Elīna Garanča was born into a musical family in Riga, Latvia. She studied at the Latvian Academy of Music with her mother. She won the Mirjam Helin Singing Competition in 1999 and was a finalist in the 2001 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
She began her professional career as a resident artist with the Südthüringischer Staatstheater in Meiningen where she appeared in a number of leading roles and she appeared as a resident artist with the Frankfurt Opera.
In September 2005 Ms Garanča became an exclusive recording artist with Deutsche Grammophon. Her first solo recording 'Aria Cantilena' was released in March 2007 to great popular and critical acclaim and she was awarded the prestigious ECHO KLASSIK award for 'Singer of the Year 2007.' Her second solo record, 'Bel Canto' was received with similar enthusiasm.
Ms Garanča has since, quickly established herself as one of the music world's major stars through her performances with leading opera theaters and symphony orchestras around the world. She has captured critical and popular acclaim for her beautiful voice, intelligent musicianship, and compelling stage portrayals.
Highlights of recent seasons included her critically acclaimed house debut in the title role of Bizet's Carmen at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She reprised this role in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera which was broadcast in more than one thousand cinemas worldwide. Ms Garanča was also named as Musical America's 'Vocalist of the Year' 2010; she won the MIDEM Classical Award as 'Singer of the Year' and won the Echo Klassik 'Female Singer of the Year' award (her second Echo Klassik award) the same year.
She also recently embarked on a major European tour to promote her latest Deutsche Grammophon record 'Romantique' (which has also won an Echo Klassik award) and gave various gala concerts and recitals in Europe and the USA, including the Verdi Requiem at Salzburg Festival and her recital debut at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Looking ahead, Ms Garanča will return to the Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin,Bayerische Staatsoper Munich and the Salzburg Festival. She will also continue to perform in various festivals and give recitals throughout Europe and beyond.
In May 2013, Elīna Garanča was honoured by the Wiener Staatsoper with the title of 'Kammersängerin'. One of the youngest recipients of the Award, Ms Garanca was honoured for her devotion to the House, singing over one hundred and forty performances of eighteen roles since her debut in the House in 2003, beginning with the small role of Lola, and now the House's reigning Carmen, Sesto, Giovanna Seymour, Charlotte and Oktavian.