Russian soprano Irina Lungu made her Royal Opera debut in 2014 as Musetta (La bohème).
Lungu studied piano, choir conducting and singing and graduated from the State Academy of Music of Voronezh in Russia in 2003. From 2003 to 2005 she attended the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, Milan, where her teachers included Leyla Gencer. Lungu has been much praised for her interpretation of Violetta Valéry (La traviata), a role that she has sung throughout Italy and for the Vienna Festival, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Berlin State Opera. For La Scala, Milan, she has sung roles including Nannetta (Falstaff), Marguerite (Faust), Oxana (The Tsarina’s Slippers) and Adina (L’elisir d’amore). Other noted performances include Gilda (Rigoletto) in Turin, for Aix-en-Provence Festival and the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and Musetta for the Metropolitan Opera.
Lungu's many prizes include the Maria Callas Grand Prix and third prize at the Belvedere Competition, Vienna. She represented Moldova in the 2005 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.