Who performed at the 2018 World Cup? Russian opera star Aida Garifullina and Robbie Williams

15 June 2018, 12:16

World Cup Opening Ceremony with Aida Garifulllina
World Cup Opening Ceremony with Aida Garifulllina. Picture: Getty

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Russian soprano Aida Garifullina duetted with popstar Robbie Williams at the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow, on Thursday 14 June.

Aida and Robbie duetted on Robbie's song 'Angels', just half an hour before the start of the first match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at 6pm local time.

Of the performance, Aida told the Press Association: “[After the performance] I thanked him for this amazing journey and he said: ‘We should do something in the future together, we should do some songs together in the future.’”

She added that she didn't know what they would sing together. “It doesn’t matter actually what because he’s an amazing artist and I enjoyed every moment working with him, talking to him, performing with him.”

Who else performed at the World Cup?

Aida also performed at the Red Square Gala Concert in Moscow the day before, alongside a host of famous names from the world of opera, including Anna Netrebko, Plácido Domingo and Juan Diego Flórez.

The celebratory performance was broadcast on Wednesday 13 June, in which Aida performed the title track from her award-winning debut album ‘Je veux vivre’, as well as a duet with Juan Diego Flórez from Verdi’s Rigoletto.

Plácido Domingo sings for The Alzheimer's Association in 2013
Plácido Domingo sings for The Alzheimer's Association in 2013. Picture: Getty

Who is Aida Garifullina?

Aida Garifullina is a young Russian soprano, born in 1987 in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan.

She is best known for singing her signature aria 'Je veux vivre' from Gounod's Roméo et Juliette.

Aida studied with the renowned tenor Siegfried Jerusalem in Nuremberg, before making her debut at the Mariinsky Theatre in January 2013. The Financial Times described her as a “major new talent”.

Aida had her first big break that year, when she won Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition. Since then, she has performed in some of the world’s most impressive opera houses, including Vienna State Opera (where she is a regular performer) and Wigmore Hall.

Aida has duetted with some of the greatest opera stars, including Plácido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli, as well as appearing in the 2016 film Florence Foster Jenkins with Meryl Streep. She's also one of today’s most popular Instagram opera stars, with 450,000 followers.

To coincide with her World Cup performances, Aida has released a new three-track digital EP with Decca Classics called Midnight in Moscow, which is available now.