Larissa Diadkova

Biography

Born: 1955; Zelenodolsk  
This Russian mezzo soprano, more correctly described as a mezzo contralto, worked for some time in the shadow of her younger colleague Olga Borodina; but since coming to international fame, she has made up for lost time. Her dark, immensely powerful voice, rising from timber-rattling chest tones to a focused penetrating top, makes so bold a sound as to arrest the attention of the most distracted audiences. Her fiery temperament in the big Russian Read more and Italian dramatic roles is evident everywhere, but never allowed to spill over into self-indulgence. She is both a vivid and credible personage on-stage, and she has achieved equal success as a concert singer, winning the support of major conductors.

Although there is some question about her exact date of birth, most sources agree on 1955 as the year. After studies at the Leningrad Conservatory, she was engaged by the Kirov Opera in 1978 and made slow but steady progress through the ranks and into leading roles. In 1984, Diadkova was a winner in the Glinka competition, but found the international recognition was somewhat at arms length owing to the stunning presence of the somewhat more glamorous Borodina. Still, once the Soviet Union crumbled and Leningrad became St. Petersburg once more, the increase in touring by the Kirov obliged the company to put forth all of their most qualified artists. In addition, many Kirov singers, so carefully groomed by music director Valery Gergiev, chose to pursue more lucrative careers in the West, making greater opportunities for others on the roster.

Diadkova not only sang more important engagements, but was also offered more opportunities to record her core repertory. She filled highest expectations as both Pauline and the Countess in Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame, also achieving high marks for her Duenna in Prokofiev's Betrothal in a Monastery, Lyubov in Mazeppa, Nezhata in Sadko, Marfa in Khovanshchina, Konchakovna in Prince Igor, Ratmir in Glinka's Russlan and Ludmilla, Kashcheyevna in Kashchey the Immortal, and Olga in Yevgeny Onegin. Moreover, she was increasingly heard in Verdi roles for which her huge, flame-like voice was perfectly suited. When Gergiev discussed his forthcoming 2001 Aida in a tour of Great Britain, he boasted of Diadkova, saying "she is tremendous," noting further that she was a part of the first cast, while Borodina was to sing with the second cast.

When Diadkova sang in the San Francisco Opera's Betrothal in a Monastery in 1998, one reviewer maintained that he heard in her voice and style "a sure-fire Azucena." She has since sung that role with great success at the Metropolitan Opera in 1999 and has proven herself an exemplary Ulrica at both Verona and Dallas. In addition to London, her Amneris has been heard at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and in Houston. In April 2001, she sang Mistress Quickly with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic at the Salzburg Easter Festival (a role she also recorded with the same forces). Critic Richard Fairman of the London Financial Times found her characterization that of "a well-meaning auntie," but noted that her "rasping chest tones" clearly equipped her for other grander Verdi mezzo roles.

