Although only 26 years old, soprano Elbenita Kajtazi, a native of Mitrovica, Kosovo, has already performed in some of Europe’s most important opera houses. In March of 2018, she 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.
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 current 2018/19 season, with commitments for leading roles. She also appears this season as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago, sings Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel in Essen, and continues her ongoing relationship with the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and various guest roles.
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. As of the 2016/17 season, she joined the ensemble of the Aalto- Musiktheater in Essen. Here, she has had the opportunity to make important role debuts, including performances of Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Violetta in La Traviata, Liu in Turandot, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Musetta in La Bohème, Adele in Die Fledermaus, and Annina in Eine Nacht in Venedig. Recent highlights include her successful debut at the Semperoper Dresden as Pamina, as well as participating in various concerts in such works as Bach’s Magnificat at the Philharmonia Essen.
Additionally, the soprano has taken part in concert performances of the Berlin Philharmonic 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.