A native of Mitrovica, Kosovo, soprano Elbenita Kajtazi has already performed at some of Europe’s most important opera houses. In March of 2018, Kajtazi won the Audience Prize and the 3rd prize at the first ever Glyndebourne Opera Cup. She adds these distinctions to the past prizes she has won, such as the first prize of the Riccardo Zandonai Competition and the first prize in the Spiros Argiris Sarzana Festival Competition in Italy, 2014. Kajtazi began the current season with her debut at the Opéra National de Bordeaux as Violetta in La Traviata. In 2021, the soprano will make her United States debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the San Diego Opera, after which she will return to the Semperoper Dresden in the same role.
Within just four years, Elbenita Kajtazi has gone from being one of the youngest members of the Young Artists program at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, to becoming a member of the Aalto-Musiktheater in Essen, to joining the ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera in the 2018/19 season, with commitments for leading roles. In the same season, she appeared as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago and sang Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel in Essen. In the 2019/20 season, Kajtazi returned to Hamburg as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Gretel, Nannetta in Falstaff and Marzelline in Fidelio.
In the Summer 2016, Kajtazi made her Salzburg Festival debut as a member of the Young Singers Project, performing alongside Plácido Domingo and the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchester as Crobyle in Massenet’s Thaïs. In the 2016/17 season, she joined the ensemble of the Aalto-Musiktheater in Essen. Here, she had the opportunity to make several important role debuts, including performances as Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Violetta in La Traviata, Liu in Turandot, Gretel, Musetta in La Bohème, Adele in Die Fledermaus, and Annina in Eine Nacht in Venedig.
Other recent highlights include Kajtazi’s successful debut at the Semperoper Dresden as Pamina, as well as various concerts at the Philharmonie Essen in such works as Bach’s Magnificat and Haydn’s Die Schöpfung. Additionally, the soprano has taken part in concert performances of the Berlin Philharmonie as Kätchen in Massenet’s Werther and First Shepherdess in Meyerbeer’s Dinorah. In October of 2015, Kajtazi was heard as Bianca in La Rondine with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchester, performing in the Prinzregententheater Munich. In the autumn of 2016, she sang concerts of Pulcinella as well as Musetta in Scènes de la vie de bohème, both at the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
During the two preceding seasons, Kajtazi held a Young Artist fellowship at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Within the context of this engagement, she sang Frasquita in Carmen, Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore, Papagena and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Annina in La Traviata, Anna in Nabucco, Shepherd in Tannhäuser, Bianca in La Rondine, Sandmännchen and Taumännchen in Hänsel und Gretel, Voice from Above in Don Carlos, Frantík and Grasshopper in The Cunning Little Vixen, First Elf in Die ägyptische Helena, Fifth Maid in Elektra‚ and Contessa Ceprano in Rigoletto.
Elbenita Kajtazi is a graduate of the University of Prishtina and was awarded her first contract with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Kosovo in 2009, singing many concerts throughout the season. She appears alongside the orchestra as a frequent guest. A major highlight was participating in their staging of Beethoven’s C major Mass in November of 2016.