The young Latvian soprano Maija Kovalevska was born in Riga and completed her education at the Latvian Music Academy. During her student days she won numerous grants and honours, and in 2006 won the First Prize in Plácido Domingo’s World Opera Contest Operalia in Valencia. Her first opera appearances were as Saffi (Der Zigeunerbaron) and Leila (Les pêcheurs de perles) at the opera festival in Sigulda. As Donna Elvira she made her début during the 2002/03 season of the Latvian National Opera, where she returned as Mimì, Liù (Turandot), and the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro). She made her Italian début in Verona in 2006 as Donna Elvira. In the same year she appeared as Mimì at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, singing this rôle also under Plácido Domingo and with Rolando Villazón at her début at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, where she subsequently achieved great success as Euridice under James Levine in the new production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Subsequent engagements have taken her to the Salzburg Festival, Tokyo, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, Bavarian Staatsoper, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Met, and the Glyndebourne Festival. Maija Kovalevska has been honoured with the Grand Latvian Music Award 2004 and studies in Italy with Mirella Freni.