back to top

Biography 687 words

Download biography as pdf Download biography as word doc

Dazzling Russian coloratura soprano Albina Shagimuratova first came to international attention as the winner of the Gold Medal in the 2007 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.  She is a recent graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and made her European operatic debut as Mozart's Queen of the Night at the Salzburg Festival in August 2008 under the baton of Riccardo Muti. Ms. Shagimuratova is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and has sung both the Queen of the Night and Musetta with the company to great acclaim.  Other roles in Houston have included the Sandman and Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel in a production by celebrated puppeteer Basil Twist.  Today’s reigning Queen of the Night, Albina Shagimuratova makes her San Francisco Opera debut in The Magic Flute during the 2011/2012 season. She also performs her signature role in concert at the Lucerne Festival under the baton of Daniel Harding, and in productions at the Wiener Staatsoper and the Gran Teatro del Liceu. At the Wiener Staatsoper this season, she also makes her role debut as Adina in Otto Schenk’s production of L’Elisir d’amore, sings Musetta

read more...

Dazzling Russian coloratura soprano Albina Shagimuratova first came to international attention as the winner of the Gold Medal in the 2007 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.  She is a recent graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and made her European operatic debut as Mozart's Queen of the Night at the Salzburg Festival in August 2008 under the baton of Riccardo Muti.

Ms. Shagimuratova is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and has sung both the Queen of the Night and Musetta with the company to great acclaim.  Other roles in Houston have included the Sandman and Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel in a production by celebrated puppeteer Basil Twist. 

Today’s reigning Queen of the Night, Albina Shagimuratova makes her San Francisco Opera debut in The Magic Flute during the 2011/2012 season. She also performs her signature role in concert at the Lucerne Festival under the baton of Daniel Harding, and in productions at the Wiener Staatsoper and the Gran Teatro del Liceu. At the Wiener Staatsoper this season, she also makes her role debut as Adina in Otto Schenk’s production of L’Elisir d’amore, sings Musetta in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of La Bohème, and appears in recital. She returns to the Bolshoi Opera in Ruslan and Ludmilla, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, and to Houston Grand Opera in La Traviata, conducted by Patrick Summers.

During the 2010/2011 season, Albina Shagimuratova made her role debut as Lucia di Lammermoor at Houston Grand Opera, in a production by Tony Award-winner John Doyle, conducted by Antonino Fogliani. She debuted at La Scala as the Queen of the Night in a new production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, directed and designed by acclaimed visual artist William Kentridge and conducted by Roland Böer. She also sang the Queen of the Night for her debut at Staatsoper Hamburg in a production directed and designed by Achim Freyer, and at the Wiener Staatsoper under the baton of Ivor Bolton. Her concert calendar included Mozart’s Requiem with Zubin Mehta at Maggio Musicale in Florence.

Highlights of recent seasons include her Metropolitan Opera debut as the Queen of the Night in Julie Taymor’s beloved production of Die Zauberflöte—a role she also performed at Deutsche Oper am Rhein and at the Bolshoi Opera. She made her Boston Symphony debut under the baton of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos in Rossini’s Stabat Mater, and made her New York debut as Flaminia in Haydn’s rarely-performed Il Mondo della Luna with Gotham Chamber Opera, in a new production by Diane Paulus at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium. Ms. Shagimuratova sang the Queen of the Night for her debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well for her debut at Los Angeles Opera in the beloved Peter Hall/Gerald Scarfe production. She made her role and company debut as Gilda in Rigoletto at Palm Beach Opera, which she reprised for her return to Houston Grand Opera.

In 2004, Ms. Shagimuratova became a member of the K. S. Stanislavsky and V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theater.  She has sung the Swan in The Tale of Tsar Sultan and the Queen of Shemakha in The Golden Cockerel of Rimsky-Korsakov.  Her extensive orchestral experience includes being a soloist in the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini and Fauré.  In 2005, she sang Mozart's Requiem in the opening concert of the famed December Nights of Sviatoslav Richter in Moscow.  She has also sung the Beethoven Ninth Symphony and Mahler Eighth Symphony with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra there under Vladimir Fedoseyev.

Albina Shagimuratova was born in Tashkent, USSR.  She began her musical studies as a pianist and attended the Music College Auhadeez in Kazan and later Kazan State University where she received a degree in vocal and opera performance.  Her later studies were at the Moscow Conservatory.  Graduating with honors, she completed her doctoral work there in 2007.

back to top

Photos

back to top

Reviews

"In Albina Shagimuratova, the superb Russian soprano who was making her Lyric debut as Gilda, the company has found a shining star indeed. She walked away with the show. Gilda is, of course, one of the great coloratura soprano roles in Italian opera, and Shagimuratova fulfilled its every requirement thrillingly. She traced the florid phrases of 'Caro nome' with meltingly expressive phrasing, ample colorings and a clear, shining, beautiful sound that carried easily over the orchestra. Where full-bodied lyricism was needed, notably in Gilda's two duets with her father, her singing went straight to the heart. Indeed, Gilda's dying fade to a hushed pianissimo held the audience at rapt attention at the very end. Not for nothing did the soprano receive a rapturous standing ovation on opening night. Get used to the name; you can be sure Lyric will be inviting her back."

