Kristina Mkhitaryan

“…the Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan stopped time with her honeyed, robust voice. Suddenly, one could hear the sound of a thousand fluttering programs as the audience raced to find out who she was.”

Joel Roezen, New York Times 2018


A graduate of the Galina Vishnevskaya Theatre Studio, Moscow, Kristina went on to join the Young Artist Programme at the Bolshoi Theatre where she remains a studio artist. She has won first prize at the Queen Sonja International Competition in Oslo (2013), third prize at the Neue Stimmen Competition (2013) and the Viotti Competition in Vercelli (2014). Kristina won 2nd Prize at the 2017 Operalia Competition.

Recent triumphs include a debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Micaela Carmen and later Violetta La Traviata, Gilda Rigoletto with Opera Australia and Hamburgische Staatsoper, the title role in Alcina at Opéra National de Lorraine, and Armida Rinaldo at the Glyndebourne Festival.

This season, Kristina debuts at Liceu Barcelona in La Traviata and debuts with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Kirill Petrenko in Rachmaninov’s Francesca da Rimini. Later, she returns to Grand Théâtre de Genève as Leila Les pêcheurs de perles and to Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House Oman, and NCPA Beijing. She will also make her debuts at San Diego Opera and at the Wiener Staatsoper.


Video & Audio

From The Green Room

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    13 Dec 19 RAMEAU Les Indes galantes
    Grand Théâtre de Genève

    “La Hébé séduisante de Kristina Mkhitaryan a une voix bien contrôlée et homogène, une diction impeccable et particulièrement apte à colorer. C’est elle qui peut-être a la partie la plus flatteuse et elle s’en sort avec les honneurs.”

    (Translated) “Kristina Mkhitaryan’s Hebe has a well-controlled and consistent voice, particularly apt for embellishment, and impeccable diction. It is she who has perhaps the most flattering role and she comes out with all due honours.”

    Guy Cherqui, Wanderer, 18 December 2019

    “Bel engagement aussi pour Kristina Mkhitaryan qui apporte à ses rôles, Hébé / Zima, une nouvelle profondeur émotionnelle, délectable.”

    (Translated) “A lovely engagement too for Kristina Mkhitaryan who brings to her roles, Hebe/Zima, a new emotional depth – delectable.”

    Ernst van Beck, Classique News, 17 December 2019

    “La distribution est également excellente, avec une mention toute spéciale pour la soprano russe Kristina Mkhitaryan (Hébé, Emilie, Zima), omniprésente sur scène, qui déploie une voix charnue et fruitée à la fois, doublée d’une énergie scénique communicative.”

    (Translated) “The cast is equally excellent, with a special mention for Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan (Hebe, Emilie, Zima), omnipresent on stage, who projects a voice that is both fleshy and fruity, with a communicative scenic energy to boot.”

    Emmanuel Andrieu, Opera Online, 30 December 2019

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    26 Sep 19 VERDI La Traviata
    Opernhaus Zurich

    “Mkhitaryan is…sumptuous: lithe Italian, mature control of dynamics, and a way of inhabiting each line and phrase, giving it all real meaning. She managed to deliver three distinct stages of life over three acts by means of subtle stylistic variation. Do I have to mention how hard that is?”
    Casey Creel, Seen and Heard International, 02 October 2019

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    08 Aug 19 HANDEL Rinaldo

    “Kristina Mkhitaryan is rarely heard in Baroque repertoire and her Armida was something of a revelation, with rapier-like top notes flashing as brightly as her scimitar. Her aria di furore “Vo’ far guerra, e vincer voglio” was often sung through gritted teeth and featured some fabulous interpolated top notes as she threw herself into this vampish role.”

    Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 9 August 2019

    “Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan offers flamboyant vocalism and dramatic panache as Armida”

    George Hall, TheStage, 9 August 2019

    “Kristina Mkhitaryan delivers a knockout performance as the sorceress Armida, conjuring some very high notes that Handel never heard in his dreams.”

