Inese Galante (born 12 March 1954) is a Latvian soprano opera singer. Galante is known for a great beauty of tone, nuanced pianissimos and sensitive command of dynamics and colour. Her performance of Vavilov's Ave Maria (often attributed to Giulio Caccini), from her "Debut" album 1995 started spreading worldwide interest in the piece.
2 Operatic roles,
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Galante was born in Riga to a musical family. She entered the Latvian Academy of Music in Riga in 1977. While still a student at the Academy, she became a soloist of the Latvian National Opera. Parallel to her work in Riga she was engaged in opera productions at other theatres, particularly at the Kirov Opera (Mariinsky theatre) in Saint Petersburg, Russia where she had a fruitful collaboration with conductor Valery Gergiev.
From 1991 until 1999, Galante was soloist at National Theatre Mannheim and Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf. Since then she has been touring and performing all over the world. Galante's voice has been heard at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier (France), at the St Denis Festival, the Newport Music Festival and the Gibson Hall (USA), at the Barbican Centre, the Royal Albert Hall, the Wigmore Hall and Kensington Palace (London), at the Royal Swedish Opera, and at the Kremlin and the Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow), where she made her debut as Adriana in Cilea's opera Adriana Lecouvreur in the La Scala production. In 2001 Galante appeared in concert in Rotterdam together with José Carreras.
Galante has worked with such conductors as Yehudi Menuhin, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Evelino Pidò, Myung-whun Chung, Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez, Neeme Järvi, Carl Davis, John Mauceri, Stefan Soltesz, Eric Klaas, Antonio Pappano, Steven Mercurio, Alexander Vedernikov, Dmitri Kitayenko, Vassily Sinaisky, Alexander Rahbari, Lawrence Renes and Vladimir Fedoseyev.
The first major operatic role of Galante was Violetta in Verdi's La traviata at her graduation exam at the Music Academy. Since that time Galante has performed this role more than 100 times on various stages of the world. Among Galante's other roles are:
Olympia in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann,
Snegurochka in Rimsky-Korsakov's The Snow Maiden,
Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto,
Leonora in Verdi's Il trovatore,
Aida in Verdi's Aida,
Adina in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore,
Lucia in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor,
Rosina in Rossini's The Barber of Seville,
Corina in Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims,
Marguerite in ounod's Faust,
Magda in Puccini's La rondine,
Cio-Cio-San in Puccini's Madama Butterfly,
Mimi in Puccini's La bohème,
Liu in Puccini's Turandot,
Lauretta in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi,
Manon Lescaut in Puccini's Manon Lescaut,
Micaela in Bizet's Carmen,
Adriana in Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur,
Vivetta in Cilea's L'arlesiana,
Pamina in Mozart's The Magic Flute,
Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni,
Nedda in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci,
Beauty in Oliver's The Beauty and Beast,
Naiad in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos,
3rd Norn in Wagner's Götterdämmerung,
Ortlinde in Wagner's Die Walküre,
Euridice in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice,
Giuditta in Lehár's Giuditta,
Iolanta in Tchaikovsky's Iolanta,
Lisa in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades,
In addition to performing in operas Galante frequently sings in concerts in Verdi's Requiem, Mozart's Requiem, in the works of Bruckner, Poulenc, Schubert, Brahms and other composers. In 2008 Galante performed Richard Strauss's The Four Last Songs for soprano and orchestra which was at the same time premiere of this work in Russia.
Galante is patroness of the international music festival Summertime. She has been awarded The Order of the Three Stars by the President of Latvian Republic.