With a voice described by the New York Times as “a shimmering soprano of attractive size” with “brightness”, “bloom and warmth”, Irina Lungu is taking her place among today’s leading opera artists. Performances have led the Russian soprano to many of the world’s most prestigious theatres, such as the Metropolitan Opera, the Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera, the Deutsche Oper and Staatsoper Berlin, the Zurich Opera House, the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona and the Teatro Real Madrid.
Engagements of the 2017/2018 season include her role debut as Corinna in Il viaggio a Reims at the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Vienna State Opera, Donna Anna at the Estates Theatre in Prague, La traviata at the Bolshoi Theatre and the New National Theatre of Tokyo, her debut in the title role of Manon at the ABAO Bilbao, Anna Bolena at the Teatro Filarmonico of Verona, her Australian debut as Gilda in Rigoletto at the Sydney Opera House.
During the 2016/2017 season Ms Lungu made her debuts in three bel canto roles: the title role of Anna Bolena at Opéra Grand Avignon, Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the Teatro Filarmonico of Verona and Elvira in I puritani at the Teatro Comunale of Modena, the Teatro Comunale of Piacenza and in Reggio Emilia. Other engagements included Don Giovanni (Donna Anna) at the Vienna State Opera, Turandot (Liù) at the Bayerische Staatsoper of Munich, La bohème (Mimì) at the Teatro Regio of Turin and at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples as well as Rigoletto (Gilda) and the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Teatro Comunale of Bologna.
Irina Lungu opened the 2015/2016 season in one of her signature roles, that of Violetta in La traviata, in her house debut at the Vienna Staatsoper. She sang the same role for her debuts at the Zurich Opera House, the Hamburg Staatsoper and the Seongnam Arts Center, Seoul, as well as for her return to the Berlin Deutsche Oper, while other engagements included her Paris Opera debut as Gilda in a new production of Rigoletto; her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich as Liù in Turandot, her debut at the Bol’šoj Theatre in the Elena Obraztsova Opera Ball, La traviata at the Paris Opera, Nannetta in Falstaff at La Scala, her staged role debut as Mimi in La bohème in Moscow, Liù in Turandot at the Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman; Musetta in La bohème in Salerno; Micaëla in Carmen at the Teatro Regio, Turin and at the Arena di Verona and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at La Quincena de San Sebastian in Spain.
Other recent engagements include Gilda and Musetta at the Metropolitan Opera New York, Violetta at the Teatro Real Madrid and the Teatro La Fenice Venice, Musetta at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Marguerite at the Dutch National Opera, Donna Anna and Juliette at the Arena di Verona as well as Norina in Don Pasquale and Lucia di Lammermoor at the Teatro Filarmonico, Verona.
Ms Lungu received certificates in piano and choral conducting and completed her degree in singing at the State Conservatory of Voronezh under the guidance of baritone Mikhail Podkopaev. After winning several important international competitions, among them the Belvedere Competition, Voci Verdiane in Busseto, and Operalia, she attended the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, Milan, where her teachers included Leyla Gencer.
While still a student she was chosen by Maestro Riccardo Muti to open the 2003/2004 season of La Scala as Anaï in Rossini’s “Moïse et Pharaon”. Since then she has portrayed numerous roles on this prestigious stage: Adina in “L’elisir d’amore” and the title role of “Maria Stuarda”, Marguerite in “Faust”, Nannetta in “Falstaff”, Oksana in “Čerevički”, and the title role of “Sancta Susanna”. It was at La Scala that in 2007 she debuted the role of Violetta in “La traviata” under the musical direction of Lorin Maazel in Liliana Cavani’s production, returning to sing the role in the same staging in 2008 and in 2013 in Dmitri Tcherniakov’s new production conducted by Daniele Gatti.
Lungu has sung with the world’s greatest conductors, including Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Daniele Gatti, Michel Plasson, Daniel Oren, Gianandrea Nosea, Daniel Harding, Gustavo Dudamel, and Stéphane Denève and has worked with directors such as Franco Zeffirelli, Luca Ronconi, Robert Carsen, Laurent Pelly, Pierluigi Pizzi, Deborah Warner, Eimuntas Nekrošius and Liliana Cavani.