Aber im Grunde gehörte der Abend dem Förster von Sergej Leiferkus, der als vorsichtiges Alter Ego Janáčeks den alten Mann gab, der seinen Fuchs nicht bekam. In Dauerpräsenz auf der Bühne beobachtete er das Treiben, das auch ohne ihn stattfand. Bitter wurde er nicht, er fügte sich drein. Verzweifelt, eine Spur auch gebrochen. Dieses psychologische Spiel im Spagat gelang dem russischen Bariton ebenso wie sein charaktervoller Gesang mit samtenem Timbre.
— Musik in Dresden
Sergei Leiferkus is considered one of the world’s most renowned performing artists. His ability to convey both nobility and evil makes him most noted for roles such as Scarpia in Tosca, Jago in Otello, Rangoni in Boris Godunov, Telramund in Lohengrin and Alberich in Der Ring des Nibelungen.
He has appeared at opera houses throughout the world, among them the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; the Vienna State Opera; the Opéra Bastille, Paris; La Scala, Milan; Deutsche Oper Berlin; San Francisco Opera; the Metropolitan Opera, New York; Palau de les Arts, Valencia; Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam; Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, and at the Edinburgh, Bregenz, Salzburg and Glyndebourne Festivals.
His commitments in the 2013/14 season included: Professor Filip Filippovich Preobrazhensky in Raskatov’s opera A Dog’s Heart at the Opéra de Lyon (a role which has been written especially for him), as well as his début at the new State Primorsky Theatre in Vladivostok, where he sung the title role in Aleko. Concert engagements took him to the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Philadelphia and, at Warsaw’s Beethoven Festival, he sung Don Pizarro.
Having made his debut as the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen, at Glyndebourne in 2012, he subsequently reprised this role in Dresden. Further highlights of the 2014/2015 season included Scarpia, Miserly Knight and his debut in the title role of Boris Godounov in St Petersburg. The latter two roles he also sang in concert in London in early 2015 and Misely Knight at La Monnaie in Brussels. Further concerts included Shostakovich’s 13th Symphony (Babi Yar) in Vladivostok and Francesca da Rimini in Darmstadt.
The coming seasons see Sergei Leiferkus returning to the Hamburg State Opera as Forester in the Cunning Little Vixen, the title role in Guillaume Tell and The Man in the German premier of Peter Eötvös’ new opera, Senza Sangue. Other engagements include Alberich in Palermo, a revival of A Dog’s Heart in Amsterdam, a concert of Lieder and The Marriage by Mussorgsky in Stuttgart and Songs and Dances of Death in Nürnberg.
On the concert podium he has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras under conductors including Claudio Abbado, Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, James Levine, Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Kent Nagano, Leonard Slatkin, Vladimir Jurovski, Kurt Masur and Sir Georg Solti.
The singer’s repertoire includes almost fifty opera roles, among them Eugene Onegin, Mazeppa, Prince Igor, Ruprecht (The Fiery Angel), Nabucco, Macbeth, Simon Boccanegra, Amonasro, Jago, Don Giovanni, Telramund, Alberich and Klingsor. Almost one third of Sergei Leiferkus’ repertoire comprises Russian music from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Sergei Leiferkus has recorded almost forty CDs. His first CD recording of songs by Mussorgsky received a Grammy nomination, while another recording of all of Mussorgsky’s songs (on four CDs) was awarded the Cannes Classical Award and the Diapason d’Or Prize in 1997. The catalogue of Sergei Leiferkus’ video recordings includes operas staged at the Mariinsky Theatre (Eugene Onegin and The Fiery Angel) and at Covent Garden (Prince Igor and Otello), three versions of The Queen of Spades (Mariinsky Theatre, Wiener Staatsoper and Glyndebourne) and Nabucco (Bregenz Festival). One of the most recent productions featuring Sergei Leiferkus has been acclaimed director Robert Wilson’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.
Besides his frequent appearances in opera, concert and recital, Sergei Leiferkus also gives master classes and teaches in Berlin, Toronto, Moscow and Boston, as well as at the renowned Britten-Pears School, Aldeburgh.