18 to Watch: Aida Garifullina
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18 to Watch: Aida Garifullina


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Aida Garifullina as Gilda in Vienna State Opera’s Rigoletto, 2018
© Wiener Staatsoper GmbH/Michael Pöhn

AIDA GARIFULLINA burst onto the international opera scene primed for superstardom. A native of Kazan, the soprano got a jump-start in 2013 when she won first prize in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition in Verona. In the competition’s final round, the soprano delivered a heartbreaking “Oh! quante volte,” from I Capuleti e i Montecchi, in what seemed a single, mournful sigh. Since then, Garifullina has appeared alongside Domingo and the late Dmitri Hvorostovsky in high-profile concerts. In 2014, she joined the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera. While there, she’s won critical notices for a string of roles that have highlighted her easy upper register and winsome stage presence. Last year, in the title role in Snegurochka at Paris Opera, Garifullina evinced a “perfectly controlled silvery soprano of total technical security,” OPERA NEWS reported. The soprano makes her Met debut in January 2019, as Zerlina. 


Garifullina’s star quality shines brightly outside the opera house as well. Witness her enchanting cameo as Lily Pons in the 2016 feature film Florence Foster Jenkins. And last June she appeared in the massive World Cup Opening Gala concert at Moscow’s Red Square. Alongside the likes of Anna Netrebko, Juan Diego Flórez and Domingo, Garifullina prompted a Three Tenors-esque frisson with her rendition of “Je veux vivre.” It was a performance so glamorously assured that it seemed like a coronation anthem for a new diva. —A.W. 

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