Inva Mula (born June 27, 1963) is an Albanian opera lyric soprano. She began her soprano career at a very early age. Her father (Avni Mula) and mother (Nina Mula) were also opera singers.
She is also widely known in popular culture for portraying the voice of the Diva Plavalaguna in the film The Fifth Element.
Life and career:
Mula was born in Tirana, Albania. In 1987 she won the Cantante d'Albania competition in Tirana and in 1988 the George Enescu Competition in Bucharest. In 1992 she won the Butterfly Competition in Barcelona. She received an award at Plácido Domingo's first Operalia International Opera Competition contest in Paris, 1993. A CD of the event was released.
She later performed in various concerts with the famous tenor at the Opéra Bastille in Paris, and in Brussels for Europalia Mexico, in Munich, and in Oslo. In 1996 she performed Luigi Cherubini's opera Médée (which was taped for TV) at Compiègne in France. She then returned for Georges Bizet's opera La Jolie fille de Perth (released CD, filmed for TV, and released DVD in Japan) in 1998. After this she recorded Puccini's La Rondine with Angela Gheorghiu for EMI and for 2005's stage production she took Gheorghiu's place in the leading role of Magda during performances in Toulouse and Paris. Later on, she performed Bizet's Ivan IV concert version, which had its recital debut at Salle Pleyel in Paris, and a live recording was released as CD. In 2001, she was busy in Italy, performing Verdi's Falstaff at the Teatro alla Scala and Rigoletto at the Verona Arena, both of which were taped for TV then released on DVD.
Mula has sung in Lucia di Lammermoor, La bohème, and Manon, among others. She is also a renowned Violetta in La Traviata, and has sung the role in many cities around the world, including Tokyo, Bilbao, Orange, Trieste, and Toronto. In 2007, she performed Adina in L'elisir d'amore at Toulouse, and in 2009 she sang the title role in Gounod's Mireille with the Paris Opera at the Palais Garnier, a performance that was issued on DVD.
Her ex-husband Pirro Çako is a well-known singer and composer from Albania, so she used the spelling Tchako rather than Çako. However, after mid-1990 she began using the name Inva Mula, and never returned to the old one. They are now divorced. Her current husband is Hetem Ramadani, a well known businessman from Kosovo.
Mula is perhaps best known to Western filmgoers as the voice of the Diva Plavalaguna (played on-screen by Maïwenn Le Besco) in the 1997 film The Fifth Element, where she is credited using her (then) married name as Inva Mulla Tchako. She performed the aria "Oh, giusto cielo!...Il dolce suono" (the mad scene) from Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and "The Diva Dance".
Director Luc Besson adored Maria Callas, but the sound quality of her 1956 EMI Classics recording of "Lucia" wasn't clear enough to use on a film soundtrack, so Callas's agent Michel Glotz, who had produced this recording, introduced him to Mula.