Margarita Gritskova was born on December 19, 1987, in Saint Petersburg. In her family there were no professional musicians. However, her parents, who are engineers, and her grandparents with Vologda, Vyatka, South Russian and Crimean roots have one way or another been connected with music. Not surprisingly that the musical talent of the future singer was discovered very early, and already five years old, she began studying music with pleasure - first violin and then piano class with Oksana Petrovykh in Children's school of arts n.a. V. Gavrilin.
Her childhood was filled with music. Children's Choir of Stanislav Gribkov, where she was a soloist, revealed to her works of different styles and genres - from the best examples of classical (Bach, Handel, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff) to 12-voice cappella works by contemporary composers, folk songs of different countries and even jazz. Tours, contests, concerts, recordings for radio and television, singing more than in 5 world languages - all this gave her a unique experience as well as an early understanding of the joys and difficulties of the profession of the artist.
At the same time she was fond of painting, poetry and composing music, playing the guitar thanks to her father, who plays it very well. For an excellent study in the School of Music Margarita repeatedly became Fellow of the Committee for Culture of Saint Petersburg.
A special role in the life of young Margarita played a talented teacher Nina Sakharova. She was the first person who realized vocal purpose and potential of her student. Being a choirmaster according to her diploma, as well as an extraordinary musician, she guided the girl carefully, revealing her as an individual, bringing up her musical and theatrical confidence. Thanks to her, 13-years-old Margarita became the winner of the first prize of the vocal competition of Rachmaninoff having unexpectedly beaten her 18-year-old competitors.
Another huge impact on Margarita’s musical development made Elena Maruda, who was her teacher for solfège and harmony, and later became her mentor and friend. Thanks to her, Margarita had a remarkable musical training, and having graduated with honors from the music school, planned to do the piano in music school. But meeting with outstanding chamber singer Nelly Lee, who sang the works of Schnittke, Denisov, Gubaidulina, Silvestrov, finally determined the fate of Margarita. She becomes a disciple of Nelly Lee, mastering the basics of vocal skills and gaining invaluable experience, which lays the foundation for her future as a vocalist.
At the age of 16, Margarita brilliantly passes the entrance exam and enters the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. She enters the class of the Professor Irina Bogachev, People's Artist of the USSR, renowned singer and an experienced teacher.
Conservatory years were for Margarita a period of creative growth, victories in national and international competitions, the time of communication and cooperation with interesting people. One of the highlights of those years was her performance in the concert version of the opera "Carmen" by Georges Bizet, directed by Mariss Jansons. It does not happen often that a young singer, a student, has such a huge success - working together with outstanding musicians of our time. To participate in the project, which has become a significant event and had a wide resonance, the maestro himself chose Margarita to perform the role of Carmen.
A memorable and remarkable for the young singer was her first stage role of Cherubino, performed on the stage of the Opera House of the Conservatory. It is with this role that Margarita participated in her first tour in Japan in the company of the Vienna State Opera. And it will be Cherubino as her debut at the Salzburg Festival in the summer of 2015. Last year in the conservatory was also very rich for Margarita - her victory in the international competition in Spain, and an invitation to the opera festival in Tenerife, where she performed the role of page in the Richard Strauss’ opera "Salome" (conductor Oleg Caetani) and participation in the festival in St. Moritz (Switzerland) – with role of Cherubino in "The Marriage of Figaro" (conductor Jan Schultz) and performance in Riga - "Stabat Mater" by Rossini directed by Pierre Giorgio Morandi. And it became unforgettable – her performance at La Scala at the final concert of "Operalia" finalists directed by Placido Domingo. Maestro called her a future Brünnhilde, noting the outstanding vocal abilities of the young 22-year-old singer. All of these bright life events gradually prepared Margarita for her further ascent.
After graduating with honors from the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory in 2010, Margarita was invited to work at the Opera House of the city of Weimar (often referred to as "German Regis theater"). However, perseverance, will, hard work and boundless desire to perform on stage did the trick: Margarita soon became a leading soloist and undoubted beauty of the company.
Two years of work in the Weimar opera gave Margarita a huge stage experience. The repertoire of the young singer enriched lots of different stylistic directions, including Baroque music, which requires a special vocal technique and the specific timbre of voice.
Among her opera roles are: Flora ("La Traviata"), Martha ("Faust"), Cherubino ("The Marriage of Figaro"), Ottone ("The Coronation of Poppaea"), Hostess ("The Fiery Angel"), Maddalena ("Rigoletto"), Olga ("Eugene Onegin"), Bradamante ("Alcina") and Carmen ("Carmen"). Also, in October 2011, in Canada, at the Opera de Quebec M. Gritskova performed the role of Olga in the opera "Eugene Onegin" (conductor Daniel Lipton).
The turning point in the creative life of the singer was the conclusion of a contract in 2012 with the Vienna State Opera. And immediately the young singer goes in the Japanese tour in the company of such stars as Barbara Frittoli, Carlos Alvarez and Erwin Schrott. Initially career at the Vienna theatre began with a small but very diverse parties: Tebaldi ("Don Carlos"), Fyodor ("Boris Godunov"), Dryad ("Ariadne auf Naxos"), Tisbe ("Cinderella"), Flower girl ("Parsifal"), Sigrun ("Valkyrie") Bercy ("Andrea Chenier"). Collaboration with the outstanding masters and special atmosphere of excellence that prevails in the theatre allowed Margarita to quickly improve and develop her skill. Sooner than in a year, in June 2013 the singer already acts as Rosina ("Barber of Seville") and has her debut in the role of Angelina ("Cinderella") in Monterrey (Mexico).
