Irena Zelenkauskaitė-Brazauskienė was born on January 21, 1961. She graduated from Vilnius J.Tallat-Kelpša Higher Music School (now Vilnius College in Higher Education), where she studied singing (1983), and Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre where she studied singing with A. Kiselienė (1989).
She won the competition Vilniaus Bokštai (1982) and two National Young Performers Competitions (1983). Since 1992, she has been a soloist at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre.
She has performed together with Lithuanian National Symphony, Lithuanian Chamber and Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestras under the baton of J.Domarkas, J.Aleksa, S.Sondeckis, G.Rinkevicius, J.Franz, J.Basmet, V.Viržonis, R.Geniusas, J.Geniušas, M.Staškus, V.Lukočius and M.Pitrėnas.
In 1998, she was awarded Christophor by Lithuanian Theatre Union.
„Missa Solemnis“ op.123
„The World of the Spirit“
The Little Sweep (Rovena)
Lucia di Lammermoor (Lucia)
Hansel und Gretel (Gretel)
The Bear (Julia)
Die Lustige Witwe (Valencienne)
The Medium (Monica)
Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira)
Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, K 384 (Blonde)
Cosi fan tutte (Fiordiligi)
Les Contes d‘Hoffmann (Olympia)
Gianni Schicchi (Lauretta)
Wiener Blut (Pepi)
La Traviata (Violetta)
Un Ballo in Maschera (Oscar)
Aida (High Priestess)
Don Carlos (Tebaldo)
The Phantom of the Opera (Carlotta)
Der Freischutz (Annchen)
Song and Dance for piano trio
Seven romances on poems by Alexander Blok, Op. 127 for soprano and piano trio
Piano Trio, Op. 50, "In memory of a Great Artist"
KASKADOS Piano Trio:
ALBINA ŠIKŠNIŪTĖ (pianos)
RUSNĖ MATAITYTĖ (violin)
EDMUNDAS KULIKAUSKAS (cello)
IRENA ZELENKAUSKAITĖ (soprano)
Gilda’s part is complicated and the character itself is ‘growing’: at the beginning, we see a girl (analogous to Juliet) and a woman making sacrifices at the end. Irena Zelenkauskaitė has excellently dealt with her vocal task (lately we have to admire appearances of this singer). A clear, transparent voice, perfect technique and meaningful singing of the text. To tell the truth, at the beginning, Gilda seemed to be too infantile; she could have emphasised some hints at her emotional maturity in future already during the first episode. However, the mise-en-scene at Rigoletto’s home, and especially the duo of Gilda and the Duke, was simply enchanting at least due to its scenic solution. Against the slightly glimmering greenish background of the video projection, Gilda and the Duke are swaying on the swings. The effect of swinging is calming anyway, but when you can hear the wonderful, faultlessly performed music of Verdi, you feel as if you are under a spell.
The theatre has two great Elviras: R.Silinskaite who emphasises dramatic notes (this part is quite unusual in her repertoire) and I. Zelenkauskaite who succeeded in revealing more organically not only dramatic, but also comical aspects of the character.
This was especially remarkable during the third premiere (November 15) when Verdi’s Rigoletto sounded in all strings, and the duos of Rigoletto and Gilda (Irena Zelenkauskaite) simply hypnotised the audience. The particular skill of all parts performed by I.Zelenkauskaite is fascinating, and after her dramatic parts of Lucia and Dona Elvira (Liucia di Lamermour and Don Juan) we now see her Gilda who, as the only ‘positive’ character, may warm up this gloomy and cold atmosphere. The soloist seems to be shaped for this part: unique movements, a clear, volant voice, suggestive nuances, fragility and sincerity were simply melting Rigoletto’s fear and distrust as well as fascinating the Duke. Although Gilda is changing in the opera: a girl turns into a self-sacrificing woman, however, she does not succeed to escape the clutches of destiny and she owns up to her fate. The entire part of the soloist, from its first to its last sound, as if, fuses into an undivided whole.