Aida Garifullina sings as Musetta in La Bohème at Royal Opera House.
The cast includes Simon Mihai, Charles Castronovo, and Andrzej Filończyk.
Emmaneul Villaume conducts the first revival of Richard Jone’s production.
Richard Jones perfectly captures the blend of tragedy and comedy in La bohème, and provides an acute analysis of Puccini’s young would-be artists and their lovers, the soulful Mimì and spirited Musetta. Spectacular designs by Stewart Laing evoke both the poverty of the bohemians’ attic home and the splendour of Paris’s shopping arcades on Christmas Eve.
Puccini’s score is one of his most beautiful, with highlights including Rodolfo and Mimì’s introductory arias and love duet in Act I, ebullient music for the chorus and soloists in Act II, and Mimì’s poignant death scene, over which the composer himself wept. La bohème received its world premiere at the Teatro Regio, Turin, on 1 February 1896, and its Covent Garden premiere the following year. It is currently one of the best-loved operas worldwide, and the opera most performed at the Royal Opera House.
Russian soprano Aida Garifullina makes her Royal Opera debut in the 2019/290 Season singing Musetta (La bohème). Garifullina sang at the Royal Opera House in the 2018 Dmitri Hvorostovsky Memorial Concert.
Garifullina was born in Kazan. She studied with Siegfried Jerusalem at the Nuremberg Academy of Music and with Claudia Visca at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts. In 2013 she won First Prize in Operalia. Valery Gergiev invited her to join the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, where her roles included Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Gilda (Rigoletto), the Queen of Shemakha (The Golden Cockerel) and Natasha Rostova (War and Peace). At the start of the 2014–15 Season, she joined the ensemble of Vienna State Opera , where her roles have included Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Susanna, Adina, Gilda, Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Musetta and Irina (Eötvös’s Three Sisters). Other appearances have included Luisa (Betrothal in a Monastery) for Berlin State Opera, Zerlina for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Juliette for Liceu, Barcelona, Leïla (Les Pêcheurs de perles) for Salzburg Festival, in concert and the title role of Snegurochka for Paris Opéra.
Garifullina has sung in concerts with José Carreras, Plácido Domingo and the late Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and in recital at the Wigmore Hall in the Rosenblatt Recital series. She is an exclusive recording artist with Decca Records, with whom she has released the album Aida Garifullina. In 2018 she performed at the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening gala concert in Red Square, Moscow and at the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, where she sang a duet with Robbie Williams.
Below is Aida performing as Musetta in a prior performance at Wiener Staatsoper.