Sonya Yoncheva: I consider myself an artist and I am just doing my job.

Due to her unforgettable portrayals of iconic roles have received tremendous acclaim from critics and audiences alike, SONYA YONCHEVA has become an acclaimed fixture on the most important stages of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Teatro alla Scala, Bayerische Staatsoper, Berlin State Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, and the Opéra de Paris. 

Sonya has a thrilling 2021/2022 season ahead of her which includes several iconic title role debuts at the world’s leading opera houses: At the Teatro alla Scala, she sings for the first time the protagonist of Ponchielli’s La Gioconda and Giordano’s Fedora, at the Staatsoper Hamburg she makes her debut as Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and at the Paris Théâtre des Champes-Élysées she performs her first Anna Bolena by Donizetti. Other appearances in 2021/2022 include Élisabeth de Valois in a new production of Don Carlos at the Metropolitan Opera, where for the first time in the theatre’s history the French version of Verdi’s masterpiece is being performed. Sonya also returns to the title roles of Tosca at the Opernhaus Zurich, of Iolanta with the Berliner Philharmoniker at the Berlin Philharmonie and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and of Norma at the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona. She also appears as Mimì in La Bohème at the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden and returns to the Teatro Real of Madrid as Stephana in Siberia. Sonya’s busy concert schedule includes a tour of her Rebirth programme which leads her to the Victoria Hall of Genève, the Palau de la Música of Barcelona, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Konzerthaus Wien and the BOZAR in Brussels. She also performs solo concert programmes at the Symfonisk Sal of Aarhus, the Greek National Opera of Athens, the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall of Budapest and the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona, where she makes her house debut. In recital, she appears at the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Salle Gaveau of Paris, the Enescu Festival of Bucharest, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Philharmonie of Berlin.

Thank you very much, dear Sonya! We are honoured to be able to talk to you for our 4th/2021 issue.

I am glad to talk to you too!

Where are you right now? Your summer will be quite intense, you’re travelling a lot!

I had a recital in Munich yesterday and right now I am in Baden Baden, because tomorrow I have rehearsals for another concert, for a Festival that takes place here. It is true, my summer will be crazy! I think that this is a post-pandemic situation – a happy one (laughs) -, when everybody’s calling last minute making invitation, which I accepted if my schedule allowed me to, but now I am quite full.

How was Siberia going? For those of us who haven’t had the chance to attend the performance or watch the live-streaming, give us a little spoiler: what’s the story about and how’s Giordano’s music in this rare piece: different or similar to what we already know, for example his Fedora, his Andrea Chénier?

Giordano himself considered this piece different from all of his other works, he said: “this is the best I can do” and this says already a lot about it. The story is a love story, of course, which involves a courtesan. As we know from the history of the opera, the courtesan usually dies in the end, because she chooses love and somehow this choice gets her condemned, as if a courtesan must remain forever a courtesan. As if she had no right to love. Depending on the tempi chose by the Meastro, Siberia lasts for 1h and 45-50 minutes and, vocally speaking, it is pretty intense. After the first aria, it goes on until the end similarly to the second act of Tosca. So yes, it is a very difficult part and yet it is not as difficult as the tenor one, which is insane. Actually, they had trouble finding a tenor that would agree to sing it. Speaking of your repertoire and exclusive titles… your repertoire is pretty wide.

Read the entire interview here, in the 5th/2021 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.


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