Roles in the Vienna State Opera season 2013/2014: Cherubino ("The Marriage of Figaro", Omani tour of the Vienna State Opera), Dorabella ("Così fan tutte"), Rosina ("Barber of Seville"), Annio ("La clemenza di Tito"), Angelina ("Cinderella").
In July 2014 Margarita was invited to the Rossini Festival in Bad Wildbad where with great success she sang the role of Otton in the opera "Adelaide of Burgundy".
The Vienna Opera Ball. This is one of the most significant and important annual events in the cultural life not only in Vienna but also in the whole Europe. The television broadcast on leading European channels, increased media attention and continued interest of millions of viewers provide to each participant of this great event a chance to shine. There is hardly a singer who would not dream of a performance of opera in the program. For Margarita, participation in the Opera Ball in February 2014 was an expression of confidence by the management of the theatre and recognition of her excellence. As noted by Dominique Meyer, the director of the Vienna State Opera, "despite her young age, Margarita Gritskova is a wonderful singer, she has brilliantly performed more than one role in our opera”.
A special event in the life of Margarita was a creative collaboration with an outstanding tenor of modern times – maestro Jose Carreras. They met in Vienna at a charity concert at the Vienna State Opera, which gave the Maestro. It was followed by their duo concerts in Austria, Russia, Spain, Unated Kingdom.
Among the roles in the Vienna opera, season 2014/2015: Idamante ("Idomeneo"), Rosina ("Barber of Seville"), Flower girl ("Parsifal"), Smeton ("Anne Boleyn") with Anna Netrebko as Anne Boleyn, Maddalena ("Rigoletto").
In January 2015 took place Margarita Gritskova’s first solo concert in Vienna Philharmonic (Musikverein). In February 2015 Margarita debuted in France in the Lyon Opera as Idamante ("Idomeneo"). Multiple times she participated in charity performances in aid of Fund to fight AIDS in Berlin, Dusseldorf and Vienna.
Roles and events 2015-2016: The debut in the premiere of the Salzburg Festival "Le Nozze di Figaro" as Cherubino, and participation in a series of repeat performances a year later(director S. Bechtolf), Olga in the summer festival of Schleswig-Holstein Festival under the baton of Maestro Eschenbach ("Eugene Onegin"), a concert on the ORF radio with the soloists of the Vienna Philharmonic, the opening of L. Pavarotti wax figure in the Madame Tussaud's wax museum, Idamanterole in "Idomeneo" in Budapest and the solo recitalin Bad Wildbad. The debut as Sigismondo in the premiere in Bad Wildbad (director J. Schönleber), Fulvio in "Catonein Utica" in Cologne, participation in the concert at the Austrian Embassy in Copenhagen, and also in the concert in the Russian Embassy in Vienna, the performance in honor of the 150-year anniversary of the hotel "Sacher " in Salzburg. The collaboration with Maestro R. Muti in Japan hold a specific place in Margarita’s musical life, as well as participation in the concerts "Stabat Mater" by Rossini in the Golden Hall of the Vienna Philharmonic.
Among the characters in the Vienna State Opera - Cinderella, Rosina, Smeton in "Anna Bolena" with E.Gruberova as Anna Bolena, Krista in the premiere of "Makropulos" directed by P. Stein, Masha in the premiere of "Three Sisters" directed by Yuval Sharon, Sesto in "La Clemenza di Tito" and Bradamante in "Alcina". The young singer will perform the Angelina role in the premiere of "Cinderella" in the New Oslo Opera House, participate in the opening of the Opera Ball in Dresden and debut as Isabella in "L'Italiana in Algeri" at the Vienna Opera.
The Musical development of M. Gritskova in Vienna State Opera strongly connected with famous conductors and distinguished pianists, like Franz Welser-Möst, Peter Schneider, Marco Armiliato, Adam Fischer, Christoph Eschenbach, Michael Güttler, Andrej Jurkewitsch, Antonino Fogliani,Riccardo Muti, Thomas Lausmann, Maria Prinz, Cecile Restier, Stephen Hopkins and many others. Her partners on the stage wereJose Carreras, Placido Domingo, Ferruccio Furalnetto, Egils Silins, Rene Pape, Barbara Frittoli, Krassimira Stoyanova, Anna Netrebko, Ain Anger, Jonas Kaufmann, Michael Schade, Jean-Noel de Briend, Luca Pisaroni, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo and others.
"Nevertheless, it's up to the opera, where she hopefully stays as a member of the ensemble for a long time, even if one wishes her a huge career." Wolfgang Habermann, Neue Merker, April 2015
COMPETITIONS AND AWARDS: 2001 - First Prize of the II Open Regional Festival – Rachmaninoff Music Competition. 2003 - Grand Prix of the II Open Children's Competition of A.G. Rubinstein. 2004 - winner of the international contest among gifted children "Constellation of Talents" - Star of the Academician Likhachev. 2006 - winner of the III All-Russian competition of vocal - piano duets. 2007 - winner of the III All-Russian competition of opera singers. 2008 - Award "Best young talent" at the International Luciano Pavarotti Competition in Modena. 2009 - First prize and the prize "Best young talent" at the IV International Competition in Villa de Canto de Colmenar Viejo, Spain. 2009 - winner of the All-Russian Public program "Hope of Russia". 2010 - finalist of the international vocal competition "Operalia"