From the Accademia Rossiniana to the Metropolitan Opera

Many singers dream of having a Met debut. Others of singing Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani. Olga Peretyatko was able to combine the two.

Here’s how it went:

Peretyatko makes spectacular Met debut in “Puritani” – New York Classical Review

Olga Peretyatko Shines in Bellini’s ‘I Puritani’ Huffington Post

Olga Peretyatko Dazzles… –  Latin Post

While Olga may have been unknown to American audiences, she’s been thrilling those at the Rossini Opera Festival for years. Her first of many Pesaro appearances was in 2006 as a student in the Academia Rossiniana production of Il Viaggio a Reims.

The Academia Rossiniana is a school run by Alberto Zedda that runs an intensive two week course focusing on various aspects of Rossini and bel canto singing. It is very competitive to gain entry with students from around the world applying for a limited number of spaces. Once attending, the competitive nature of the school doesn’t disappear. At the end of the program there are two performances of Il Viaggio a Reims in the Teatro Rossini. With more students than roles available, the pressure to be selected can be immense.

In the history of the Accademia Rossiniana (“Accademia Rossiniana XX una storia”), Olga mentions this:

“I remember the strong sense of competition between us and the resulting stress, but that is why I believe that the Rossini Academy has been an indispensable school of life for all of us.”

Despite the pressure, or perhaps because of it, Olga thrived and appeared in the showpiece role as Corrina and the Contessa di Folleville in the Festival Giovane of the ROF in 2006. While those attending that performance may have immediately realized the ability she had, perhaps not all suspected how far she would ascend in her career.

Among those who were aware of her talent were those at the ROF in charge of hiring decisions, namely Alberto Zedda.

In an interview with Opera Lively, when asked about her first lucky break, Olga replied:

“I count it from Pesaro, in 2007. I was there in 2006 for the Accademia Rossiniana… and then the great maestro Alberto Zedda took this risk of giving me this big role of Desdemona in Otello in 2007. It was with Juan Diego Flórez and Gregory Kunde and it was a great success. Of course it was very dangerous for everybody – for me, and for the Festival, because I was young at 27 and I had a relative late start in operatic soprano singing which I started at 22. It was my fifth year, overall.”

olga_peretyatko_met_900_600In 2009, Olga displayed her comedic talents at the ROF in Damiano Michieletto’s brilliantly fun production of La Scala di Seta. Appearing in 2012 as the title role in Matilde di Shabran across from Juan Diego Flórez, there was no doubt for anybody who witnessed her performance that she had reached superstar status. It was only a matter of time before the Met would call.

Incredibly talented and incredibly driven, Olga would have been successful no matter what path she had taken. In an interview she talks of the early part of her career:

“I sang one thousand concerts in hospitals, hospices, anywhere, for 40 to 50 Euros each, and my food budget was just 10 Euros a week. It was great stage experience and helped me understand the price of success. It made me grateful for all I have now.”

Yet by Olga coming through the Accademia Rossiniana, the Rossini Opera Festival played a part in helping that success arrive faster. Olga notes, again in the history of the Accademia Rossiniana, “I am very grateful to Maestro Zedda for being the first to have understood what was my main vocal and artistic characteristics.”

Those who have enjoyed one of Olga’s performances – in Pesaro, at the Met, or any number number of leading opera houses worldwide – are grateful to her for the years of hard-work and dedication she has put into her craft.

Rossini Opera Festival Performances

  • Matilde di Shabran, title role (2012)
  • Sigismondo, Aldimira (2010)
  • La Scala di Seta, Giulia (2009)
  • Concerto di Belcanto (2009) Music of Mozart, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Rimski-Korsakov, Saint-Saëns, Stravinsky, Verdi, and Rossini
  • Otello, Desdemona (2007)
  • Il viaggio a Reims, Corinna & Contessa di Folleville (2006) Festival Giovane



(Viaggio Photo Credit: Studio Amati Bacciardi)