Marina Rapakova was born in Leningrad. In 1964 she graduated with distinction from the Leningrad State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire having studied the piano.
In 1963, while still a fourth year student at the Conservatoire, she was invited to join the Mariinsky Theatre as a trainee concert mistress.
In 1964 she joined the Mariinsky Theatre as a concert mistress with the Opera Company.
From 1994 to 1995 she was a concert mistress with both the Opera Company and the Chorus.
Marina Rapakova has an expansive repertoire. Over her years at the Mariinsky Theatre she has been directly involved in a huge number of premiere performances, among them La forza del destino, Boris Godunov and Faust to name but a few. For her involvement in productions of An Optimistic Tragedy and Land of Miracles, Marina Rapakova received particular thanks from the theatre.