    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 9 August 2019

    “The Saracen queen Armida – or in this production, a stern teacher turned to pvc-clad dominatrix – was sung by Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan, who performed the role with an assertive force, and duetted with Orlinski with a lustrous blend.”

    Miranda Heggie, The Arts Desk, 9 August 2019

    “(…) Kristina Mkhitaryan ends Act II of Handel’s first London opera (…) hurls out a top-C trill, and brings the house down. I’ve rarely seen Glyndebourne punters chortling so gleefully as they tucked into their suppers.”

    Richard Morrison, The Times, 12 August 2019

    “the real star of the opera was Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan who sang beautifully and really looked the part as the wicked Armida.”

    William Hartston, Sunday Express, 18 August 2019

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    25 Jan 19 VERDI La Traviata
    Palm Beach Opera

    “As Violetta, the soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan arched ascending notes over the battle in a warm, lyric tone of despair, bringing a moving pathos to the scene, which climaxed in a brilliantly paced confrontation that gave maximum force to the drama.

    Mkhitaryan, who made her Metropolitan Opera debut this season as Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, sang throughout La Traviata with a plushness matching the opulence of her surroundings. In a subtle, shaded performance, she showed a gift for living the role on the stage, appearing to be improvising as she portrayed the dying courtesan’s desperate hope for love, with grand outbursts of romantic passion, softly floated high notes and raw emotion. She brought a breathy, frantic bravado to “Sempre libera,” singing with agility and clarity in the fast-moving aria. Her outburst “Amami, Alfredo,” (“Love me, Alfredo”) arched through the hall with convincing passion.”

    David Fleshler, South Florida Classical Review, 26 January 2019

    “Kristina Mkhitaryan, fresh from her Met debut last fall as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, gives a convincing portrayal of Violetta, both as a glamorous courtesan and in the deathbed scene. She sings with vivacity as Violetta echoes Alfredo in the ‘Brindisi’ and with agile coloratura in ‘Sempre libera’ as she declares her need for freedom. She and Massimo Cavalletti bring plenty of dramatic tension to the Act Two confrontation between Violetta and Germont senior. Cavalletti’s beautifully resonant baritone underscores Germont as a protective father who persuades Violetta to leave Alfredo in order to save his sister’s marital prospects, and then entreats his son to return to the family home. Equally credible is his much-warmer characterization as he reconciles with Violetta in the final Act, in which Mkhitaryan’s rendition of Violetta’s parting wishes to Alfredo is sung with touching intensity.”

    David M. Rice, Classical Source, 27 January 2019

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    23 Nov 18 PUCCINI Gianni Schicchi
    Metropolitan Opera New York

    “Making her Met debut in the role of Schicchi’s young daughter, Lauretta — she of the plaintive and elevator-friendly “O mio babbino caro” aria — the Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan stopped time with her honeyed, robust voice. Suddenly, one could hear the sound of a thousand fluttering programs as the audience raced to find out who she was.”

    Joel Roezen, New York Times, 7 December 2018

    “Kristina Mkhitaryan sings ‘O mio babbino caro’ with considerable charm.”

    David M. Rice, Classical Source, 26 November 2018

    “In her company debut, soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan sang Lauretta’s “O mio babbino caro” with warmth and directness, eschewing any suggestion of coyness or manipulation.”

    Joanne Sydney Lessner, Opera News, 23 November 2018

    “As Schicchi’s daughter Lauretta, Kristina Mkhitaryan (who made her debut in the role in Friday’s premiere) impressed with her full soprano and shapely account of the famous aria “O mio babbino caro”; it’s easy to forget, out of context, that this celebrated melody is in fact a devious little plea to win her father over to the scheme, and Mkhitaryan’s reading, tender but not overly sentimental, perfectly balanced sumptuous music with comedic effect.”

    Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review, 27 November 2018

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    03 Jul 18 VERDI La Traviata
    Opera di Roma

    “”Nel brindisi e in “È strano” la Mkhitaryan si fa apprezzare per il timbro gradevole, le agilità fluide e la dizione irreprensibile(…) la sua Violetta è completa, ricca di sfumature espressive e anche commovente.”

    Mauro Mariani, Giornale della Musica, 9 July 2018

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    16 May 18 VERDI La Traviata
    Deutsche Oper Berlin

    “There was nothing insipid about Kristina Mkhitaryan in the title role. (…)Mkhitaryan bears a physical similarity to Teresa Stratas with correspondingly impressive acting ability. From her first “Flora, amici, la notte che resta,” it was clear this was a Violetta of the first rank. The conviction underlying “tutto è follia nel mondo” was entirely credible while the sustained top B flat at the end of the Brindisi dominated the ensemble. The hesitant vulnerability with which Mkhitaryan murmured “Un cor? sì, forse” was mesmerizing.”

    Jonathan Sutherland, 1 June 2018, OperaWire

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    28 Apr 18 Aids Foundation Opera Gala

    “(…)Kristina Mkhitaryan brilliance and soft and finely chiseled vocal lines that made time stand still. ”

    Rick Fulker,, 29 April 2018

    “Die russische Sopranistin Kristina brachte die Sehnsüchte der Gilda, die die echte Liebe gefunden zu haben glaubt, in einer nuancenreichen Darstellung zur Geltung. Und der instrumentale Zauber aus Flöten un Oboen war beim Beethoven Orchester unter Dirk Kaftan in besten Händen. Mitreißend auch ihr Auftritt im Duett “Parigi o cara” aus Verdis “La Traviata” zusammen mit dem tenor Ivan Magri. Nicht minder eindrucksvoll trumpfte Mkhitaryan als Manon in der Arie “adieu notre petite table” von Jules Massanet auf. Die Zerrissenheit det Titelheldin äußerte sich in ebenso rauschhaften wie zarten, fragilen Klängen. Großes Gefühlskino, von Mkhitaryan phänomenal inszeniert.”

    Mathias Nofze, 29 April 2018

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    29 Mar 18 VERDI Il Corsaro
    Palau les Arts, Valencia

    “As Medora, was the youthful Kristina Mkhitaryan, a recent top prize winner of the Operalia Competition. In her 20s, she has a beautiful voice with a solid technique to give it life. Verdi demands a ton from the soprano, pushing her from lyrical territory into the borders of the spinto world constantly and the soprano handled it all quite well. She has the entire technical package.”

    David Salazar, 2 April 2018, OperaWire

    “There was a gorgeous, limpid quality to Kristina Mkhitaryan‘s Medora which made you wish her character were more than a seconda donna role.”

    Mark Pullinger, 29 March 2018, 

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    06 Feb 18 BIZET Carmen
    Royal Opera House

    “More consistently successful are Smoriginas and Kristina Mkhitaryan as Micaëla … Mkhitaryan, with her warm even tone, sounds glorious.”
    Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 7 February 2017

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    12 Oct 17 CAVALLI Eliogabalo
    Dutch National Opera

    “… is het vooral Kristina Mkhitaryan als Eritea die vocaal indruk maakt met kracht en présence.”
    Mischa Spel, NRC, 13 October 2017

    “…the vocally solid Eritea of soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan.”
    Nicolas Nguyen, Bach Track, 16 October 2017

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    21 May 17 VERDI La traviata
    Glyndebourne Festival Opera

    “The young Russian Kristina Mkhitaryan, groomed by the Bolshoi, has a smooth olive-tinted Slavic timbre not dissimilar to that of her compatriot Anna Netrebko. Slender and beautiful in physique, she handles her voice with disciplined technique – no shrieking or wobbling – and a degree of musical imagination that bodes well for her future. In the first act she sparkles gamely through the diamantine coloratura, in the second she rises to noble moral grandeur, and in the third, she sinks to a poignant dying fall – particularly in an Addio del passato spun on a delicate yet eloquent pianissimo….But Mkhitaryan is without doubt a talent to watch and a name to remember…”
    Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph, 22 May 2017

    “She’s unfazed by the coloratura flourishes of Act I, but more immersed in the text and the draKristina Mkhitaryan is a Russian soprano and a recent graduate of the Bolshoi’s Young Artist Programme, but she is already a Violetta to be reckoned with… The response to Piave’s text and the colour she lavished on Verdi’s music suggested a close study of Maria Callas’s or Renata Scotto’s famous recorded Violettas, spinning unforgettable pianissimo phrases in her final encounter with Alfredo, just before she expires.

    In this revival, one is more conscious than before of Violetta’s isolation in “the populous desert that they call Paris”, as she sings in her first big solo, and her transition from popular courtesan to abandoned consumptive is gut-wrenching…His conducting and Mkhitaryan’s sensational Violetta make this a collectible Traviata.”
    Hugh Canning, The Times, 28 May 2017

    “She sings with dark beauty of tone and a wonderful feel for text and character. Sempre Libera is about emotional veracity rather than display.”
    Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 22 May 2017

    “The revival of Tom Cairns’s production of La traviata with Kristina Mkhitaryan as Violetta is outstanding…This Violetta has an ordinariness which melts the heart, and her delicately-inflected singing, abetted by Richard Farnes’s sensitive direction in the pit, is a delight.”
    Michael Church, Independent, 22 May 2017

    “In her vocal richness, athleticism and vivid colouring, she has everything the role demands.”
    Edward Bhesania, The Stage, 22 May 2017

    “…Kristina Mkhitaryan, who sings Violetta with a Russian diamond of a soprano that cut through the coloratura with precision and traced a fine thread through the death scene.”
    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 23 May 2017

    “Kristina Mkhitaryan, a stalwart at the Bolshoi Opera, was a new name to me and she gave a tremendous performance as Violetta, compelling both vocally and dramatically. Pale and clear in voice, she moved from plush confidence in the first act to the thinnest of textures in the third. Vocal control was tight; her pianissimi were particularly fine and there was a cheering purity in the higher register that ensured clean coloratura. Mkhitaryan’s devotion to the role was convincing: from her initial interest in Alfredo to her noble renunciation and to the final tragic moment when she briefly revives, there was a physicality to her performance that provided that extra charge, aided by an obvious understanding of the libretto. Glyndebourne may well have had a preview of a singer who will go on to be one of Verdi’s finest interpreters.”
    Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack, 23 May 2017

    “More than anything, we watch Kristina Mkhitaryan’s magnificently sung Violetta languish into delirium and death. The closing moments are beautifully conceived and extraordinarily moving.”
    Mark Valencia, Whats On Stage, 22 May 2017

    “The Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan makes her debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in a revival of Tom Cairns’s 2014 production of Verdi’s La Traviata. And she brings to the role of the courtesan Violetta, who gives up the party life for love, a spellbinding range of vocal colour enriched by a giddying technique that takes the voice into the furthest corners of experience and emotion.”
    Claudia Pritchard, Culture Whisper, 22 May 2017

    “The unequalled star, however, was Kristina Mkhitaryan as Violetta. Combining a luscious, slightly covered soprano with an enviable legato, Mkhitaryan’s performance was a tour de force. Not for a moment did her Violetta sound fragile. But in place of such explicit vocal realism, Mkhitaryan brought moments of ectreme stillness, clearing space amid the production’s realist geastures and symbolic clutter to focus, fleetingly, on the heroine’s expression of devastatingly human emotion.”

    Flora Wilson, Opera Magazine, July 2017

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    15 Dec 16 CAVALLI Il giasone
    Grand Theatre de Geneve

    “De son côté, la voix est bien servie. Avec la jolie découverte de Kristina Mkhitaryan, rayonnante dans le rôle d’Isifile qu’elle endosse avec grâce.”

