Anna was born on September 18, 1971 in Krasnodar in a family of hereditary Cossacks and people of “serious” professions: her mother is an engineer, her father is a hydrologist. But the girl from childhood was more attracted to creativity and sports: different indefatigable energy, she was equally enthusiastic in horse riding, drawing, acrobatics and, of course, singing. Anna first appeared on the stage at 3 years old, in kindergarten, and during school years for seven years she was a soloist of the ensemble “Kuban Pioneer”.
True, it’s pretentious to say that even then Anna’s fate was a foregone conclusion, it would be wrong: in parallel with the ensemble’s performances, she managed to get athletics and the title of candidate for master of sports in acrobatics, and also win the Miss Kuban regional beauty contest. To complete the picture, it is worth adding that in childhood at different times Anna dreamed of becoming a surgeon, artist or stuntman. However, neither these professions, nor sports or the modeling business (by the way, her older sister chose the career of a model) in the end did not become her vocation.
After consulting with his father, who once himself was educated in Leningrad, Anna goes to the northern capital to enter the music school for the operetta department. Having successfully passed the competition, she falls into the class of the teacher Tatyana Borisovna Lebed. However, an accidental visit to the Mariinsky Theater forced Anna to reconsider her plans for a career as an artist of the light genre in favor of a more serious art – opera.
It is said – done: after school, Anna enters the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in the classroom of teacher Tamara Novichenko. As noted, the future prima had good, but not unique natural data, but she had remarkable persistence, hard work and curiosity, which over time allowed her to bypass the originally more gifted fellow students.
But this was not enough for her: it was one thing to study theory in classes, and another to see the life of the theater from the inside. Fortunately, right in front of the conservatory is the real dream of Russian classical musicians and, in combination, one of the best theaters in Russia – Mariinsky. Without hesitation, Anna gets a job as a cleaner there. Not at all because she didn’t have enough money to attend performances, as you might think (besides, they are almost free for students of the conservatory), but to have even more opportunities to listen and learn from recognized masters, to see not only the premieres, but also how, rehearsal after rehearsal, they are created.
And the first success from such versatile training was not long in coming: at 22, Anna participated in the All-Russian Vocal Competition named after Glinka and wins it. Having believed in herself, she comes to the Mariinsky Theater in a new quality: to audition for art director Valery Georgiev. Noting the abilities of the young performer, he first offers her to try herself in the role of Barbarina, one of the heroines in Mozart’s opera “Figaro’s Wedding”. Anna with great desire works at rehearsals and at one of them, director Yuri Alexandrov invites her to try to sing the part of Suzanne. Anna successfully copes with the task and she is approved for the main role, in which the singer made her debut on the stage of the Mariinsky Theater at the age of 23.
The next important stage in the career of Anna Netrebko was 2002. It all started with her performance on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in the role of Natasha in the play “War and Peace”, after which the journalists christened Anna “Audrey Hepburn with a Voice”. But real recognition awaited her in Salzburg, where she was supposed to play the role of Donna Anna in Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. At the same time, Anna was not only to perform the most complicated part, but also to destroy the prevailing stereotype that Mozart’s music did not lend itself to Russians. And all the more interesting this task seemed to her. Anne Netrebko even submitted to the great Mozart. After that, the whole opera world recognized the star as a world prima: invitations from the largest theaters began to come one after another, and the tour schedule was scheduled for many years.
Despite gaining a high status, or just for that reason, Anna behaves on the stage easily and naturally: she can dance barefoot, do a somersault or somersault over her head – it was not for nothing that she received a candidate for acrobatics.
In charm, spontaneity and the ability to remain oneself on the stage and outside it is a considerable part of the success of Anna Netrebko. Once, Angela Merkel invited the singer to visit her house. Well, how can one not talk about Russia, about bears, about nesting dolls and about borsch? “You need to see our clubfoot with your own eyes, but borsch and I can show it,” Anna said fervently. Prima put on an apron and cooked a traditional Russian dish. Angela Merkel was delighted with both borsch and the opera diva.
Today Anna Netrebko is the winner of competitions and the owner of many honorary titles, from the People’s Artist of Russia to the title “Musician of the Year” from the authoritative magazine “Musical America” – an award that can only be compared with the Nobel Prize in importance. And nobody is already n…