Biography

Mikhail Petrenko is one of the most sought after basses in the world. His performances are a success with both the public and critics, who describe his talent as: "When that rich, reverberating tone rises from the depths, then pours forth to fill the auditorium, it is difficult not to feel a certain thrill..."

Mikhail was born in St Petersburg and graduated from the St Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire in the class of Professor Minzhilkiev. While still a student at the St Petersburg Conservatoire he was invited to join the Mariinsky Academy of young Singers. Made his debut at the Mariinsky Theatre in Prokofiev’s opera Semyon Kotko, and since 1998 has been a soloist with the Opera Company. To a great degree he owes his emergence as a singer to maestro Valery Gergiev.

The start of Mikhail Petrenko’s international career came with his debut at the Berliner Staatsoper as Hunding (Die Walküre) in 2004 under the baton of Daniel Barenboim. Since then, Mikhail Petrenko has been invited to the world’s leading opera houses and prestigious opera festivals.

In November 2011 he performed the role of Ruslan (Ruslan and Lyudmila) at the reopening of Moscow’s historical Bolshoi Theatre.

Previous careers highlights also includes the role of Méphistophélès in Gounod's Faust with the Netherlands Opera, both the title role in a new production of Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Prince Galitsky (Prince Igor) at the Metropolitan Opera, Fafner in Vagner‘s Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Vienna State Opera.

Among his recent engagements are performances at the Mariinsky Theatre in operas by Verdi (Don Carlos, Aida, Othello, Macbeth) and Wagner (Lohengrin, The Flying Dutchman), as well as the title role in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera and appearance in Bartok on Stage programme at Severance Hall.

Mikhail Petrenko has won such prestigious international vocal competitions as the Maria Callas Competition, the Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Competition, the Plácido Domingo Competition and the Elena Obraztsova Competition.

He has appeared at the Opéra National de Paris, the Metropolitan Opera (New York), La Scala (Milan), the Bayerische Staatsoper and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (London) as well as at the Salzburg Festival, the Aix en Prevence Festival and the BBC Proms concerts held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Orchestras with which Mikhail Petrenko has appeared include the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, the Wiener Philharmoniker, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Salzburg’s Mozarteum Orchestra, Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra and Bavarian Radio Orchestra.

Mikhail Petrenko works with such outstanding conductors as Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Jurowski, Pierre Boulez, Christoph Eschenbach, Lorin Maazel, Daniel Harding, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin

His repertoire includes:
Ruslan (Ruslan and Lyudmila), Konchak (Prince Igor), Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin), Pimen (Boris Godunov), Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky, Marshal Davout (War and Peace), Leporello (Don Giovanni), King Marke (Tristan und Isolde), Hunding (Die Walküre), Hagen (Götterdämmerung).

Mikhail Petrenko's concert repertoire is incredibly vast, including works by Bach, Beethoven, Verdi, Dvorak, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Rossini, Shostakovich, Janáček.

Records with Mikhail’s participation are released on the most prestigious classical labels: Naxos, Opus Arte, Mariinsky, Bel Air Classiques. His recent video Elektra, released on Bel Air Classiques, won one of the most important classical music industry awards Gramophone Classical Music Awards in 2015.

Mikhail Petrenko’s cinematic debut came very recently with the film Juan, based on Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, in which he performed the role of Leporello. The film was premiered at the Hamburg Film Festival in October 2010.