Born March 13, 1942 (not March 15, 1948, as some sources incorrectly state) in Kutaisi, Georgian SSR, she graduated from Tbilisi State Conservatory in 1966. Since 1968, she has been a soloist with Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow. Beginning with her international debut at Metropolitan Opera, New York City, in 1979, she has also performed at Royal Opera House and Covent Garden, London. She was awarded State Prizes of Georgia in 1983 and of Russia in 1998, and the title of People's Artist of the USSR in 1986. Since 2002, she has been artistic director of Bolshoi Theatre opera troupe.