Born in Grozny, Russia in 1992 Bella grew up in Prague, Czech Republic torn between, and surrounded by many cultures. This has translated to a versatility as a musician – always occupying the space somewhere in between genres. She completed her Bachelor’s in Vocal performance in London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and her Master’s in Cologne, Germany. There she was involved in a number of Operas, notably singing Hermia in Britten’s A midsummer night’s dream and Celia in Haydn’s La fedeltà premiata at Theater Aachen.

photo by Ksana Fedorova

The art song is a focal point of the young mezzo-soprano’s work. Her repertoire ranges from Bellini to George Crumb, encompassing German Lied as well as Russian romances. Laureate of the Czech Song Prize at the Emmy Destinn Awards in London, the Martinů Prize at the International Dvořák Competition, and a finalist at the 2020 Bundeswettbewerb Gesang in Berlin. Bella sings and improvises in duo with pianist Michael Gees, their debut album Blooming was released in 2019 on Challenge Records. This season, she will make her debut with the Janáček Philharmonic, performing Mahler’s Rückertlieder under Chuhei Iwasaki.

Her first encounters with free improvisation were with Paulo Álvares, which she continued studying at the Basel Music Academy under Fred Frith and Alfred Zimmerlin. As an improviser she loves to explore the possibilities of using the voice acoustically, often using text in various chamber ensembles, and as a soloist. Performing contemporary music has always been a part of her concert life, recently, she was the vocal soloist in the Basel version premiere of Kagel’s La Trahison Orale lead by Jean Pierre Drouet and has performed in a newly devised interdisciplinary work curated by Hannes Seidl at the ZeitRäume festival.

Music has taken the singer to concert halls in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Qatar, and Russia. Bella has had the privilege of participating in masterclasses and studying with, amongst others, Lynton Atkinson, Thomas Piffka, Christoph Prégardien, Klesie Kelly, Dalia Schaechter, Simon Keenlyside, Josef Protschka, Matthew Rose, Kateřina Kněžíková, and Christian Immler.