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, February 2013

"The highest accolades go to Albina Shagimuratova as the Queen of the Night... She has real presence; this was an exceptional performance. ‘Der Hölle Rache’ was a revelation combining sumptuousness, subtlety and accuracy in the execution of every note, and demonstrating impeccable phrasing."

Sam Smith, Music OMH

"Albina Shagimuratova's show-stealing Queen of the Night is electrifyingly accurate."

Tim Ashley, The Guardian

"But Shagimuratova, who sang a remarkable Queen of the Night in 'The Magic Flute' earlier this year, was my favorite. She projects spectacularly, as few singers can. Her bright, rich voice filled the huge War Memorial in a seemingly effortless performance; she even sang her big, challenging aria 'Caro nome' reclining on her back. 'When you've got it, flaunt it,' said the gesture."

Janos Greben, San Francisco Examiner, September 2012

"Saturday's Gilda, Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova, took a more traditional approach, delivering the score's coloratura flights with spotless precision and lustrous tonal beauty."

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, September 2012

"Shagimuratova is simply breathtaking. Forceful and vehement in her lower range, she is remarkably, strong, focused, and spot on as she ascends to a high F above high C. ... She produces the Queen’s highest notes with a round, glowing brilliance you will be lucky to experience again in your lifetime. You absolutely must hear her."

Jason Victor Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice

"The audience favorite, though, was Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova, in a bravura company debut as the Queen of the Night. She did well in her Act 1 aria, then brought down the house with a dazzling, pinpoint delivery of the Act 2 showpiece."

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

"Shagimuratova imbues Violetta with a tragic dignity befitting a heroine of indomitable spirit and all-too-vulnerable flesh...she is spirited and worldly--yet always aware of the dark shadow waiting to engulf her. The more duress Violetta is under, the more impressive her performance grows. Shagimuratova's powerful soprano conveys Violetta's passions with its clean placement, precise intonation, agility in decorative passages and sheer splendor in emotional outpourings. Her artful pianissimo is heart-piercing - its brief use in an early scene foreshadowing the sustained pathos she achieves in Act 3. She distinguishes herself in Violetta's big moments: her double aria expressing her conflicted emotions at the close of Act 1, her sorrowful realization that she must acquiesce to the elder Germont's demands in Act 2, her exquisitely shaped aria bidding farewell to life in Act 3 and her final moments whose feverish swings from hope to despair would wring tears from stone. Vocally and dramatically, the performance is a genuine tour de force."

Everett Evans, Houston Chronicle

"The performance confirmed that soprano Albina Shagimuratova is a phenomenon that must be heard to be believed: she demonstrated total but seemingly effortless control of pitch over her vast range, a rich and vibrant sound no matter how high the pitch, and the most delicate of soft notes. And then there was her extraordinary trill; a particularly long one enticingly gained its momentum very slowly and, once at full speed, faded just as slowly into silence. Nor did her singing come at the expense of her acting: convincingly crazed during the Act III mad scene, Shagimuratova twirled atop a banquet table, lasciviously caressed a horrified wedding guest and squirmed on her back while pouring out bel canto embellishments."

Gregory Barnett, Opera News, Vol. 75, No. 10, April 2011

"Russian coloratura soprano Albina Shagimuratova's expertly sung, sympathetically acted Lucia proves a compelling center for Houston Grand Opera's new production - no more so than in her spine-tinglingly brilliant realization of Lucia's explosion, dissolution and collapse in her showcase mad scene, centerpiece of the gripping final act and climax of the entire opera. … Shagimuratova's Lucia is less overtly dramatic and more subdued that many past Lucias, especially at the start, stressing this young innocent's gentleness and vulnerability. She wields her opulent voice with remarkable proficiency, dexterity and fluidity, but also a poetic soulfulness. When vocal lines call for ornamentation, Shagimuratova responds with grace and seeming spontaneity. Her delicate and precise pianissimo is particularly distinguished, casting a complete hush."

Everett Evans, Houston Chronicle

"Albina Shagimuratova is impeccably passionate as Lucia, her perfectly placed coloratura thrillingly seducing us with every expressive note, beginning with her Act I aria ‘Quando rapito in estasi’ and ending with her Act III mad scene (the famous ‘Spargi d’amaro pianto’ ), which is a masterpiece that is well worth waiting for… Ms. Shagimuratova’s sublime acting and supreme singing provide us with the motive…to sit at her feet as she sings us through the gates of heaven."

