Born in Krasnodar in southern Russia, Mr. Zakhozhaev left his native city to study at The St. Petersburg Academy of Theater, Music and Cinema as a dramatic actor. He had some success as a rock/pop singer in the underground culture with his group “Third Floor,” for which he composed and sang the music. Then he went on to work in theater, created roles in cinema and television. In 1989 he realized his true vocation and entered the St. Petersburg State Conservatory.
Immediately after graduating from conservatory, Mr. Zakhozhaev was invited to sing the role of Narraboth in the Mariinsky Theater’s new production of Salome by the world-famous director Julie Taymor and conducted by Valery Gergiev. At this time he became a leading tenor of the Mariinksy (Kirov) Opera. Through the Mariinsky Theater he was introduced to the great opera stages and concert halls of the world, including: the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Teatro Real, and Colon. At the Baden-Baden Festival in Germany, he had sensational success as Siegfried and Tristan. He has also performed in theaters in Holland, Japan, Israel, Chile, Australia, Austria, Italy, France, and China. In 1998 Mr. Zakhozhaeav was invited to sing the role of Fenton (Falstaff) at the Tel Aviv City Opera, Israel. From that moment he began his own international career; Lohengrin and Duke (Rigoletto) in Brazil, Siegfried in Canada and Poland, Tristan in Germany and France, Sergei (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) at Baltimore Opera, USA and Las Palmas Gran Canarias, Don Giovanni( The Stone Guest) and Mozart (Mozart and Salieri) with the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall, NY, Siegfried ( Siegfried) in Valencia and Florence with Zubin Mehta, Florestan (Fidelio) Las Palmas Grans Canarias and others.
“ Leonid Zakhozhaev, who looked handsome and sang handsomely as the young Siegfried, with plenty of range and endurance for the punish and final duet with Brunnhilde” – wrote New York Times about his performance in Baden-Baden in January 2004. But in 2007, Mr. Zakhozhaev had huge success with the Marrinsky Opera performing the role of Siegfried at the MET, NY. “Mr. Zakhozhaev showed a lovely voice…he sang beautifully and lyrically…and no barking…he looked like the Siegfried of Wagner’s imagining: young, exuberant, and irrepressible.” - wrote The New York Sun about his performance in July 2007.
Mr. Zakhozhaev currently has engagements with principal opera companies around the world and is busy planning a Concert series of Russian music and making solo chamber music recordings.