Latvian soprano Elina Shimkus has a bachelor degree in opera singing from Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy and a master degree in performing arts from Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo (prof. Barbro Marklund and prof. Håkan Hagegår). Has also participated in masterclasses with Friedemann Rohlig (Germany), Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz (Italy, Norway), Barbara Dobretsberger (Austria) and Roger Vignoles (Great Britain). In 2011 Elina Shimkus became a prizewinner of VII Klaudia Taev Competition for Young Opera Singers.
With a great success and recognition from critics she has sang Violetta in Verdi’s "Traviata", Micaela in Bizet’s "Carmen", Atalanta in Handel’s ”Xerxes” and Damon in ”Acis and Galatea”, Lisa in Bellini’s "La sonnambula", Marfa in Rimsky-Korsakov’s "The Tsar’s Bride", Carolina in Cimarosa’s "Il matrimonio segreto" and Aminta in Mozart’s "Il re pastore". As a guest soloist she has sang in the opera theaters in France, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland.
Vocal instrumental music takes an important place in Elina’s Shimkus biography. She has sang a soprano solo in many notable productions, such as Passions and Cantatas by Bach, Handel’s "Messiah" and „Alexander’s Fiest”, Vivaldi’s „Gloria”, Mozart’s “Requiem”, ”Vesperae Solennes de Confessore”, “Groβe Messe”, ”Regina Coeli”, Orf’s „Carmina Burana”, as well as „Stabat Mater by Poulenc, Rossini and Pergolese. Elina Shimkus has been a soloist for several Latvian premieres, such as Vivaldi’s „Introduzione e Gloria”, Ratter’s ”Requiem” and „Gloria”, as well as Ser P. McCartny’s „Ecce cor meum”.
Elina Shimkus has performed with such orchestras as Oslo Symphony Orchestra, Bretagne Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Opera Symphony Orchestra, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, "Sinfonietta Riga" and "Collegium Musicum Riga" and has collaborated with such conductors as Darrell Ang, Andres Mustonen, Risto Joost, Jan Ola Amundsen, Arvo Volmer, Andris Veismanis, Andris Poga, Māris Kupčs, Aleksandrs Viļumanis and others. She has performed in Spain, Norway, Denmark, Ukraine, Russia, Canada, Estonia, Lithuania, France, Poland and Germany.
In the foreign reviews Elina Shimkus has been described as "brightly sonorous with beautiful cantilena and and a surprisingly glaring and stable high register" („OperaNews.Ru”, Russia), "youthful fresh soprano" („Kölner Stadtanzeiger”, Austria), "full of energy, musical, with a beautiful and flexible voice” („Gazeta Wyborcza”, Poland), with „light and lyrical voice, which deserves the highest recognition" („Der Neue Merker”, Austria), posessing an "enviable mastery combining consummate dramatics with a suitable vocal technique" („NRA”, Latvia).
„The young soprano is promising, and her performance is cultured. Her registers are homogeneous, upper tessitura is well focused and full with colorful tones.” ("Pärnu Postimees", Estonia).