Ukrainian Soprano Maria Guleghina, who debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York 12 years ago, finally brought her artistry to the nation’s capital, in the title role of the Washington Opera Company’s innovative production of Verdi’s “Aida”.

In seven performances, between February 22 and March 11, the Odessa-born diva captivated sold-out audiences, much as she did the Egyptian commander Radames in the opera.

The Music critics of Washington’s two dailies were smitten as well. “Thrilling” and “Compelling” were some of the accolades used to describe her performance, the re was the suggestion that despite her Ukrainian heritage, she had “Verdi in her Veins”.

“Maria Guleghina made a vivid and exciting Aida”, The Washington Post’s top music critic, Tim Page, wrote about her Opening Night. “Her voice is large, dark, versatile and charged with emotional intensity; moreover, she has presence…. For all of her Ukrainian heritage, Guleghina has Verdi in her veins”.

A few performances later, The Washington Times critic, T.L. Ponick, added some more praise to Ms. Guleghina’s performance.

“… soprano Maria Guleghina was compelling. Conflicted, passionate, her Aida is forced to make a devil’s bargain with father and country while somehow not betraying Radames. The discovery of her ruse brings the opera to its tragic denouement, and Miss Guleghina wrings every last bit of emotion out of the shifting scenery of Aida’s life. Her low notes are distinctive in their clarity and force.”…”

– THE UKRAINIAN WEEKLY – March 16, 2003

“The Ukrainian soprano, Maria GULEGHINA, provided everything one wanted in the Aida character. She was beautiful, sympathetic, arresting and emotionally believable. Vocally her “Numi, pieta” was tenderly rendered and her “O patria mia” equally touching. Her voice is flexible, large and penetrating when needed, and lyrical as the drama required.”