Obituary: Soprano Aga Mikolaj Dies at 51 of COVID-19 Complications

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: Monika Werneke)

Polish soprano Aga Mikolaj has died at the age of 51 due to COVID-19 infection complications.

Born in Kutno, Mikolaj studied at the Academy of Music in Poznań with Antonina Kawecka from 1990 to 1996 and received a scholarship from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

In 1997, the soprano took master classes with Renata Scotto and in 2001 with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, who would coach for many years. At the start of her career, Mikolaj won prizes at the 1995 Ada Sari Competition in Nowy Sącz, in 1996 at the 41st International Vocal Competition ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and in 1999 at the International Alfredo Kraus Competition, Las Palmas.

Following success in competitions, Mikolaj went on to perform at the world’s greatest stages, including the Teatro alla Scala, Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, New National Opera Tokyo, Bolshoi, Staatsoper Unter den Linden, and Aalto Theater Essen, among many others.

She was well known for her roles as Pamina in “Die Zauberflöte,” Gretel in “Hänsel und Gretel,” the title role in “Orphée et Eurydice,” Donna Elvira in “Don Giovanni,” Eva in “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,” Fiordiligi in “Così fan tutte,” Contessa di Almaviva in “Le Nozze di Figaro,” and Micaëla in “Carmen,” among others.

Mikolaj was a member of the ensemble of the Bayerische Staatsoper between 2002 and 2007.

The soprano left numerous recordings including Penderecki’s “The Seven Gates of Jerusalem,” Schubert’s “Der vierjährige Posten” and “Die Zwillingsbrüder,” and the Four Last Songs by Strauss.