Composer Opera Role
G. Bizet Carmen Carmen
G. F. Handel Oreste Oreste
J. Massenet Werther Charlotte
G. Rossini L’italiana in Algeri Isabella
P. I. Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin Olga

Aytaj Shikhalizada

After competing in the 2017 Bertelsmann Neue Stimmen Singing Competition in Gütersloh, Germany, mezzo-soprano Aytaj Shikhalizada was invited to join the new ensemble at the Theater Dortmund as of the 2018/19 season. In Dortmund, she will debut Rosina in a new production of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Nefertiti in a new production of Philip Glass's Akhnaten. In summer 2019, she will make her debut at the Bregenz Festival.

The 24-year-old Azerbaijani made her professional European debut in June 2018, when she debuted the role of Isabella in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri at the Opera Royal de Versailles in a concert performance conducted by Jean-Christophe Spinosi. She is also currently under contract with Azerbaijani TV and Radio, and regularly appears in her native country on TV and on the concert platform.

The young mezzo-soprano pursued Master's studies in singing with the renowned Professor Claudia Visca at the University of Music and the Performing Arts Vienna. In Vienna, she performed the title role of Handel’s Oreste in January 2018, and previously appeared at the Schlosstheater Schonbrünn as Olga in Eugene Onegin, and at the Penzing Institute with scenes from Carmen as well as Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther. For her studies in Vienna, she was the recipient of a scholarship from the Dr. Robert and Lina Thyll-Dürr Foundation.

Aytaj studied voice and piano at the Baku Music Academy from 2010 to 2014 and Bülbil Music School, and received a Young Performers Diploma with Honors. She is also the recipient of many prizes including bronze medal for 3rd place at the 2014 Muslim Magomayev International Vocal Competition in Moscow, Grand Prix at the IX Azerbaijan Republic Contest ‘’Springs of the Soul’’ in 2013, and the 'Hope Prize' at the 2012 Bulbul International Vocalists Competition.


June 27, 2018

Mezzo-soprano Aytaj Shikhalizada makes her European Debut as Isabella at the Opera Royal de Versailles!

Azerbaijani mezzo-soprano Aytaj Shikhalizada, currently completing her masters at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, debuts on June 29th at the Opera Royal de Versailles as Isabella in G. Rossini’s Italiana in Algiers, conducted by J.C. Spinosi with the Ensemble Matheus. Aytaj also begins an ensemble contract at Theater Dortmund for the 18/19 season.