of Siberia (director Nikita Mikhalkov), Fame (director Vladimir Zaykin), The Magnats (director Dmitry Cherkasov), Savva (director Evgeny Gerasimov), Photographer (director Olga Subbotina) etc.

She graduated from the Vyacheslav Zaytsev School of Modeling. In 2002 Lancome selected her for their projects in Russia.

Maria is fluent in English, German, French and Italian.

Now Maria widely expands her concert geography, takes part in many international projects : Recital in Musikverein( Vienna), recently she sang a concerts in Helsinki and Tokyo. 27 October 2012 she will perform at Bilbao Opera theatre.

December 2011 Maria became a Member of Parliament. (State Duma of Russian Federation)

Maria moderates a popular weekly TV show " Romance of a romance".

There was the performing arts prodigy Maksakova senior. Then - the perfoming arts prodigy Maksakova juniour. And now we have the perfoming arts prodigy Masha Maksakova - a person with a Renaissance-like gift.

Once in Prague, when we were shooting The Baber of Siberia, I went into the studio and heard an extremely good pianist - whom I presumed be a man - giving and exquisite perfomance of Chopin.

Who is it who is playing so well and why is he here, I wondered.

I looked down from the fies and saw it was Masha Maksakova, in crinoline and make-up, who was “letting off steam” so effortlessly on the piano. With such a schooling and musical gift, she could have been an outstanding pianist. And when she sings, I know for sure I am listening to a superlative stinger.

Nikita MIKHALKOV, film director

Masha has class, her manners, outlook mentality are those of the aristocrat born and bred. Her eyes, nose, arms, hands - all are perfect. Her mother and I are old friends and when Masha decided to enter our school of modeling, there was no reason not to accept her. We work on carriage, walk, make-up, hair style - tall girls are often inhibited by their height, while I look no it as an advantage.

Masha was every bit as good as anyone else, we have lawyers, architects, actresses at our school and Masha, therefore, enjoyed her time with us.

She has excellent prerequisites for a model: a remarkably beautiful face, personality.

Observing her rapid progress development on the catwalk, I decided to listen to her signing. I went to a performance of The Show Maiden at the New Opera and was bowled over. Patrons of the arts take note! This is where you should put your money. Promote her, take her under your wing and she will be a world famous singer.

Women like Masha take the world by storm.

I adore her.

Vyacheslav ZAIYTSEV, Merited Arts Worker of the Russian Federation, fashion designer

Maria is a talented musician with an extraordinary ear, and her training as a pianist helps to give her a feeling for the style of a composer. She and I have worked together on the most difficult song cycles, in particular Robert Schumannís Liederkreis to words by Eichendorff. Her performances are most interesting and her command of German is superb. Maksakovaís rendition of Schumann sounded light and romantic. Her study of lieder singing has widened her creative horizons and helped to make her technique more polished. I hope that Maria will gradually extend her song repertoire by enriching it with works by other composers of first importance.

Vazha CHACHAVA, professor

Iíve known Maria since she was a child, when she looked just like a princess. And that princess worked hard at her music studies. Then she decided she wanted to be a singer and studied equally hard once she started taking singing lessons.

Her theatrical debut coincided with my staging of Georges Bizetís Les P?cheurs de perles. Of course, I cast Maria Maksakova junior in the leading role. There were banners all over Moscow advertising that she would be singing in an opera directed by Roman Viktyuk and I had to pinch myself to check that I wasnít dreaming.

Mariaís voice has a special character - it is removed from earthly existence and seeks to tear itself away from the earth and soar up into the heavens. That is the thing about this young singer that so captivates the public and directors alike.

For me she will always be my Princess Leila out of the fairytale world of Les P?cheurs de perles.

Roman VIKTYUK, director

Iíve known Maria for a long time, since she was 17.

She is somebody with a tough character, she is passionate about what she does and tenacious. Her performance at the Bolshoi Theatre of Oscar in Verdiís Un ballo in maschera was a great success and as Musetta in Pucciniís La Boh?me she also made a good impression. Maria possesses a unique voice - she is a coloratura soprano who sings freely in her upper register, which means she can sing parts written for a high soprano, and she has also inherited her grandmother, the great Maria Maksakova seniorís chest voice with its velvet tone.

This young singer needs to work a lot, to experiment and not to rest on her laurels, and I will be very pleased to see her succeed.

Makvala KASRASHVILI, Peopleís Artist of the USSR, laureate of the State Prize of Russia

Maria is a completely unique singer, she has a fantastic voice with a huge range and could easily sing mezzo-soprano parts if she wanted. Sheís been studying with me for over a year now, soaking up knowledge like a sponge. She has made a success of her current work at Helikon-Opera with the wonderful innovative director Dmitry Bertman. I believe that opera buffs and music critics will soon give her art the recognition that it deserves.

Badri MAISURADZE, soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre

Beautiful Maria has made opera the centre of her life. I would be hard pushed to think of anyone else who has been so conscientious, both in terms of how she has worked hard at herself and of the talent that she has expended. I doubt whether there is a single teacher or professional who hasnít given her a master class or consultation. It is thanks to her fluent command of foreign languages and different styles that the quality of her singing is so high.

This is Mariaís third season at her new home, the Helikon-Opera. Her most recent role, as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia , turned out to be a triumph for this young singer. Thanks to the charm she exudes on stage, the beauty of her voice and her inborn talent, not just the audiences, but also her colleagues fell in love with her, to say nothing of the director. My wish is that she should appear on stage more frequently, sing more, share her beauty with us more often and set aside her talent for the future in her familyís genetic strongroom - for her son Ilya Maksakov.

Dmitry BERTMAN, artistic director of Helikon-Opera, Peopleís Artist of Russia,
professor of the Russian Theatrical Academy

You donít come across that many dynasties who for three generations have been bringing pleasure with their creative talent and very presence in Russiaís theatrical and musical scene: her grandmother, the great Maria Maksakova, her famous mother, Lyudmila Maksakova, and the worthy successor, Maria Maksakova junior. Maria has inherited her motherís and her grandmotherís innate artistry, refinement and talent. And there is now every reason to think that little Lord Ilya, the young maestro, will be the crowning glory of this female line by growing up to be a conductor and increasing the fame of the Maksakov family.

Svyatoslav BELZA, Peopleís Artist of Russia

Maksakovy dynasty website

Maria at Mariinsky Theatre website

Maria at Helikon-Opera website


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