The name of Hibla Gerzmava has been famous in the opera world since 1994, when the Abkhazian-Russian soprano won the Grand Prix at the Tchaikovsky International Competition, the first and only time in the competition’s history that the highest prize has been awarded to a women vocalist .
She is highly sought-after guest soloist at leading opera houses worldwide, including the Mariinsky Theatre, London’s Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Teatro La Scala in Milan and opera houses in Vienna, Paris and Rome, Zürich, Madrid etc. She has performed with such outstanding musicians and conductors as Lorin Maazel, Antonio Pappano, Marco Armiliato, Adam Fischer, Irzhe Belohlávek, Fabio Luisi,Vladimir Spivakov, Valery Gergiev, Alexander Rudin,Vladimir Fedoseyev, Basil Sinai, and many others.
In 2010, her performance of Lucia in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor brought her the highest Russian theatrical award — the Golden Mask, as well as Casta Diva Critics Award and the Moscow Government Award for achievement and contribution to the world of arts and culture. In 2016, her performance of L.Cherubini Medea brought her the second award of Golden Mask. In 2021, Hibla Gerzmava was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation in literature and arts.Hibla Gerzmava has appeared with recitals in Sweden, France, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Greece, the USA, Japan and Turkey. In 2002 and 2003, she took part in the Ludwigsburg Festival in Germany where she sang Eva in Die Schöpfung (The Creation) by Haydn and the Angel in the Rappresentatione di anima e di corpo by Emilio de Cavalieri. Hibla Gerzmava is often invited to take part in oratorio concerts. She has sung soprano parts in Mozart’s Requiem, Great Mass in C minor, Coronation Mass, Vesperae solennes de confessore, in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem.
In March 2008, Hibla Gerzmava made her Covent Garden debut as Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and appeared there again in 2009 as Mimi in Puccini’s La bohème, coming back to the Royal Opera House in January 2012 as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She sung the part of Mimi for her debuts at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in Rome in May-June 2011.
In September-October 2010, Hibla made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the parts of Stella and Antonia in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, and in November-December 2011 she went back there to sing Mimi in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of La bohème.
She made her triumphal debut on the stage of Palais Garnier at the Opéra National de Paris as Vitellia in Willy Decker’s production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito in September-October 2011. She also sung at the BBC Proms Opening Night in July 2011 in Janáček’s Glagolithic Mass conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek and took part in the Mariinsky Theatre’s tour to Japan in February 2011, performing the part of Liù in Puccini’s Turandot at the NHK Hall in Tokyo.
In 2013, Hibla Gerzmava will further appear in Simon Boccanegra at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in Turandot at Metropolitan Opera and in La Clemenza di Tito at the Wiener Staatsoper.
In February 2014 she took part in the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, performing the final song Olympic Waltz, accompanied by the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev.
Hibla made her debut on the stage of Carnegie Hall in 2016, with a solo recital program of romances and famous arias. That year she also debuted on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater in the title role of Elizabeth Valois of "Don Carlos" by G.Verdi italian version, and in 2017 she performed this part in french version the new production by noted director Krzysztof Warlikowski at the celebrated Paris National Opera. In 2017, Hibla Gerzmava successfully performed her long-anticipated debut at the legendary La Scala Theater in the role of Anna Bolena in the eponymous opera by G. Donizetti. In 2018, Hibla made her debut at the Dresden State Opera House as Desdemona. Later that season, she performed the title role of Leonora on the Zurich Opera stage, in a new production of the opera “La Forza del Destino” by G. Verdi, directed by Andreas Homoki. In 2019, Hibla Gerzmava returned to the Paris National Opera as Desdemona in “Otello” by G. Verdi and made her debut in the new production of Verdi’s "Il Trovatore" on the stage of the Madrid Royal Theater.
In the season 2019-2020 Hibla made her World tour with the recital program include masterworks for voice and piano Russian romances and famous classical Italian Arias. She performed in St.Petersburg - Shostakovich Hall, Moscow- Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory of P.I.Tchaikovsky, Paris- Salle Gaveau ,London-Cadogan Hall, New York-Carnegie Hall, Toronto- Koerner Hall Royal Conservatory of Music, Tel-Aviv at Zucker Hall.
In 2021 Hibla Gerzmava performed in Vienna Opera Theatre as Amelia Grimaldi alongside Placido Domingo as Simon Boccanegra in G.Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra" , she also made her debut as Norma in new production of V.Bellini opera "Norma" directed by Justin Way and conducted by Marco Armiliato at Madrid Royal Theater. In July 2021 Hibla Gerzmava also debuted on the stage of Arena di Verona in G.Verdi "Requiem"
Besides a busy operatic career, Hibla developed a unique project of her own – a crossover concert program titled "Opera & Jazz" – in which she brings together classical singing styles with jazz improvisation, performing original and highly distinctive interpretations of music by a wide range of composers including Handel, Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti and Gershwin.
The New York Times called Hibla "the warm-voiced soprano with affecting poise and strong-willed intensity" while Opera Today raved, "the sensational soprano Hibla Gerzmava is the most remarkable new talent encountered in many a year.»
In the Abkhaz language, Hibla means "golden-eyed". But while her eyes are always shining, Hibla Gerzmava’s most precious gift is the one that has captivated millions of listeners – the gift of her golden voice.