Barnokhon Ismatullaeva is only 25 years old and, as such, is among the youngest contestants at this year’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
Barno hails from Uzbekistan, specifically the Makhamat district of Andizhan. Surprisingly, singing was not her first passion. She graduated music school as a pianist and earned a master’s degree from the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan in 2015.
But prior to finishing her master’s, she had already earned the top prize in the international competition of vocalists in Moscow in 2012 thanks to her rendition of “Ave Maria.” She also placed first in the Competizione dell’opera.
Major Roles and Performances
The young soprano has appeared at the Krasnoyarsk International Music Festival, as a soloist at the Bolshoi Theatre in Navoi, and at the Stanislavsky and Nemorovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre, among others. She has also performed numerous major works around the world, including Verdi’s “Requiem” and “Carmina Burana.” Despite her youth, she has tackled some of opera’s toughest leading roles in such works as “La Bohème,” “Pagliacci,” “La Traviata,” “Il Trovatore,” “Eugene Onegin,” “The Queen of Spades,” “Madama Butterfly,” “Turandot,” “Iolanta,” and “Jenufa.”
Check out a sample of how she approaches the role of Puccini’s Mimì in “La Bohème” with the following clip: