Russian-born mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura has established herself as one of the most important dramatic mezzo-sopranos singing today. A recent performance of Bizet’s Carmen led one critic to write, “Irina Mishura’s Carmen absolutely floored the audience. Hers is a big sultry voice, evenly produced throughout its range, particularly solid in its lower register, but easily floated on top. Her Carmen is truly voluptuous, with restrained, smoldering intensity.” After a recent gala event at the opening of the new Detroit Opera House, the Detroit News singled out Mishura’s “gripping ‘O don fatale’ from Verdi’s Don Carlo” as “the performance that likely will endure as the most memorable of the night. Mishura displayed not just the vocal prowess but also the intelligence that distinguishes great singers.”

Irina Mishura is well-known to audiences throughout North America and Europe. She made an auspicious debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 2000 when she appeared 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, as well as Dalila and Maddalena in Rigoletto on the company’s tour to Japan. She has returned to the Metropolitan Opera every season and has added the roles of Princess Eboli in Don Carlo, Marina in Boris Godunov, Amneris, Frederica in Luisa Miller, La Cieca in La Gioconda and Madelon in Andrea Chenier to her MET repertoire. The role of Azucena was the vehicle for Ms. Mishura’s debut with The Washington Opera, under the baton of Plácido Domingo, and she returned for performances as Adalgisa and for a role debut as Klytaemnestra in Strauss’ Elektra in 2008.  She made her debut with Los Angeles Opera in performances as Amneris, a role she also performed with Cincinnati Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre. San Francisco Opera audiences saw her in performances of Adalgisa and the title role in Carmen, a role she repeated with 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, and she returned to Toronto to reprise the role in 2005. In 2009 Canadian Opera played host to a new role debut as Jezibaba in Dvorak’s Rusalka. Irina Mishura has appeared with Michigan Opera Theatre for most of her leading roles, including Amneris, Carmen and Dalila ... read full bio