Artist of the Week: Aigul Akhmetshina

Russian Mezzo Brings her Carmen to the Metropolitan Opera

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Ken Howard / Met Opera)

This New Year’s Eve the Metropolitan Opera is set to open a new production of Bizet’s beloved “Carmen.”  The production will showcase one of the most sought-after Carmens currently performing in the world – Aigul Akhmetshina.

Over the past years, Akhmetshina has performed the role at the Royal Opera House, Bashkir State Opera and Ballet Theatre, Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre, and the Bayerische Staatsoper and this season, she has more Carmens at the Deustche Oper Berlin, Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne Festival, and the Teatro San Carlo.

OperaWire saw the mezzo in 2019 when she sang it at the Royal Opera and said, Akhmetshina “has an immaculate voice. It is slender, gentle, and soothing on many levels, making her a solid Carmen. She has a ringing top that was on full display throughout the inserted portions of the Habanera, which challenges the singer with a higher tessitura. She managed her voice quite well throughout this version of the piece, especially in moments where she had to sing over a blasting choral ensemble.”

While the mezzo made her Met debut last season in a “plush and punchy” Maddalena, this Carmen will be the mezzo’s real introduction to New York audiences as she performs her first leading role with the company.

And if you’re not in New York, Akhmetshina will also lead her first HD performance which will be seen worldwide.

You can also read further about the mezzo in our recent interview.


While the mezzo does not have any recordings, she is featured on Freddie de Tommaso’s album, “Il Tenore.”

And here she is as Carmen and Rosina at the Royal Opera House.


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