Buzz Bellmont, Houston Chronicle “Chron Commons”

"The greatest compliment to Albina Shagimuratova is to say that she belongs in yet another trilogy: with Callas and Sutherland as three great Lucias. Her beautifully confident aria in the second scene of the first act (‘Regnava nel silenzio’) was evidence alone; her mad scene in the third act (‘Il dolce suone, spargi d'amaro piant’) confirmed it. In particular, the cadenza passages with flute accompaniment, delivered while she stood on a wooden table dragging a 20-foot long tablecloth, caused me to tremble."

Theodore Bale, CultureMap Houston

"Soprano Albina Shagimuratova sang [Rossini's Stabat Mater with the Boston Symphony Orchestra] with strength, clarity, and the required penetrating intensity."

Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe

"Gilda, as sung by soprano and HGO Studio alumna Albina Shagimuratova, offered redemption. Shagimuratova’s performance was nothing short of spectacular, bringing a spectrum of vocal colors that reflected Gilda’s differing moods, from naïve innocence to passionate exuberance. Each time she brought out an astonishingly high, or powerful, or quiet note, she seemed to come back with something higher, or more powerful, or poignantly quieter still. Her performance of ‘Caro nome’ elicited unintended but audible gasps from the audience while she sang."

Gregory Barnett, Opera News, April 2009

"In the role that is the heart of the central emotional triangle, Shagimuratova proves this production’s consistent triumph… Shagimuratova combines vocal splendor and dramatic conviction throughout her performance. She is ecstatic expressing her innocent love in the famed aria Caro nome. Her radiant soprano dispatches the gorgeous lines and elaborate ornamentation with agility and flair, glistening in her top notes, virtuosic in her trills and flourishes. She is just as accomplished and affecting in later expressions of shame, sorrow and self-sacrifice, as her role turns increasingly tragic."

Everett Evans, Houston Chronicle

"We can start with the triumphs, namely Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova’s Queen of the Night. A Tchaikovsky Competition winner (2007) she made her professional debut in this role under Riccardo Muti at Salzburg just four months ago. It’s a showstopping role, technically grueling and cruelly exposed (that’s Mozart for you), and Shagimuratova owned it. ‘Der Holle Racht’ was precision cut, all rage and exactitude, nothing shrill, no strain, an even purity even at the extremes of the register."

Peter Lefevre, Orange County Register

"Soprano Albina Shagimuratova was Rigoletto's daughter, Gilda. She presented a wide range of expressive vocal effects and a big, bright coloratura that leans toward the dramatic. Her first act ‘Caro Nome’ displayed an agile and refined technique. Particularly striking was her handling of the more dolcezza passages, featuring a ravishing floated pianissimo. A fine actress, Shagimuratova imbued the role with a totally engaged passion. Her final death scene with her adoring and curse-plagued father was exquisite and moving."

R. Spencer Butler, Palm Beach Daily News

"But the highest musical point of the evening came from the singing of Shagimuratova, a Russian coloratura whose list of leading houses in which she is soon to appear suggests she is on the brink of a major career. Her work Friday night indicated why that is: This is a big voice, beautifully colored, and at ease in every part of her considerable range. She demonstrates an impressive command of that voice, too, exhibiting an admirable control of dynamics that allows her to go from all-out to whisper in exemplary service of the text, the music and the drama. Her Caro nome, the big showoff Act I soprano test piece, stopped the action cold as the audience listened to her navigate this florid, vocally treacherous aria. But she can sing it, and sing it well, and most importantly, she made it sound not like a final exam for which she has labored prodigiously, but natural, like the spontaneous expression of a sheltered young woman in the first destabilizing throes of romance."

Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach ArtsPaper

"Friday evening’s high points came courtesy of Albina Shagimuratova as Gilda. The Russian soprano has a pure tone and impressive technical arsenal…it was hard to fault her graceful cadenzas and precisely placed top notes. Shagimuratova sang with cumulative assurance and greater expressive depth as the evening progressed. Gilda’s narration to her father of her humiliation at the hands of the Duke was heart-breaking and Shagimuratova was remarkable in Act 3, with subtle dynamic marking and a staggeringly beautiful diminuendo. Her rendering of Gilda’s final moments was so moving and luminous, one could barely take a breath. Albina Shagimuratova surely seems poised for a major operatic career."

Lawrence A. Johnson, South Florida Classical Review

"Puccini gave his character of Musetta plenty of opportunities to become the cynosure on the stage, and Shagimuratova is a force of nature to take advantage of every one of them. Whether blowing kisses from the rumble seat of her motor car, or tossing crockery from the tables of the Café Momus, this Musetta shows considerable talent for brash stage gestures and the broadly comic. The voice is a high soprano with a lush lyricism and agility – exactly what is needed for ‘Quando me’n vo’ soletta per la via.’"

Gary N. Reese, ConcertoNet.com, April 2008

"Saturday's Gilda, Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova, took a more traditional approach, delivering the score's coloratura flights with spotless precision and lustrous tonal beauty."

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, September 2012

"Albina Shagimuratova is a technically flawless, luscious-toned and chilling Queen of the Night."

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, December 2013

back to top

Discography