The Russian soprano and single mom will make her Metropolitan Opera debut on Jan. 30

By Eric Todisco
January 25, 2019 12:30 PM
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With a name like Aida, it’s no wonder this former World Opera Competition winner is on track for a major singing career — but first, a Met performance.

Soprano Aida w is gearing up for her Metropolitan Opera debut on Jan. 30, performing as Zerlina in Don Giovanni.

Despite the momentous occasion, Garifullina is far from nervous about taking the stage at one of music’s most intimidating venues.

The 31-year-old tells PEOPLE, “I can’t wait to perform on this historic stage, where so many legendary singers have performed. I am very delighted to share my experience with the Met audience.”

Aida Garifullina.
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Garifullina, a native of Kazan, Russia, started singing at age 3. After she walked away with the first-place prize at Operalia in 2013, her career saw a significant boost. In 2015, she signed her first recording contract with Decca Records and now has a song out with none other than Andrea Bocelli.

With her career continuing to flourish, here are five things to know about the opera breakout.

1. Good Morning America was her first US television performance.

Although Garifullina has been singing since she was a toddler and making a name for herself in music ever since, her U.S. TV debut did not come until 2018. On Dec. 28 she sang Juliet’s aria from Romeo and Juliet live on Good Morning America.

Regarding her arrival in America, she said this was a trip she had been long awaiting.

David Foster, Aida Garifullina, Katherine McPhee and Candice Bushnell.
Aida Garifullina Instagram

“I love the U.S. and I was waiting for this trip for a long time. People are so kind and friendly to me. And there are so many great musicians around.”

She is a single mother of a 2-year old.

In addition to her powerful voice, the singer is also a powerhouse in her home. Her daughter, Olivia, is her “best gift in life,” she says. In fact, she says it isn’t “hard at all” to have her booming career and toddler at once.

“I believe you can achieve everything you want if you’re disciplined, work hard and never give up.”

She appeared in the Oscar-nominated film Florence Foster Jenkins.

The 2016 biographical film starring Meryl Street was Garifullina’s first appearance on the big screen. She portrayed Lily Pons, a French-American operatic soprano and actress.

RELATED VIDEO: We Tried It: A Florence Foster Jenkins Inspired Carnegie Hall Performance

The film also starred Hugh Grant. It was nominated for Best Costume Design at the Oscars, as well as Streep’s nomination for Best Actress.

She was nominated for a Grammy Award.

The singer found herself nominated for best opera record in the 2018 GRAMMY Awards. She was the recording of the part of Queen of Shemakhan in the opera The Golden Cockerel by Rimsky-Korsakov.

The opera was a part of the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, located in St. Petersburg, Russia.

She sang at the 2018 FIFA World Cup alongside Robbie Williams.

Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport via Getty Image

Last year, Aida performed during both the opening and closing ceremonies of the FIFA World Cup. She sang a duet of “Angels” with English singer Robbie Williams.

Describing the honor as “historic,” she says proudly, “No other singer in the history of the World Cup ever performed at both ceremonies. I’m very blessed and proud that I’ve done it.”

Garifullina’s Met debut will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 30.