Antra Bigaca (mezzo soprano)
Antra Bigaca was born in 1964, February 21, in Priekule (Latvia). She studied in the violin class of Priekule Music School, then in the vocal class of Liepaja College of Music (prof. Alla Kovalyova-Schulmann). She graduated from the vocal class of prof. Ludmila Brown (1989) at Latvian Academy of Music. Since 1989 she has been a soloist of the Latvian National Opera. She was polishing her mastery under T. Hampson (United Kingdom), K.Angeloni (Italy), A.Orlovitz (Denmark).
A.Bigaca is an opera and chamber music singer with excellent stylistic feeling and intelligent, exquisite manner of singing, marked with inspired gentleness.
The most significant roles she played at the Latvian National Opera are Adalgisa (Norma by Bellini), Carmen (Carmen by Bizet), Olga (Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky), Bradamante (Alcina by Handel), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck), the Third Dame (The Magic Flute by Mozart), Mary (The Flying Dutchman by Wagner), Maddalena (Rigoletto by Verdi), Fenena (Nabucco by Verdi), Amneris (Aida by Verdi), Suzuki (M-me Butterfly by Puccini), Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte by Mozart), Missis Growse (The Turn of the Screw by Britten), Matilda (The Prodigal Son by Kalson), The Angel (The Demon by Rubinstein). She played the part of Judith (Bluebeard's Castle by Bartok) very successfully as well.
There are a lot of vocally-instrumental forms in the singer's repertory, among them Bach's Magnificat, Johannespassion, Matthauspassion, Marcuspassion, Mess h-moll, The Christmas Oratory, Handel's Messiah, Stabat mater by Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Rossini and Dvorak, Mozart's The Coronation Mess, Villa-Lobos' Magnificat, Te Deum by Bruckner and Kodaly, Mors et Vita by Gounod as well, as the music of Latvian composers (Magnificat by Ingm. Zemzaris and by Im.Ramins, A.Grinup's Requiem, A.Maskat's Symphony and Salve Regina, Symphony and Mess by R.Liede, B.Skulte's Daugava etc).
A.Bigaca's repertory of chamber music is wide and rich. She is considered to be the only Latvian singer, who performs the chamber music programs so often. Tchaikovsky, Rahmaninov, Schumann, Schubert, Volf and Medtner can be mentioned among her favourite composers. She sings Latvian classical music and a range of modern Latvian composers' songs, dedicated to her.
Collaborating with the Hermanis Braun Foundation, A.Bigaca performed such original and noticeable programs as Wolf's and Medtner's songs with Goethe poetry (A.Bigaca, I.Davidova, 1995, Riga), Mendelssohn's, Schumann's and Brahms' vocal duets (I.Kalna, A.Bigaca, I.Davidova, 1997, Riga), Musical revelations Spohr's, Meyerbeer's Creutzer's, Cornelius' Tate's pieces for mezzo, clarinet and piano (A.Bigaca, M.Kulis, I.Davidova, 2002, Riga).
The singer actively performs in Latvia and abroad (United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Netherlands, Venezuela, Trinidad, Tobago, Switzerland, Australia, USA, Lithuania, Estonia, Israel, Hong Kong, France, and Canada
A.Bigaca worked with such famous conductors as T.Voycehovsky, J.Aleksa, V.Spivakov, G.Rinkevicius, J.Domarkas, S.Sondeckis, T.Mikelsen, A.Mustonen, V.Platonov, A.Vilumanis etc.
The singer is a prizewinner of the J.Medins Vocal competition (Latvia, 1989, 1992). She was awarded with the Latvia Grand Prix in music (1995).
A.Bigaca recorded a great deal of vocal pieces, especially, those of Latvian composers, at the Latvian Radio. She has CDs recorded with the Latvian Radio Choir, the New-York Latvian Choir, with the Rīgas kamermūziķi chamber orchestra. She participated as a soloist in the recording of I.Risas two CDs, A.Maskat's CD and of R.Kalson's opera The Prodigal Son (Matilda). In 2002 her first solo CD was issued.
A.Bigaca is a mother for three adorable children. She speaks six languages (Latvian, Russian, English, German, French and Italian).
Antra Bigaca sang and played a stylish and elegant Bradamante
The Moscow Times, 2003
A majestic and well-rounded singing as revealing as the interpretation itself this is how we remember the Angel performed by Antra Bigaca.
Neatkariga Rita Avize, 2002