Aigul Akhmetshina Mesmerizes the Metropolitan Opera as Carmen

Aigul Akhmetshina Mesmerizes the Metropolitan Opera as Carmen
© Courtesy of the Met Opera

In the world of opera certain performances leave an indelible mark and the recent portrayal of Carmen by mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina at the Metropolitan Opera was nothing short of extraordinary. The 27-year-old Russian singer, already renowned in the largest opera houses across Europe, took to the stage as the iconic Carmen in Bizet's timeless opera receiving a torrent of glowing reviews for her remarkable performance.

Carmen: “Voyons, que j’essaie à mon tour”

Akhmetshina's journey to the Metropolitan Opera was paved with success on some of Europe's grandest stages. Having sung Carmen in various prestigious houses, including the Royal Opera House in London at the age of 21, the anticipation surrounding her American debut was palpable. The Met's new production of Bizet's Carmen, set in contemporary America, provided the stage for Akhmetshina's American triumph.

Let's have a look at some of the reviews she received in the first days after the premiere: 

The New York Times - Zachary Woolfe
"The only truly impressive aspect of this 'Carmen' is its Carmen: the 27-year-old mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina, in turquoise cowboy boots. Her molten yet agile tone can be confiding one moment and extroverted the next and she moves with magnetic naturalness onstage."

The Washington Post - Michael Andor Brodeur
"Akhmetshina made a magnetic and often caustic Carmen, her voice equally suited to silken lightness as leathery depth. Her Act II seduction found her stretched across a set of gas pumps, displaying a restless physicality that never cut into her singing."

© Ken Howard/Met Opera

The Observer - Christopher Corwin
"Akhmetshina's vocally ideal Carmen effortlessly rose from rounded lows to securely shining highs and she phrased her music with a smouldering, insouciant flair. Hers is no light lyric instrument but a promisingly rich voice that could eventually develop into the big Verdi dramatic mezzo the world craves."

New York Classical Review - Rick Perdian
"At this stage of her career, Akhmetshina’s lyric mezzo-soprano is full-bodied, rich, and supple with a presence and clarity that carries effortlessly into the theatre. She dug deeply into the depths of Carmen’s psyche, singing a particularly sensuous Habanera and a high-spirited Seguidilla."

Financial Times
"Already a young veteran of the role, this was only her second appearance at the Met, her first as a lead. She has an ideal voice for Carmen, unerring intonation with a plump, earthy timbre. She had great technical command and musical suppleness."

© Ken Howard/Met Opera

Bachtrack - Susan Stempleski
"The charismatic mezzo-soprano displayed tremendous danger and defiance. Her smouldering, rich-bodied voice carried effortlessly into the Met’s vast auditorium and her totally beguiling interpretation was coloured with great emotion, humour and depth."

Broadway World - Richard Sasanow
"Her portrayal was as full-bodied as her voice and she sizzled, filling up the stage as much as one can imagine, whether singing the Habanera or the Seguidilla that sings of her passion. It’s little surprise that she’s considered the Carmen of the moment."

© Ken Howard/Met Opera

Aigul Akhmetshina's success at the Metropolitan Opera solidifies her position as the Carmen of the moment. With her captivating voice, magnetic stage presence and ability to infuse depth into her character she has not only conquered the American opera scene but has left an indelible mark on the iconic role of Carmen. We take immense pride in her exceptional achievement at the Metropolitan Opera. Witnessing her ascendancy as a world-renowned Carmen has been a source of great joy for TACT management.

Aigul Akhmetshina

Aigul Akhmetshina

Mezzo Soprano


"The Russian mezzo Aigul Akhmetshina is only in her early 20s, but she has got it all: striking good looks, a vibrant stage presence and a great...

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