Anna wears a dress, shoes, necklace and cuff by Lanvin and ring by Chopard.

She's been a courtesan, a starving seamstress, a soldier and a handful of queens, but perhaps the most challenging role the Russian soprano Anna Netrebko has played is Anna Netrebko. Considered by some to be this generation's Maria Callas, Netrebko is constantly traveling, hitting superhuman high notes at some of the world's most famous opera houses. "To sing opera is a lot of effort for your voice, your body, your emotions -- everything! It is stressful for your whole system," says Netrebko.

She landed her first role, as Susanna in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg at 22. "I learned the role in one week. Now, at 41, I take a little bit longer."

No matter, since at this point in her career she gets all the time she needs to expertly craft her iconic portrayals of characters like Mimi in La Bohème, whom she recently played in Chicago, or Tatiana, the lovelorn country girl she'll play this fall in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, at New York's Metropolitan Opera. "You can never be satisfied," says Netrebko. "To achieve something is not very difficult, but to stay there is very, very hard. You have to prove to yourself that you can still do it."

So, does that mean she's a diva? "I am an old grumpy soprano who hates all newcomers," she jokes, and then continues, "It is all about professionalism and you have to know what you want and then get people to do what you want." That sounds like a yes.

Hair by Kyle Malone at NeXt Artists using Oribe. / Makeup by Anneliese Tieck at NeXt Artists using Jouer Cosmetics.

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