Emilia made her Pacific Opera Victoria debut as the Kostelnička in the 2017 production of Janáček’s Jenůfa. She returns in 2020 as the Older Woman in the Canadian première of Flight by Jonathan Dove and April de Angelis.
The Canadian-Bulgarian mezzo-soprano 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.
Recent and upcoming engagements include her Toronto Symphony debut as Albine in Massenet’s Thaïs conducted by Sir Andrew Davis; Marthe in Faust with Vancouver Opera; Brigitta in Die Tote Stadt for Calgary Opera; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the Winnipeg Symphony. She was well received in Chicago at the Grant Park Festival for Alexander Nevsky and appeared with Edmonton Opera and Opéra de Québec in Eugene Onegin as Filipyevna, a role she repeated for Calgary Opera in 2018.
Other engagements include Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera (Opera Tampa); Azucena in Il trovatore (Manitoba Opera); Mary in Der Fliegende Höllander (Opéra de Montréal and Calgary Opera); and Marfa in Khovanshchina (Voicebox: Opera in Concert). Further credits include Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 and Verdi’s Requiem for Orquesta Sinfonica de Mexico, as well as appearances in Baton Rouge, Lyon, Sofia (Bulgaria), Vancouver, and Spain.
Ms. Boteva was introduced to Canadian audiences by Opera Ontario, when she sang Amneris in Aïda under the baton of Maestro Daniel Lipton. She has since appeared with Opera in Concert as Lyubov in Mazeppa and with Opéra de Québec as Emilia in Otello.
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. She also appeared in Las Palmas in Rigoletto, Die Zauberflöte and Carmen and returned to Sofia for a Verdi Requiem in honour of Ghena Dimitrova. Recent engagements in Spain have included performances as Albine in Thaïs and Countess de Coigny in Andrea Chénier.
Ms. Boteva 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.
Emilia Boteva as the Kostelnička was also first rate, with a voice strong enough to carry her highly declamatory vocal line, yet also capable of fine lyricism when required, as in her Act 2 pleading with Števa to assume responsibility for Jenůfa. Her performance of her decision to kill Jenůfa’s baby was harrowing, with lyricism alternating with declamation as she screwed herself up for the terrible deed.
Harvey de Roo, Vancouver Classical Music, review of Jenůfa, Pacific Opera Victoria, 2017.