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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
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Aytaj Shikhalizada

Mezzo-soprano Aytaj Shikhalizada is currently completing her Master's degree in singing at the University of Music and the Performing Arts Vienna under the renowned Professor Claudia Visca. After competing in the Bertelsmann Neue Stimmen Singing Competition in Gütersloh, Germany in October 2017, she was invited to join the new ensemble of Theater Dortmund as of the 2018/19 season and will debut Rosina in a new production of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, among other roles. Further debuts include Olga in Eugene Onegin in the fall of 2019.

The 24-year-old Azerbaijani will make her professional European debut on 29 June 2018, when she debuts 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.

Aytaj is currently under contract with Azerbaijani TV and Radio, and regularly appears in her native country on TV and on the concert platform. At the University of Music in Vienna, she performed the title role of Handel’s Oreste in January 2018, and has 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 is the recipient of a scholarship from the Dr. Robert and Lina Thyll-Dürr Foundation.

The young mezzo-soprano 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.