Few opera singers' careers begin with Daniel Barenboim telling them to prepare the title role for a season-opening new production of Carmen at La Scala. Yet this was how the Georgian mezzo soprano Anita Rachvelishvili got her big break in 2009.
She had been in a young singers' training program at the storied Milan opera house when Barenboim recognized her potential, and cast her as the iconic, red-dressed, raven-haired heroine.
Since then, Rachvelishvili has gone from triumph to triumph singing some of the repertoires most-coveted roles in the world's greatest houses.
This weekend, she sings Konchakovna in the Metropolitan Opera's latest production of Alexander Borodin’s epic Prince Igor. It can be seen in HD in movie theaters around the world, and heard live on WRTI 90.1 FM in Philadelphia on Saturday, March 1 at 12 noon.