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Russian coloratura soprano Albina Shagimuratova, a native of Tashkent in Uzbekistan, began her musical studies as a pianist at the Music College and then the State University of Kazan before deciding on a singing career and continuing her education in Moscow. There she undertook her first stage roles as a member of the ensemble of the Stanislavsky and Nemirowitsch-Dantschenko Music Theater, performing the title role in Verdi’s La traviata as well as roles in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Sultan and The Golden Cockerel. After winning the Gold Medal in the 2007 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the young singer came to the attention of the Western music world. At Houston Grand Opera, whose Opera Studio she joined in 2006, she performed Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème as well as the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute—a role which paved the way for her international career. It was with this role that Shagimuratova made her Salzburg Festival debut in 2008 in a production conducted by Riccardo Muti, and since then she has performed the Queen at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, the Vienna and Hamburg Staatsoper, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. At the same time Shagimuratova has significantly expanded her repertoire, singing Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at Houston Grand Opera and appearing at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2011 as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. In the coming season her engagements will include Aspasia (Mitridate) at the Royal Opera House in London, Amina in La Sonnambula and the title heroine in Ruslan and Ludmila at the Bolshoi Theater, as well as her debut at San Francisco Opera.