Bio: Russian-born Natasha Novitskaia just debuted in August at the Mythos Festival in Taormina in her first Amneris after being chosen as a winner of their competition this past January in Rome, Italy. Last April she made her Carnegie Hall debut where she was featured guest artist in an opera gala honoring the great Italian tenor Giuseppe Giacomini; she has been asked to participate in another gala honoring Giacomini to take place in Italy next season. Having begun her career as a spinto soprano, her voice transitioned to dramatic mezzo-soprano, and she is now on her way to an important career as a true Verdian mezzo, also excelling in repertoire such as Dalila, Santuzza, and Lyubasha and in many of the important Russian mezzo roles as well as the works of Wagner (Erda, Fricka, and Waltraude). She holds a master degree in Russian Literature and Language from St. Petersburg University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Vocal Performance from Marylhurst University . Her first teacher in the United States was Ellen Faull, former Professor of Voice at the Juilliard School. Subsequently, she has worked with Martina Arroyo, Grace Bumbry, Sherrill Milnes, and Marcello Giordani and is working currently with William Schuman, Jonathan Kelly of the Met, and Richard Barker in Italy. Last fall she was a finalist in the Altamura Caruso International Voice Competition in NYC. Previously she was a prizewinner in the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition and semifinalist in the American Prize Vocal Competition. Natasha has performed Fricka and Carmen with New York Opera Forum and Azucena with One World Symphony in New York City and at St. Thomas Acquinas in Brooklyn. In 2015 she sang the Principessa (Suor Angelica) in the Tuscia Opera Festival in Cordona, Italy. She also sang in a gala concert in New York City, “Opera Night,” where she performed arias and duets from Aida, Trovatore, and Carmen. Additionally, in New York, Natasha has performed at Carnegie Hall, American National Opera Center, Liederkranz Foundation, and Merkin Concert Hall. In 2015 she made her European solo recital debut singing Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Sviridov with pianist Sergey Neller, and in 2016 she sang a solo recital at the Russian Embassy in Berlin, performing arias from Samson et Dalila, Carmen, Rachmaninoff’s Kashchie the Immortal and additional songs by Rachmaninoff. Last year Natasha received a standing ovation for her Azucena in a concert performance of Il Trovatore at the Liederkranz Foundation. This performance followed her appearance with the Mercury Orchestra as soloist in Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky for mezzo, chorus, and orchestra. (“In the heart wrenching ‘The Field of the Dead’…her oboe-like voice reached out [to the audience].”) In March she performed at Opera America’s Scorca Hall with soprano Olga Zhuravel Maselli in a concert entitled “Romance and Beauty of the Spring” and following the Giacomini Gala she was in Italy presenting master classes in Russian at the Accademia di Belle Arte di Firenze. Last summer she presented a song recital in NYC with soprano Zoya Gramagin and pianist/composer Natalia Medvedovskaya. In addition to performing her first Amneris at the opening night performance of Aida at this summer’s Mythos Festival in Taormina, she sang arias in the festival’s Mascagni Gala, with the conductor Alberto Veronese, and she was featured in the Closing Night Gala of the Festival with Everett McCorvey. She has been asked to return next summer to the Mythos Festival for Santuzza (Cavalleria). This coming season, she will bring her Santuzza to Opera Connecticut, and she is on hold for Marina in a new BorisGodunov in Tokyo in 2019-20.