In a short period of time, Russian-born mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura has established herself as one of the most exciting performers on the opera and concert scene.
Irina Mishura begins the 2001-02 season with her return to Michigan Opera Theatre in performances of the title role in Carmen. The mezzo-soprano sings Shostakovich's Songs from Jewish Folk Poetry with the New World Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas. She travels to Europe for performances as Eboli in a new production of Don Carlos with the Oper der Stadt Köln before her return to the Metropolitan Opera to reprise her performances as Maddalena in Rigoletto. She returns to Europe for further performances of Carmen, with Finnish National Opera and for her debut at Italy's renowned Arena di Verona. Irina Mishura finishes her season with her debut at Grand Théâtre de Genève in performances as Verdi's Princess Eboli.
During the 2000-01 season, Irina Mishura made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Dalila in Samson et Dalila, opposite Plácido Domingo. Further performances that season with the Met included performances of the title role in Carmen and as Azucena in a new production of Il Trovatore. The role of Azucena was also the vehicle for Ms. Mishura's debut this season with The Washington Opera, in performances conducted by Plácido Domingo. The mezzo-soprano also returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich for performances of Amneris in Aida, and she made her third debut of the season with Opernhaus Zürich as Azucena. Ms. Mishura's season concluded with the Metropolitan Opera's tour to Japan for performances as Dalila and as Maddalena.
Irina Mishura is well-known to audiences throughout North America and Europe. Her debut with the Vienna Staatsoper was in the title role in Carmen, and her success there led to her immediate re-engagement in several roles including performances as Amneris that same season and Carmen in a future season. Her debut with the Bayerische Staatsoper also was as Carmen, and she was immediately re-engaged for future performances of this same role.
Audiences in Italy saw Irina Mishura for the first time when she appeared as Principessa de Bouillon in Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur in Trieste. The role of Carmen was the vehicle of her debut with the Finnish National Opera, and her first performances at the Teatro San Carlo in Lisbon were as Amneris. She appeared as Dalila in her debut with the New Israeli Opera.
Ms. Mishura made her debut with San Francisco Opera in the title role in Carmen, and she repeated the role of Bizet's gypsy for Florida Grand Opera. The mezzo-soprano first appeared with Dallas Opera as Amneris and soon returned for her first performances as Fricka in Die Walküre, opposite James Morris. Audiences in Toronto first saw Irina Mishura as Azucena with the Canadian Opera Company, for which she won the 1999 Dora Mavor Moore award for Toronto's best actress in a musical performance.
Irina Mishura has appeared with Michigan Opera Theater for most of her leading roles, including Amneris, Carmen and Dalila. She appeared in the role of Carmen with Baltimore Opera, and as Dalila for Cincinnati Opera, Toledo Opera and New Orleans Opera. She was seen in performances as Azucena for New Orleans Opera and Santa Barbara Opera. She has been seen as Amneris in her debut with the Aspen Music Festival and for her debut with Portland Opera. Her first performances of Adalgisa in Norma where with Baltimore Opera.
In concert, Ms. Mishura appeared with the Jerusalem Symphony in a program of arias and duets from Verdi's operas and with the Canadian Opera Company in a gala concert of opera arias and scenes.
Irina Mishura immigrated to the United States in 1992 and was soon engaged by Neeme Järvi to sing Tchaikovsky's The Snow Maiden in performances with the Detroit Symphony and for a recording for Chandos Records. Her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in this same work soon followed under the direction of Valery Gergiev. Irina Mishura made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in performances of Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky. An acclaimed recitalist, Irina Mishura has concertized extensively in Russia and North America, specializing in the song repertoire of the Russian masters. Her recording of Russian songs with her long-time collaborator, pianist Valéry Ryvkin, was released by VAI Records.
Born in Krasnodar, Ms. Mishura completed her musical studies at the prestigious Gnesinikh Music Institute, where she earned a doctorate in vocal arts. Her earliest performances on the operatic stage were with the Moldavian State Opera, where she rose to the position of prima mezzo-soprano, singing Carmen, Amneris, Azucena, Adalgisa, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera and Princess Eboli in Don Carlos, plus the core of the Russian repertoire - Marina in Boris Godunov, Marfa in Khovanshchina, Pauline in Pique Dame, Olga in Eugenij Onegin, and Lyubasha in The Czar's Bride. Ms. Mishura has also appeared with the opera companies of Antwerp, Brussels and Liège in Belgium, and in Izmir, Turkey.