In 1999, Diadkova's performance of the Shostakovich edition of Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death with Mstislav Rostropovich and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra transfixed a conference of music critics, causing some to wonder if she was being amplified (she wasn't). Read less
Browse 1-15 of 15 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Prokofiev: The Fiery Angel / Gergiev, Gorchakova, Leiferkus, Mariinsky Theater
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 100391 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Sergei Alexashkin,  Konstantin Pluzhnikov,  Valery Lebed,  Vladimir Galusin  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Chorus
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 2.
    Renee Fleming - Live at the Opera National de Paris [6-DVD Set]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107529 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Antonín Dvorák,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Alain Vernhes,  Michel Sénéchal,  Renée Fleming,  Marcelo Alvarez  ... 
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  James Conlon,  Ulf Schirmer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris National Opera Chorus,  Paris National Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $58.99
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  • 3.
    Verdi: The Great Operas [35-CDs]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 167452 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Anne Edwards,  Matteo Manuguerra,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Renata Scotto  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  James Levine,  Tullio Serafin,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 4.
    Verdi: 6 Great Operas / Claudio Abbado [14-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001725702 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Elena Obraztsova,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Leo Nucci  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Glinka: Ruslan And Lyudmila / Netrebko, Gorchakova, Gergiev, Kirov
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001651902 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka
    Performer:  Larissa Diadkova,  Genadij Bezzubenkov,  Galina Gorchakova,  Mikhail Kit  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Chorus
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  • 6.
    Rimsky-Korsakov: The Legend Of The Invisible City Of Kitezh / Gergiev, Kirov Opera
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001615802 Release Date: 11/21/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Vladimir Galusin,  Nikolai Putilin,  Nikolai Ohotnikov,  Yuri Marusin  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Chorus
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  • 7.
    The Decca Sound [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619902 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 8.
    Rimsky-Korsakov: 5 Operas / Gergiev, Kirov Opera Orchestra [11-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001546102 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Marina Shaguch,  Alexandr Gergalov,  Larissa Diadkova,  Alexandr Morozov  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Chorus
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  • 9.
    Tchaikovsky: Cherevichki (The Tsarina's Slippers) / Polianichko, Royal Opera House
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1037 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimir Matorin,  Larissa Diadkova,  John Upperton,  Maxim Mikhailov  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Polianichko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 10.
    Tchaikovsky: Cherevichki (The Tsarina's Slippers) / Polianichko, Royal Opera House
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7073 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimir Matorin,  Larissa Diadkova,  John Upperton,  Maxim Mikhailov  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Polianichko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 11.
    Dvorak: Rusalka / Martinez, Jovanovich, Belohlavek
    Label: Glyndebourne Festival Opera   Catalog: 7-9 Release Date: 08/31/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Tatiana Pavlovskaya,  Brandon Jovanovich,  Ana Maria Martinez,  Mischa Schelomianski  ... 
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 12.
    Prokofiev: 6 Operas / Gergiev, Kirov Opera [14-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001406802 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Mikhail Chernozhukov,  Irina Bogachova,  Maria Gortsievskaja,  Genadij Bezzubenkov  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Chorus,  Kirov Theater Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Tchaikovsky: Mazeppa / Jarvi, Leiferkus, Gorchakova, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439906 Release Date: 07/22/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Richard Margison,  Monte Pederson,  Heinz Zednik,  Larissa Diadkova  ... 
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Stockholm Opera Chorus
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  • 14.
    Dvorak: Rusalka / Fleming, Diadkova, Conlon
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107031 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Sergei Larin,  Renée Fleming,  Eva Urbanová,  Michel Sénéchal  ... 
    Conductor:  James Conlon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris National Opera Orchestra,  Paris National Opera Chorus
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 15.
    R. Strauss: Four Last Songs [Deluxe Edition w/Signature Roles At The Met Opera] / Renée Fleming
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001185202 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Jules Massenet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Renée Fleming,  Walter Berry,  Larissa Diadkova
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Yves Abel,  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bordeaux Aquitaine Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Opera Highlights Vol 2
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102049 Release Date: 06/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  George Frideric Handel,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  Michael König,  Vladimir Glushchak,  Orla Boylan,  Larissa Diadkova  ... 
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Valery Gergiev,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Ivor Bolton  ... 
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 17.
    Rimsky-Korsakov: Sadko / Gergiev, Kirov Opera
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000661909 Release Date: 09/12/2006  
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Marianna Tarasova,  Vladimir Galusin,  Larissa Diadkova,  Valentina Tsidipova  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Shostakovich: Songs, Lady Macbeth / Chung, Ewing, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000677002 Release Date: 06/13/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Sergei Leiferkus,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Elisabeth Söderström  ... 
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi,  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Gothenburg Opera Chorus,  Bastille Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 19.
    Opera House - Tchaikovsky: Mazeppa / Järvi, Leiferkus, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000617102 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Galina Gorchakova,  Sergei Larin,  Anatolij Kotscherga,  Larissa Diadkova  ... 
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Opera Chorus,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Prokofiev: Betrothal In A Monastery / Netrebko, Gergiev, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000518809 Release Date: 09/13/2005  
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Marianna Tarasova,  Anna Netrebko,  Larissa Diadkova,  Nikolai Gassiev  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Chorus,  Kirov Theater Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Brahms: Viola Sonatas, Two Songs / Yuri Bashmet, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Special Imports   Catalog: 663293 Release Date: 11/18/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Larissa Diadkova,  Yuri Bashmet,  Michail Muntian
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  • 22.
    Prokofiev - Enfant Terrible - A 50th Anniversary Celebration
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 473443 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Mischa Maisky,  Nikolai Okhotnikov,  Vladimir Zhivopistsev,  Lyudmila Kasianenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Valery Gergiev,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Russian National Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Chorus  ... 
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  • 23.
    Verdi: Il Trovatore / Pappano, Gheorghiu, Alagna, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57360 Release Date: 09/17/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Thomas Hampson,  Larissa Diadkova,  Ildebrando D'Arcangelo  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Voices
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  • 24.
    Verdi: Falstaff / Abbado, Terfel, Pieczonka, Berlin Po, Etc
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471194 Release Date: 08/14/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Adrianne Pieczonka,  Dorothea Röschmann,  Daniil Shtoda  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
    CD: $33.99
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  • 25.
    Prokofiev: Love For Three Oranges / Gergiev, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462913 Release Date: 02/13/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Larissa Schevtchenko,  Zlata Bulycheva,  Konstantin Pluzhnikov,  Lia Shevtsova  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Chorus,  Kirov Theater Orchestra
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