Born in Los Angeles, Mara Baygulova began studying piano at the age of 3 followed by cello at the age of 7. She also studied voice with her mother at the age of 5. Very early, it became obvious to her parents, that Mara had the gift for music and supported her in all her endeavors. Thus, they also enrolled her in classical ballet which she has continued through-out her career.
As she advanced vocally, at the age of 8, Mara began studying voice with famed Metropolitan Opera sopranos, Madame Ruth Chamlee and later with Margaret Harshaw. As this was not enough, Mara began studying classical guitar and lute for five years.
She won 1st prize in the Gladys Turk Foundation making it possible for her to audition in European Opera houses. She was also awarded two grants from the Young Musicians Foundation. Mara supplimented her income singing back-up for MOTOWN RECORDS for three years.
After attending USC for three years, she left to make her debut with San Diego Opera, singing in “Die Walkure”, and returned to sing a princess in “Love For Three Oranges” and “The Merry Widow” with Miss Beverly Sills. Locally Mara sang Madallena in “Rigoletto”, Suzuki in “Madama Butterfly”, Mrs. Nolan in “The Medium” and the Principessa in “Suor Angelica”.
After performing in the Carmel Bach Festival, Mara sang a Mahler song cycle with the Battle Creek Symphony. Soon after, she sang Dalila in “Samson et Dalila” with Hawaii Opera and then with the New Jersey State Opera. Mara returned to the New Jersey Opera to sing the Indian role in “Fancuilla del West.”
Mara made her European debut singing the role of Carmen for French television. She continued singing Carmen and other roles as well as oratorio works in Strasbourg, Brussels, Angers, Nante, Karlsruhe, Colmar, Prague, Warsaw, and Luxembourg, to name a few.
After her return to the States, she performed two gala performances with Luciano Pavarotti. She went on to sing Carmen at the Seattle Opera and Gullietta in “The Tales of Hofmann” with Miami Opera. Mara also performed musical theatre, singing an entire season with The San Bernadino Civic Light Opera.
Again Europe hired her away to sing in “Das Rheingold” in Strasbourg and many performances of Carmen and Dalila from “Samson et Dalila” all over Europe. During this time, she made France her second home and returned often to perform in the States.
Mara has concertized in the States, singing a variety of operatic roles, Celtic recitals and Shakesperian songs with her lute, as well as playing cello professionally in a string quartet. Miss Baygulova has also performed modern music by Marlos Nobre at The Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles. She sang an all Mozart program, and as a soloist in “Beethovens’ 9th Symphony”, with Symphony In The Glen in Griffith Park, with Maestro Arthur Rubinstein.
Last year Mara performed opera in concert in Santa Barbara and then in Utah, and returned to Milwaukee to sing a Mahler song cycle with orchestra, and in the spring she sang opera selections in San Luis Obispo and in Portland. Recently, Miss Baygulova sang 3 recitals in northern California.
When not traveling trans-Atlantic and nationally to sing, Mara performs locally with a group she formed, the MOTIF ensemble, performing excerpts from musical theatre, opera and traditional CELTIC songs.
Some of Mara’s vocal students are Duncan Sheik, renowned recording artist and composer of the musical,Spring Awakening, Emily Osment, co-star of Disney television show, Hanna Montana. Spencer Grammer, star of ABC’s Greek, and Andre Crouch, composer and gospel singer.