Larissa Diadkova is a principal artist of the Mariinsky Theatre, where she has enjoyed a longstanding artistic relationship with the company’s music director, Valery Gergiev. She is a graduate of the Leningrad Conservatory where she studied with Professor Iraida Levando. She made her professional debut in Europe in 1991 as Liubov in Tchaikovsky’s »Mazeppa« at the Bregenz Festival. In addition to the Russian musical literature, Larissa’s name has become synonymous with the repertoire of Bach, Handel, Mahler, Wagner and, in particular, Verdi. It was as Ulrica in Verdi’s »Un ballo in maschera« at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino that she was established as a major international artist in this repertoire. She was invited back to the Maggio to sing Amneris »Aida« and took part in the theatre’s tour of Japan in 1997 under the baton of Zubin Mehta. In 1998, she made her debut at Teatro alla Scala as Laura »La Gioconda« and returned to the theatre as Marfa »Khovanshchina« conducted by Valery Gergiev. For the 100th Anniversary of the death of Verdi, she devoted most of the 2000/01 season to performing roles by the composer. Her Azucena »Il trovatore«, Amneris and Ulrica were seen in major houses around the world including the Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro Real, Madrid, San Francisco Opera, Arena di Verona and Teatro Regio di Parma. She also appeared as Mistress Quickly in the new production of »Falstaff« at the Osterfestspiele Salzburg conducted by Claudio Abbado. In 2001, she made her debut at the Opéra de Paris as Marfa and returned to Paris to sing Azucena and Jezhibaba »Rusalka«. Her debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago took place in 2003 as Ulrica, later appearing there as Fricka »Das Rheingold« and »Die Walküre« conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Since 1996 she has been a regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera where she has performed roles including Azucena, Amneris, Ulrica, Marfa, Herodias (»Salome«) and Fricka. In the 2005/06 she performed the role of Liubov in the new production of »Mazeppa« conducted by Valery Gergiev. More recently, she has performed such varied roles at the Met as Marta (»Iolanta«), the Countess (»Queen of Spades«) and Filippyevna (»Eugene Onegin«). Larissa has also performed with many of the world’s major orchestras. Recent engagements include Jezhibaba, Countess (»Queen of Spades«) and Marfa at the Opéra de Paris, Countess in concert with the Bayerischer Rundfunk and at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Mistress Quickley (»Falstaff«) at the Hamburgische Staatsoper, Herodias in concert in Istanbul, Filipyevna at the Bayerische Staatsoper and for the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Countess for Dutch National Opera and Filipyevna for Houston Grand Opera. This season, Larissa will perform the Countess at the Metropolitan Opera.