Canadian-Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Emilia Boteva studied at the Bulgarian Academy of Music in Sofia. An award winner at the Svetoslav Obretenov National Competition in Bulgaria and a finalist in the Toulouse International Vocal Competition, she made her professional debut at the State Opera House in Sofia and has appeared there in such roles as Ulrica, Azucena, Maddalena, Fenena, Eboli and Amneris.
Ms. Boteva’s 2016/17 season included Brigitta in Die Tote Stadt with Calgary Opera, Martha in Khovanshchina for Opera in Concert, and Kostelnichka in Jenufa with Pacific Opera Victoria. In 2018 she will sing Filipjevna in Eugene Onegin with Calgary Opera.
In April of 2015, Ms Boteva was in Mexico City for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with David Stern conductng Orchesta sinfonica national de Mexico and was previously heard there in Verdi’s Requiem with Carlos Prieto. She was well-received in Chicago at the Grant Park Festival for Alexander Nevsky and also recently appeared for Edmonton Opera as Filipyevna in Eugene Onegin, for Opera Tampa as Ulrica in Ballo in Maschera and for Opéra de Montréal as Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer. Her most recent performances include Brigitta in Die Tote Stadt for Calgary Opera and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 for the Winnipeg Symphony. She looks forward to Marfa in Khovanshchina for VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert.
Ms. Boteva was introduced to Canadian audiences by Opera Ontario, singing Amneris in AIDA under the baton of Maestro Daniel Lipton. She has since appeared with Opera in Concert as Lyubov in MAZEPPA, Opéra de Québec as Emilia in Otello and Opéra de Montréal as Mary in Der Fliegende. European appearances include Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera in Bari, Italy, La Sonnambula in Bilbao, and Wagner’s Ring cycle (Wellgunde and Rossweisse) and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with Maurizio Barbacini. She also appeared in Las Palmas in Rigoletto, Die Zauberflöte and Carmen and returned to Sofia in Bulgaria for a Verdi Requiem in honour of Ghena Dimitrova. Her most recent engagements in Spain have included performances as Albine in Thaïs and Countess de Coigny in Andrea Chenier.
Other highlights include Amneris in Aida for Brott Summer Music, Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer for Calgary Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa and Manitoba Opera, Verdi’s Requiem for the Vancouver and Winnipeg symphonies, Alexander Nevsky and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the Regina Symphony, Filipyevna in Eugene Onegin for Opéra de Québec, and Azucena in Il Trovatore for Manitoba Opera.
Ms. Boteva is well regarded in Europe and she has appeared with the opera companies of Bulgaria, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, Lithuania and Macedonia. Fluent in Italian, English, Russian, French, and Bulgarian, she has collaborated with important conductors including Maurizio Barbacini, Gunter Neuhold, and Rizzi Brignoli among others. As a concert artist, she has toured Spain in Respighi’s Il Tramonto and de Falla’s El Amor Brujo. Works by Elgar, Verdi, Britten, Mahler and Rossini are in her repertoire and her recordings include Mozart’s Requiem with the National Bulgarian Radio Orchestra and Rachmaninov’s Vespers with the French National Radio Orchestra from Lyon.
|Cilea||Princesse de Bouillon||ADRIANA LECOUVREUR|
|Mascagni||Mamma Lucia||CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA|
|LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
|Nikolai||Meg Page||DIE LUSTIGEN WEIBER VON WINDSOR|
|Offenbach||Nicklausse||LES CONTES D’HOFFMAN|
|Ponchielli||La Cieca/Laura||LA GIOCONDA|
|IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA
ITALIANA IN ALGERI
LA GAZZA LADRA
QUEEN OF SPADES
Mrs. Quickly/Meg Page
UN BALLO IN MASCHERA
LA FORZA DEL DESTINO
|Bach, J.S.||Magnificat in D major|
|Beethoven||Symphony No. 9|
Sea Pictures, op. 37
|de Falla||El Amor Brujo
Siete canciones populares españolas
|Handel||Ode to Peace|
|Mahler||Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen|
Messa di Gloria
Petite Messe Solennelle
“Emilia Boteva, sang the sympathetic role of Brigitta with a richly focused tone and a fine understanding of the dramatic element.” [Calgary Opera, Die Tote Stadt] Calgary Herald, Kenneth Delong
“The emotional heart of this work is its fourth movement. The wonderful Boteva imbued her ethereal solo Urlicht (Primal Light) with a sense of gravitas and world-weary hope that prevails against all odds. She projected benevolence with her richly coloured vocals giving rise and fall to her German text…” [Winnipeg Symphony, Mahler Symphony No. 2] Winnipeg Free Press, Holly Harris
“The performance also gained by having a terrific soloist….mezzo-soprano Emilia Boteva made it a highlight of the evening. The Bulgarian-born singer’s deep Slavic timbre proved ideal in this brooding music, her sensitive vocalism casting a spell in the mournful elegy for the battlefield dead.” [Grant Park Festival, Chicago, Alexander Nevsky] Chicago Classical Review, Lawrence A. Johnson
“Mezzo-soprano Emilia Boteva was in outstanding voice in the beautiful Field of the Dea’, and sang a moving elegy.”
Calgary Herald, Stephen Bonfield [Alexander Nevsky]
“Emilia Boteva’s portrayal of Tatiana’s nurse, Fillipnevya, was a delight.” (Opera Lyra, Ottawa, EUGENE ONEGIN)
Ottawa Citizen, Richard Todd
“… the phenomenal Azucena of Emilia Boteva. The voice is absolutely huge, though also very capable of softer more gentle passages…her high notes as well as her low ones, are thrilling. She sang a fantastic ‘Stride la vampa’…she held the last note of ‘Condotta ell’era in ceppi’ for an almost indecently long time.” (Verdi’s TROVOTORE at Royal Theatre Carre, Amsterdam)
“…mezzo-soprano Emilia Boteva was a powerhouse.”
The Buffalo News, Garaud ManTaggart
“The star was undoubtedly mezzo Emilia Boteva. Her voice has a freshness about it that does not change with the register or volume that she might be singing in. It is clear and strong and retains its smooth velvety quality in all its ranges, particularly in her transitions from one register to the other. Above all her performance was extremely musical.” (Verdi REQUIEM)
Malta, Cecilia Xuereb
“Emilia Boteva…sonorité raffinée dans l’aigu, timbre lumineux et puissant dans le grave, ce mezzo dispose de beaucoup de resources.”
Le Soleil, Richard Boisvert
“The most successful performance came from the Amneris of Emilia Boteva. From both a vocal and dramatic point of view, she delivered a sublime performance.” (Translation)
Leeuwarder Courant – Rudolf Nammensma
“…pero a su vez Emilia Boteva resultó una extraordinaria Suzuki, de gran empaque vocal, especialmente en el hermoso dúo de las flores con la soprano.”
La Provincia/Diario de Las Palmes – Rodrigo Barbosa
“L’Ulrica de Emilia Boteva è stata, appunto una strega da favola nordica; bella voce, capace di realizzare sempre un espressivo fraseggio, alonandolo con misteriosi accenti innervati da una sincera apprensione par I funesti presagi che è chimata a dare.”
La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno – Nicola Sbisà