The Russian mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina won the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in 2017. She gained international attention in 2019 after she performed the title role of Bizets Carmen at the Royal Opera House London with great success at the age of 21. With her warm timbre and charisma, Akhmetshina is praised ever since. She has sung at several European opera houses and festivals, including her debuts at the Opéra national de Paris, Teatro Real in Madrid, Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Baden Baden Festival. In 2022 she also made her debut in the United States. She sang the role of Olga in Eugene Onegin with San Francisco Opera and graced the stage as Maddalena in Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera. In the role of Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda she will make her role- and house debut with Dutch National Opera.