Artist of the Week: Sonya Yoncheva One Step Closer to ‘Diva Assoluta’ with ‘Eugene Onegin’

By Francisco Salazar

It’s not easy to become an overnight success in the opera world, much less a superstar. However, Sonya Yoncheva is already being called the successor to the great divas of both the past and present.  

Over the past year Yoncheva has expanded her repertoire immensely and this week she adds the role of Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. The soprano, who also performs the role at the Paris Opera, sings her second Tchaikovsky role after delighting audiences at the Paris Opera in the title role of “Iolanta.”

Acclaimed for her intense singing, the Bulgarian soprano’s assumption of the role brings her one step closer to the “Diva Assoluta” territory.

Winner of the prestigious Operalia award and a recent winner of the Echo Klassik award, the soprano first gained recognition when she stepped in for Netrebko in the Baden Baden, the Royal Opera and Vienna State Opera’ productions of Gounod’s “Faust.” She later garnered even more recognition when she stepped in for Kristine Opolais in the role of Mimi in Puccini’s “La Boheme” at the Metropolitan Opera. From there it has been a non-stop whirlwind of high profile engagements.  

Yoncheva opened the Met’s 2015-16 season in the role of Desdemona in Verdi’s “Otello” and was the standout of the night obtaining rave reviews and standing ovations from the audience. The performances were later recorded as part of the company’s Live in HD series. The performance was subsequently released by her record label Sony Classical.

Other recent high profile engagements have included opening night at Royal Opera House in the towering role of Bellini’s “Norma” and Antonia in Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffman.” Both interpretations were brought to movie theaters in the Royal Opera’s HD series.

She also sang the Countess in  Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” in Baden Baden. The performances were also recorded on CD and the album was nominated for the Grammy. She recently sang sold out performances in the title role of Mascagni’s “Iris.”

Yoncheva is also becoming a favorite recording artist with Sony Classical as she released a critically acclaimed first album “Paris, Mon Amour” and later released Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater.” