She began her studies at the Saratov Conservatory, then continued her vocal education at the Moscow Conservatory (Irina Arkhipova’s class). In 2000, she completed her studies at the Conservatory and in 2002 — her post-graduate work there. In 1999, Elena Manistina joined Moscow’s Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre where she sang the following roles: Duenna (Betrothal in a Monastery), Prince Orlovsky (Die Fledermaus), Babarikha (The Tale of Tsar Saltan), Ratmir (Ruslan and Lyudmila), Marta (Iolanta).
Since 2000, Elena Manistina has also been appearing at the Bolshoi Theatre.
Repertoire at the Bolshoi: Governess (The Queen of Spades), Ulrica (Un Ballo in maschera), Nurse (Eugene Onegin), Marta (Iolanta), Amelfa (The Golden Cockerel), Preziosilla (La Forza del destino), Mistress Quickly (Falstaff), Marfa (Khovanshchina), Helene Bezukhova (War and Peace), Marina Mnishek (Boris Godunov), Lyubasha (The Tsar’s bride), Alkonost (The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and of the Maiden Fevronia), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Spring (The Snow Maiden), Princess Evpraksia Romanovna (The Enchantress), Epanchina (The Idiot by Weinberg), Old Lady (Candide), Mezzo-soprano solo in A Hero of Our Time ballet (Part Bela).
Also in repertoire: Babulenka (The Gambler), The Countess (The Queen of Spade), Voice of Antonia’s mother (Les Contes d’ Hoffmann), Amelfa (The Golden Cockerel), Azucena (Il Trovatore), Sosostris (Sir Michael Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage), Fortune-teller (The Fiery Angel), Amneris (Aida), Kashcheyevna (Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kashchey the Immortal), Lyubov (Mazeppa), Tigrana (Edgar), Baba the Turk (The Rake’s Progress), Jezibaba (Rusalka), Nurse (The Demon).
She sang at the leading opera houses and festivals such as the Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Theatre du Chatelet, Opera Bordeaux, Deutsche Opera (Berlin), Opera Bastille, Covent Garden, Frankfurt Opera, La Theatre de la Monnaie, Teatro Carlo Felice (Genoa), Arena di Verona, Royal Albert Hall, Oviedo Opera, Paris National Opera, Opera Ireland, Teatro Liceo, Avignon Opera, Teatro Comunale Bologna, Glyndebourne Festival, Teatro Municipal Santiago-de-Chile, Monte-Carlo Opera, Opéra Municipal de Marseille, Canadian Opera Company, Metropolitan Opera, Ópera de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, Opera Vlaanderen in Antwerpen and Gent, Malmö Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Munich Opera Festival, at the Athens – Epidaurus Festival.
She has won at the Glinka Competition (3rd prize, 1997), Tchaikovsky Competition (2nd prize, 1998), the Byulbyul Competition (Baku, lst prize, 2000), the Moscow debuts Festival (2001), the Jubilee (10th) Placido Domingo Operalia Competition (lst prize, 2002), the Vocalists’ Competition in China (2nd prize, 2002), the Francisco Vinas Competition (Barcelona, 2003).