Bulgarian soprano earns a place in La Scala's academy

Photo: NBU Alexandrina Mihailova

Bulgarian soprano Alexandrina Mihailova has outdone in three rounds 430 other candidates to earn a spot among the winners of La Scala's competition for rising opera singers, held in Milan. A jury chaired by the director of the opera theatre, Dominique Meyer, selected 10 young talents to study at La Scala Academy over the next two years. Raina Kabaivanska, whose long and illustrious international career began with La Scala, won that very competition in 1960.

Alexandrina first met Raina Kabaivanska in 2016. An 18-year-old student from Shumen at the time, Alexandrina travelled to Sofia to audition for Kabaivanska's 16th international masterclass. Her undeniable vocal talent earned Alexandrina a place in the masterclass. She completed the course successfully and took part in the traditional concert of the laureates at the Sofia Opera. She received a stipend to help her finish high school and learn Italian, and she was advised to lose weight since “nowadays you have to be slim and beautiful in addition to being a talented vocalist to make it on the international stage”. When Alexandrina auditioned for Kabaivanska's next masterclass a year later, she had a high school diploma, basic knowledge of Italian and weighed 20kg less. The plump girl had transformed into an elegant, expressive young woman with a real stage presence.

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