Is this the youngest ever Carmen?

Is this the youngest ever Carmen?


norman lebrecht

December 15, 2018

The Russian mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina jumped in as Carmen last night at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Nothing unusual about that, except that Aigul is just 22 and we can’t remember so young a Carmen on any major stage.

Can you?

Photo: Neil Gillespie


  • Amanda Johnson says:

    Aigul is magnificent, as an artist, a colleague and a person. A truly generous soul on stage and off!

  • Alexander says:

    I would listen to this young lady as Carmen. To my ears her timbre and French sound quite lovely. Her acting abilities are on stage also, it shows here in the footage you posted below the topic.
    PS – by the way to whom it may concern – The Prodigy
    ( Elina Stikhina ) successfully debuted at the Metropolitan on the 12th of Dec as Suor Angelica. They say she stole the show. The Golden Days of opera come again ( both literally and figuratively) 😉

    • clarrieu says:

      Obviously you’re not a french speaker. While she might have carefully studied how to sing the right consonants and vowels, the result is not remotely close to what sung french should sound like (but who will care in London?). Just another example of the increasing east-oriented globalization of opera singing.

  • Olivia says:

    The youngest – in a major opera house!!!

  • Been Here Before says:

    I have no doubt she will be a magnificent Carmen. However, I pity the poor girl for making a debut in the current production. Among other follies, she will also be singing one of the arias dressed like an ape. Does it get any more ridiculous than that?

    I have seen Carmen at the ROH last Saturday, starring the wonderful Gaelle Arquez. The music and the singers were amazing. However, the scenery, costumes and the overall staging were truly awful. Recommend to attend only with your eyes closed!

  • Jim Reilly says:

    Conchita Supervia first sang Carmen (Gran Teatre del Liceu, in Barcelona, a major house then and now) in 1912, and she was born in 1895.