Elena Obraztsova was born in Leningrad. In 1964, she graduated from the State Leningrad Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory (class of Antonina Grigorieva). In 1962, she got the Gold Medal at the Eighth World Youth Festival in Helsinki. The following year she earned another first prize at the Glinka All-Union Competition in Moscow. Shortly after, she was invited to join the Bolshoi Opera Company in Moscow. While still a student she made her debut in 1963 at the Bolshoi Theatre in the role of Marina Mnishek in Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov. In
She has performed under the most prominent opera and symphony orchestra conductors, including Herbert von Karajan, Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Claudio Abbado, Giuseppe Sinopoli, James Levine, Daniel Barenboim, Evgeny Svetlanov, Yury Temirkanov, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Fedoseyev, and among many other.
Her repertory includes more than 30 roles in the operas by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Verdi, Britten, Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Mussorgsky, Verdi, Bizet, and Stravinsky.
Ms Obraztsova has received all of the highest awards of the USSR and Russia, as well as, many prestigious awards from other countries.