Born in Groznyy, 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, never quite fitting in. 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 has been a focal point for the young mezzo-soprano ever since she sang her first Debussy mélodie. Her repertoire ranges from Bellini to George Crumb, encompassing German Lied as well as Russian romances. In 2015 she won the Czech Song Prize at the Emmy Destinn Awards in London. In that year, Bella met the pianist Michael Gees with whom she sings and improvises in duo. Their debut album of spontaneously composed songs ‘Blooming’ comes out in 2019.

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 will perform 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 studying with many accomplished artists, amongst them with Thomas Piffka, Christoph Prégardien, Klesie Kelly, Dalia Schaechter, Sir Simon Keenlyside, Matthew Rose, Josef Protschka, and Yvonne Minton.