The Russian bass Aleksei Kulagin was born in Orel and was a soloist with the Zazerkalie Theatre in St Petersburg in 2018/19.
He graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov St Petersburg State Conservatory in 2019 and joined the Young Artist Programme at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, under the direction of Dmitry Vdovin. He has also attended masterclasses given by Neil Shicoff, Sergei Leiferkus, Ernesto Palacio and Ildar Abdrazakov and worked with musicians such as Luba Orfenova, Mzia Bakhtouridze, Semion Skigin and Ivari Ilja as well as with conductors including Franz Welser-Möst, Lorenzo Viotti, Tugan Sokhiev, Dmitry Korchak and Mikhail Sinkevich.
His repertory includes roles such as Ruslan (Ruslan and Ludmilla), Timur (Turandot), Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin), Simone (Gianni Schicchi), Masetto (Don Giovanni) and Angelotti (Tosca). He has performed at venues including the Bolshoi Theatre and the Mariinsky Theatre, and at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest, at various Moscow theatres and concert halls and at the St Petersburg Philharmonia. In 2022 he participated in the Young Singers Project at the Salzburg Festival, and in this capacity performed for the first time at the Haus für Mozart.
Aleksei Kulagin won the fourth prize at the 2022 Tenor Viñas Contest in Barcelona. In 2021 he won first prizes at the Opera Crown International Singing Competition in Tbilisi and the Galina Vishnevskaya International Singing Competition in Moscow, the second prize in the Elena Obraztsova Singing Competition in St Petersburg and the first prize in the José Carreras Grand Prix in Moscow. In 2022 he received the second prize in the Éva Marton International Singing Competition in Budapest and in 2023 he won the Grand Prix at the Hibla Gerzmava Competition in Moscow.