Olga Borodina is one of the leading Russian operatic mezzo-sopranos. A star of the Kirov (Mariinsky) Opera, she is also in strong demand internationally.
Her first major position was as a member of the Kirov Company in Leningrad, which contracted her as an ensemble soloist in 1987. (As the city returned to its pre-Revolutionary name of St. Petersburg, the opera theater also re-took its earlier name of Mariinsky, but remains well-known under the long-standing Kirov name.)
She worked her way through the smaller mezzo-soprano parts until music director Valery Gergiev unexpectedly assigned her to the leading role of Marfa in Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina. The great acclaim she received for her performance established her as a leading singer with the company and drew international attention. She entered the Rosa Ponselle International Competition. She won the gold medal there, a victory that launched her international career. This was followed by winning another major prize from the 1989 Barcelona Competition, confirming her growing international status.
Her repertory is naturally strong in the major Russian mezzo-soprano roles. These include Pauline in The Queen of Spades, Marina in Boris Godunov, and leading parts in Prokofiev's War and Peace, Prince Igor by her namesake Borodin, and Dargomïzhsky's The Stone Guest. But she has also sung Dalila in Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila, Carmen in Bizet's opera, Marguerite in Berlioz' Le Damnation de Faust, and also in Berlioz' Roméo et Juliette and Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil.
She has sung in Salzburg, Covent Garden in London, San Francisco, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Paris Opera, and other major venues in Rome, Milan, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Her other engagements included a Metropolitan Opera debut and a first appearance at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Her recordings include Prince Igor, Khovanshchina, War and Peace, and The Queen of Spades. As she is also a highly-regarded recital artist, she has also released discs songs and Lieder, including an all-Tchaikovsky song recital.