Elena Zaytseva graduated in 1991 from the Faculty of Theater Production at the St. Petersburg Theater Arts Academy. From 1990 to 1995 she worked at one of the largest film production companies in Russia, the Lenfilm Studio in St. Petersburg. In the following years she turned to the theater and was head of the costume department at the Mariinsky Theater, from 2001 to 2003 at the New Opera Company and from 2003 at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. Over the next few years she designed the costumes for numerous opera and ballet productions at houses such as La Monnaie in Brussels, the Zurich Opera House, the Bavarian State Opera, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Dutch Opera in Amsterdam and the Teatro Real in Madrid , the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto and the English National Opera in London. Recent engagements included 2016's Undine at the Bolshoi Theater and Iolanta/The Nutcracker at the Palais Garnier in Paris, as well as 2017's Carmen at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and Pakhita at the Mariinsky Theatre. In 2018 she designed costumes for Nuriev at the Bolshoi Theater, Pakhita at the Ekaterinburg Opera and Tristan und Isolde at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin. In 2019 she designed Les Troyens at the Opéra Bastille (Opéra national de Paris).