Artist of the Week: Aigul Akhmetshina

Promising Mezzo-Soprano Makes her Paris Opera Debut

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Elisa Haberer)

Aigul Akhmetshina is considered one of today’s promising stars in the opera world and has been hailed for her “immaculate voice” and “delicate timbre.” She made history when she became the youngest Belvedere Competition Winner who debuted at the Royal Opera House as “Carmen” at the age of 21.

Since then she has made major debuts at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Teatro Real, and Deutsche Oper Berlin. This week she makes another awaited debut at the Opéra de Paris as Rosina in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia.”

The role of Rosina is a departure from Akhmetshina’s repertoire which includes the works of Verdi, Bizet, Massenet, and Tchaikovsky. In a statement to OperaWire about her house debut, the mezzo said, “I am really thrilled to be making my debut in the Opéra National de Paris in the role of Rosina in Damiano Michielotto’s production of ‘The Barber of Seville.’ It is a hugely energetic romp set in modern times that takes stamina and a sense of humor. I am very grateful to our wonderful conductor Roberto Abbado and my fantastic colleagues in the cast for support and the laughs!”

This season has seen the mezzo perform at the Teatro Real in “La Cenerentola” as well as Polina in “The Queen of Spades” with Baden-Baden Festival and Berliner Philharmoniker. Further engagements include a return to the Royal Opera House this season in Cavalleria Rusticana.” Next season she makes her Metropolitan Opera debut as well as her debut at the Dutch National Opera and San Francisco Opera.


Here is a look at the Mezzo singing selection from “Carmen” and “La Cenerentola.”


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