The solo was performed by Mikhail Petrenko, a young bass who performs both character roles and noble heroes with equal success. His bubbling artistry and the velvety tone of his voice were impressive: it was breathtakingly convincing – theatre of one performer supported by the utterly excellent sound of the orchestra.
Petrenko reminded us of why we love Russian basses. When that rich, reverberating tone rises from the depths, then pours forth to fill the auditorium, it is difficult not to feel a certain thrill.
Bay Area Reporter
... The star of the evening was Mikhail Petrenko as Sparafucile, the knife-wielding assassin. Here he was evil incarnate, with his gleaming bass voice seemingly rising out of the depths of his soul...
Even more impressive was Mikhail Petrenko, the possessor of a magnificent bass voice, but first and foremost he was restrained and responsive to the text, singing the Confutatis with lyrical warmth...
Yevgeny Akimov graduated from the vocals faculty of the Leningrad State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire (class of Lev Morozov).
Soloist with the Zazerkalye Children’s Music Theatre from 1991 to 1996.
Yevgeny Akimov joined the Mariinsky Opera Company in 1996.
Roles performed at the Mariinsky Theatre include:
Bayan (Ruslan and Lyudmila)
Simpleton, Pretender, Shuisky (Boris Godunov)
Prince Andrei Khovansky, Prince Vasily Golitsyn (Khovanshchina )
Gritsko (The Fair at Sorochintsy)
Vladimir Igorevich (Prince Igor)
Sinodal (The Demon)
Berendey (The Snow Maiden)
Indian Merchant (Sadko)
Deacon (Christmas Eve)
Ivan Lykov (The Tsar’s Bride)
Lensky (Eugene Onegin)
Count Vaudemont (Iolanta)
Dante (Francesca da Rimini)
Young Gypsy (Aleko)
Fisherman (Le Rossignol)
Mikola (Semyon Kotko)
Mephistopheles (The Fiery Angel)
Pierre Bezukhov (War and Peace)
Don Antonio (Betrothal in a Monastery)
Zinovy Borisovich (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk)
Flogged Monk, Prince, Magnetiser, Old Man in the Woods, Storyteller (The Enchanted Wanderer)
Count Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia)
Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor)
Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto)
Alfredo (La traviata)
Tenor (stage version of Verdi's Requiem)
Rodolfo (La bohème)
Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly)
Idomeneo (Idomeneo, rè di Creta)
Don Jose (Carmen)
Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni)
Helmsman (Der Fliegende Holländer)
Froh (Das Rheingold)
Vision of a Boy (Die Frau ohne Schatten)
The singer’s concert repertoire includes the tenor roles in Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and Rachmaninoff’s vocal-symphonic poem the Bells.
Yevgeny Akimov has taken part in co-productions of the Mariinsky Theatre and the San Francisco Opera (Betrothal in a Monastery) and La Scala (Boris Godunov); he has also sung at the Metropolitan Opera (New York), the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (London), the Opéra de Paris, the Teatro Regio (Turin) and the National Grand Theatre of China (Beijing).
Yevgeny Akimov has worked with many outstanding musicians of the present day. These include singers Giuseppe Giacomini, Plácido Domingo and Ferruccio Furlanetto, and conductors Lorin Maazel (The Enchanted Wanderer, Avery Fisher Hall, 2002), Mstislav Rostropovich (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, 2002) Esa-Pekka Salonen (Boris Godunov, Hollywood Bowl, 2007). Jukka-Pekka Saraste (Rachmaninoff’s the Bells, Finland, Norway and Sweden, 2009), Gianandrea Noseda (Le Rossignol, Betrothal in a Monastery, Don Giovanni, Francesca da Rimini, Aleko, Teatro Regio, Turin) and Semyon Bychkov (Boris Godunov, Florence, 2006; the Bells, Cologne, 2008) to name but a few.
Yevgeny Akimov’s discography includes CD recordings of the operas Boris Godunov, Betrothal in a Monastery, the Tsar’s Bride, the Love for Three Oranges, Semyon Kotko, Francesca da Rimini, Aleko and Rachmaninoff’s vocal-symphonic poem the Bells as well as DVD recordings of Betrothal in a Monastery, Prince Igor and Rachmaninoff’s the Bells.
In 2009 Yevgeny Akimov was awarded two medals by the Sergei Rachmaninoff Foundation for his performance in the opera Francesc da Rimini and the poem the Bells.