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Хибла Герзмава

Biography

Hibla Gerzmava is one of the most sought-after opera stars in the world, and one of this generation’s few Russian singers who truly live up to the title of an «opera diva». A national artist of both the Russian Federation and the Republic of Abkhazia, Hibla is a unique phenomenon on the Russian opera stage. With a voice that’s bright and direct, emotional and passionate, she performs leading female parts in a wide repertoire of celebrated operas. She is also a gifted actress, enhancing the insights of production directors with her own deep and intuitive understanding of character.

Hibla Gerzmava graduated from the Vocal Department of the Moscow Conservatory in 1994, and finished her postgraduate course there in 1996. Since 1995 she has been the soloist of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre in Moscow.

She is highly sought-after guest soloist at leading opera houses worldwide, including the Mariinsky Theatre, London’s Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and opera houses in Vienna, Paris and Rome, Zürich, Madrid etc. She has performed with such outstanding musicians and conductors as Lorin Maazel, Antonio Pappano, Marco Armiliato, Adam Fischer, Irzhe Belohlávek, Fabio Luisi, Vladimir Spivakov, Valery Gergiev, Alexander Rudin, Basil Sinai, and many others.

In February 2014 she took part in the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, performing the final song Olympic Waltz, accompanied by the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev.

In March 2008, Hibla Gerzmava made her Covent Garden debut as Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and appeared there again in 2009 as Mimi in Puccini’s La bohème, coming back to the Royal Opera House in January 2012 as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She sung the part of Mimi for her debuts at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in Rome in May-June 2011.

She made her triumphal debut on the stage of Palais Garnier at the Opéra National de Paris as Vitellia in Willy Decker’s production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito in September-October 2011. She also sung at the BBC Proms Opening Night in July 2011 in Janáček’s Glagolithic Mass conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek and took part in the Mariinsky Theatre’s tour to Japan in February 2011, performing the part of Liù in Puccini’s Turandot at the NHK Hall in Tokyo.

In 2013, Hibla Gerzmava appeared in Simon Boccanegra at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in Turandot at Metropolitan Opera and in La Clemenza di Tito at the Wiener Staatsoper.

In 2010 she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in New York, with the role of Antonia in Jacques Offenbach’s opera The Tales of Hoffmann. She returned to the Met in 2015 to sing The Tales of Hoffman again and to sing the part of Liu in Puccini’s Turandot. In April 2016 appeared as Desdemona in Verdi’s Othello in the new production of Bartlett Sher and as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Also in 2015, Hibla performed the role of Médée in Luigi Cherubini’s eponymous opera, at the Moscow première at the Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre, and returned to Vienna for a series of performances as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Hibla made her debut on the stage of Carnegie Hall in 2016, with a solo recital program of romances and famous arias. That year she also debuted on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre in the role of Elizabeth Valois of Don Carlos by Verdi italian version, and in 2017 she performed this part in french version the new production by noted director Krzysztof Warlikowski at the celebrated Paris National Opera.

In 2017, Hibla Gerzmava successfully performed her long-anticipated debut at the legendary La Scala in the role of Anna Bolena in the eponymous opera by G. Donizetti. In 2018, Hibla made her debut at the Dresden State Opera House as Desdemona. Later that season, she performed the title role of Leonora on the Zurich Opera stage, in a new production of the opera La forza del destino by Verdi, directed by Andreas Homoki.

Hibla tours with recitals on the most prestigious stages in France, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Greece, Spain, USA, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and throughout Russia. In June 2017, as part of the Cherry Orchard Festival, Ms. Gerzmava, along with Maestro Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi State Chamber Orchestra, toured North America, performing on some of the most renowned stages in the country including Carnegie Hall in New York.

In 2019, Hibla Gerzmava returned to the Paris National Opera as Desdemona in Otello and made her debut in the new production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore on the stage of the Madrid Royal Theatre. In the season 2019-2020 Hibla will make her world tour with the recital program include masterworks for voice and piano Russian romances and famous classical Italian Arias. She will perform in St. Petersburg - Shostakovich Hall, Moscow - Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory, Paris - Salle Gaveau, London - Cadogan Hall, New York - Carnegie Hall, Toronto - Koerner Hall Royal Conservatory of Music, Tel-Aviv - Zucker Hall.

In 2021 Hibla Gerzmava performed in Vienna Opera Theatre as Amelia Grimaldi alongside Placido Domingo as Simon Boccanegra in G.Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, she also made her debut as Norma in new production of V. Bellini’s  Norma directed by Justin Way and conducted by Marco Armiliato at Madrid Royal Theatre. In July 2021 Hibla Gerzmava also debuted on the stage of Arena di Verona in G.Verdi "Requiem".

Besides a busy operatic career, Hibla developed a unique project of her own – a crossover concert program titled 'Opera&Jazz', – in which she brings together classical singing styles with jazz improvisation, performing original and highly distinctive interpretations of music by a wide range of composers including Handel, Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti and Gershwin.

Hibla Gerzmava is the winner of the Golden Orpheus Theatre Award and the Casta Diva Prize in the Best Singer category, the Russian National Theatre Award Golden Mask, as well as the Moscow Prize in literature and art. She is also a first prize winner of the Triumph award for the highest achievement in art and literature. In 1994 she won the Grand Prix at the Tchaikovsky International Competition.