    “For its concern, the voice is being very well served. With the beautiful discovering of Kristina Mkhitaryan, quite radiant in the part of Isifile, which she performs most gracefully.”
    Sylvie Bonier, Le Temps, 26 January 2017

    “Alors que les commentateurs d’Il Giasone ont tendance à se focaliser sur son antihéros, le spectacle à l’affiche du Grand Théâtre de Genève révèle sa véritable héroïne, non pas Médée, mais Hypsipyle, la reine de Lemnos, dont Kristina Mkhitaryan – retenez ce nom, car c’est l’autre révélation du jour – dévoile la stature et une complexité qui en fait la protagoniste la plus intéressante de l’ouvrage.”
    Bernard Schreuders, Forum Opera, 25 January 2017

    “Hypsipyle un rien brutale dans ses premières interventions, Kristina Mkhitaryan réunit justesse, force et abandon pour livrer dans son monologue final le seul moment de magie de la soirée.”
    Luca Dupont-Spirio, Diapason, 27 January 2017

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    02 Dec 16 BELLINI I Capuletti e i Montecchi
    Bergen National Opera

    “With succulent tone that underpinned a diamond-etched line, Kristina Mkhitaryan’s Giulietta combined contrasting characteristics of two famous predecessors, Anna Netrebko and Edita Gruberova.”
    Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine, February 2017

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    03 Dec 15 PUCCINI Il trittico
    Royal Danish Opera

    “…impressed by Kristina Mkhitaryan who delivered Lauretta’s aria with an easy line and impressive warmth of tone.”
    Opera Traveller, 22 November 2015

    “… alors que Kristina Mkhitaryan exprimera la détermination du personnage avec une netteté gracieuse dont « O mio babbino caro est la délicieuse expression.”
    Maurice Salles, Forum Opera, 17 January 2016


Read Kristina’s feature interview with Forum Opera in March 2020 here.

Read about Kristina Mkhitaryan in OperaWire’s “Artist of the Week” from July 2018.


BELLINI I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Giulietta)
BELLINI I Puritani (Elvira)
BELLINI La Sonnambula (Amina)
BIZET Carmen (Michaëla)
CAVALLI Il giasone (Isifile)
CAVALLI Eliogabalo
DONIZETTI L’elisir d’Amore (Adina)
DONIZETTI Don Pasquale (Norina)
DONIZETTI Lucia di Lammermoor
DONIZETTI Maria Stuarda (Maria Stuarda)
DONIZETTI Roberto Devereux *in preparation
GOUNOUD Roméo et Juliette
GLINKA Ruslan y Lyudmila
GLUCK Orfeo ed Euridice (Euridice)
HANDEL Rodelinda
HANDEL Giulio Cesare (Cleopatra)
HANDEL Ariodante (Ginevra)
HANDEL Trionfo del Tempo e della Verita’ (Bellezza)
MONTEVERDI L’incoronazione di Poppea (Poppea)
MOZART Le nozze di Figaro (Countess)
MOZART Don Giovanni (Donna Anna)
MOZART Idomeno (Ilia)
MOZART Lucio Silla (Giunia)
OFFENBACH Tales of Hoffmann (Antonia)
PUCCINI Gianni Schicchi (Lauretta)
RAVEL L’enfants et les sortilèges (Une pastourelle, La chouette, La chauve-souris)
STRAUSS Der Rosenkavalier (Sophie)
VERDI Rigoletto
VERDI La traviata
VERDI Il Corsaro (Medora)
VERDI I masnadieri *in preparation

BACH B Minor Mass
BEETHOVEN Missa Solemnis
BRAHMS Requiem
FAURE Requiem
HANDEL Il Delirio Amoroso
MAHLER Symphony No. 2 & 4
MONTEVERDI Il Vespro della Beata Vergine
MOZART C Minor Mass
MOZART Requiem
MOZART Exultate Jubilate
ORFF Carmina Burana
PERGOLESI Stabat Mater
ROSSINI Petite Messe Solenelle
ROSSINI Stabat Mater
SCHUBERT Mass in A flat