Elena Zhidkova studied voice at the conservatory in St Petersburg, her native city. The Russian mezzo-soprano made her professional debut singing Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Yevgeny Onegin at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, after which she was invited by Claudio Abbado to give three performances (including his farewell concert at the Berliner Philharmonie) and was asked to appear at the Bayreuth Festival.
In 2004, Zhidkova sang Waltraute in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung for the first time at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Another high point in her career was her first appearance at La Scala in Milan in 2008, where she sang Judith in Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, an operatic role she has since performed at the Dutch National Opera, the Saito Kinen Festival with Seiji Ozawa, with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev and at the Mariinsky Theatre (a performance which earned her a Golden Mask Award).
She recently triumphed at the Vienna State Opera as the foreign princess in Dvořák’s Rusalka, Princess Eboli in Verdi’s Don Carlo and as the Princess of Bouillon in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur.
Zhidkova will be making her first appearance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the 2018–19 season.