Mezzo-soprano Maria Barakova was the winner of the prestigious XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2019 at the age of 21, and has since enjoyed a meteroic start to her career with appearances at the Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala and the Metropolitan Opera.
This season, Barakova returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Fenena Nabucco and Preziosilla La Forza del Destino, following her critically acclaimed debut at the house last season. On the concert stage, Barakova will appear in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra and in concerts with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Konzerthaus Dortmund and De Doelen.
Barakova’s recent highlights include Adalgisa Norma at Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Olga Eugene Onegin at the Wiener Staatsoper, Isabella L’italiana i Algeri at the Bregenzer Festspiele, Stéphano Roméo et Juliette at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Forentino and the title role in Tancredi at Rossini Opera Festival, as well as appearances at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and Teatro alla Scala
Barakova was born in 1998 in Kemerovo, Russia. Following her studies at the Novosibirsk Murov College of Music and Russian Gnessin Academy of Music, she joined the Young Artist Program of the Bolshoi Theatre working with Dmitry Vdovin. In addition to her success at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition, she was also the first-prize winner of the XXVI Glinka International Vocal Competition in Kazan, and received the "Discovery of the Year" prize at the "BraVo" international awards in 2022.
Operawire, September 2023
'Out of the lead soloists in the production, the standout of the evening was undoubtedly Maria Barakova as Fenena. Barakova expressed the vulnerability in her character through her gorgeous instrument, delivering a round mezzo that could easily float between ranges.'