INNA Husieva took her parents by surprise when, aged six, she declared she wanted a piano, and to “go to music school”.

“There had never been any musicians in our family before,” says Inna, with a smile. “But they agreed, and that’s how my musical journey began.”

It is a journey which has taken the talented and award-winning soprano from Donetsk in Ukraine, to London, and now to Glasgow, a city close to her heart. Along the way, she has experienced the heartbreak of losing her parents and her home in the Russian invasion of her country.

“This war took away everything that was so dear to me and almost deprived me of my singing, because it was very difficult for me to accept everything that was happening in my life,” she explains.

“When grief reached its peak, I realised I could no longer continue like this. In memory of my parents, because they gave me so much and they always believed in me, I decided to fill out applications for competitions and various opera programmes.”

Glasgow Times: Awardwinning soprano Inna HusievaAwardwinning soprano Inna Husieva (Image: Emma Brown)

Inna won a place with the National Opera Studio in London in 2021.

“Moving to the UK literally saved my life,” she says. “We had residencies in various regions - Welsh National Opera, Opera North in Leeds and Scottish Opera, when I visited Glasgow for the first time.

“It was in February 2022, when the big invasion of Russia began in Ukraine, so I feel a special connection with Glasgow because I experienced very strong emotions here. I feel very blessed to be back, and I am very grateful to Scottish Opera for their trust and faith in me as an Emerging Artist.”

Glasgow Times: The cast of The Barber of SevilleThe cast of The Barber of Seville (Image: James Glossop/Scottish Opera)

Inna is currently delighting audiences at the Theatre Royal in The Barber of Seville, a brilliant, bold, hilarious version of the fun-filled story. She delivers a scene-stealing performance as Berta, the housemaid who has had enough of her wealthy employers and their nonsensical goings-on around love and marriage.

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“I’m thrilled to be part of this amazing production,” she says, smiling. “Berta is a very interesting, cheerful, sometimes even a little crazy, character, which is very unusual for a servant, and she has a solo aria.

“I will be here for a whole season and I will learn new roles that I have never sung before. I am also very much looking forward to performing the role of Violetta in La Traviata for Access Performances in the summer - it is a dream for every soprano.”

Glasgow Times: The Barber of Seville castThe Barber of Seville cast (Image: James Glossop/Scottish Opera)

Since 2014, Inna has also taken part in many fundraising concerts to help victims of the war in Ukraine.

“I consider it my duty to do everything I can to raise my voice in support of my country and my people,” she says, simply.

“It is very important to talk about war. Ukraine needs help. There are quite a large number of Ukrainian refugees here in Glasgow now, and I know they feel great support and security here. I thank everyone who supports Ukraine for your response and open, generous hearts.”

The Barber of Seville is at the Theatre Royal on Friday, October 28, then at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh on November 3, 8 and 11, before touring to Aberdeen and Inverness.