Admired as much for her stunning stage presence as for her uncommon musicality, soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian has followed a career path wholly her own. She has successfully combined an international operatic career with an exciting schedule that includes recitals, orchestral concerts, and film projects.Applauded in the opera houses of Salzburg, Paris, Chicago, Toronto, and elsewhere for her portrayals of such great Mozart roles as Susanna (Nozze di Figaro), Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Pamina (Magic Flute), Ms Bayrakdarian is equally renowned for her work in some of the more remote corners of the repertory, like Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini and Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge—both at the Metropolitan Opera. She is also a first-rank Handelian, having portrayed such heroines as Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Romilda (Xerxes), and Emilia (Flavio) in Brussels, Paris, and Dresden. Another signature part for Ms Bayrakdarian is Rosina in Rossini’s Barber of Seville, a role she has recently sung at Chicago Lyric Opera and at the Canadian Opera Company.Isabel began her vocal studies while pursuing Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. In 1997, she graduated from engineering with an honours degree, and was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Since then, this Armenian-Canadian soprano has appeared on many of the world’s most prestigious stages, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and has had the privilege to work with such conductors as Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Kent Nagano, René Jacobs, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Andrew Davies, Richard Bradshaw, and violinist/conductor Pinchas Zukerman.Ms Bayrakdarian can be heard on the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack of the blockbuster movie The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers, as well as on the multiple award-winning Canadian movie Ararat. Her debut recording “Joyous Light” went straight to No. 1 on Canada’s classical chart in 2002, and her second recording, “Azulão,” earned her a 2004 Juno award, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy.She has received many grants and other awards, including the first prize in the “Operalia” competition run by Plácido Domingo, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, a Canada Council Grant, the Leonie Rysanek Award from the George London Foundation, and an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Conservatory of Music.