• Diploma recipient at the 10th Competizione dell’Opera (Dresden, 2010)
• Prize-winner at the 8th Rimsky-Korsakov International Competition for Young Opera Singers (St Petersburg, 2008; 3rd prize)
• Recipient of the Best Debut prize at the 6th Elena Obraztsova International Competition of Young Opera Singers (St Petersburg, 2007)
• Recipient of the Hope prize at the 22nd International Glinka Competition of Vocalists (Chelyabinsk, 2006)
• Prize-winner at the 5th Alexander Pirogov Open Competition for Young Vocalists (Ryazan, 2006; 1st prize)
Irina Shishkova was born in Leningrad. Graduated from the St Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music (piano and vocals) and the Vocal Faculty of the Rimsky-Korsakov St Petersburg State Conservatory (2011, class of Grayr Khanedanian).
In 2008 she made her debut at the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre as Carmen. At the theatre she has also performed the roles of Polina and Milovzor in The Queen of Spades and Siébel in Gounod’s Faust.
From 2010 to 2023 Irina Shishkova was a soloist with the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers. She debuted at the Mariinsky Theatre in 2011 – first in the academy’s concert, then in Ariadne auf Naxos. In February 2023 the singer joined the Mariinsky Opera Company.
In 2011 Irina made her first appearance at the Latvian National Opera as Olga (Eugene Onegin) and at the Crescendo festival (Artistic Director – Denis Matsuev). The same year she performed at the Kennedy Center (Washington) with the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra under Dmitry Liss.
In 2013 Irina appeared in a series of concerts as part of a tour of Europe by the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers to such venues as the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Wigmore Hall (London), the Opéra National de Bordeaux, the Serate Musicali (Milan), the Auditorium Saint-Pierre-des-Cuisines (Toulouse), the Prinzregenten Theater (Munich) and the Brucknerhaus (Linz).
In 2014 Irina made her debut as Lyubasha (The Tsar’s Bride) at St Peterburg’s Mikhailovsky Theatre and sang the role of Olga (Eugene Onegin directed by Robert Carsen and conducted by Michail Jurowski) at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. In Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle she performed the alto parts in Shostakovich’s song cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry (2016), Dvořák’s Requiem (2017) and Stravinsky’s Les Noces (2019). In 2018 the singer made her debut in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), appearing as Olga, and in 2019 she also performed there the part of Polina in The Queen of Spades. In May 2022 Irina portrayed Carmen at the Granda Festival at the Gran Teatro Nacional (Lima, Peru). In October 2022 she appeared as Amneris (Aida) in the town of El Gouna (Egypt).
Repertoire at the Mariinsky Theatre:
Olga (Eugene Onegin)
Polina and Milovzor (The Queen of Spades)
Hanna (May Night)
Bonny Spring (The Snow Maiden)
Olesnitsky (Pan Voyevoda, concert performance)
Zhenka Komelkova and Rita Osyanina (Molchanov’s The Dawns Here Are Quiet, concert performance)
Nicolette and Princess Clarice (The Love for Three Oranges)
Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro)
Sesto (La clemenza di Tito, concert performance)
Dorabella (Così fan tutte)
Angelina (Cenerentola) (La Cenerentola, concert performance)
Isabella (L’italiana in Algeri, concert performance)
Flora Bervoix (La traviata)
Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos)
Ascanio (Benvenuto Cellini)
Siébel (Gounod’s Faust)
Nicklausse (Les Contes d’Hoffmann)
Garcias (Don Quichotte)
Mezzo-soprano part in the ballet The Twelve
Has sung in the premiere of a new Mariinsky Theatre production of La traviata (2015).
Her repertoire also includes: Princess Eboli (Don Carlo), Joan of Arc (The Maid of Orleans), Kashcheyevna (Kashchey the Immortal) and Dido (Dido and Aeneas).
Has toured to South Korea and the USA. Frequently takes part in music festivals in Russia and abroad.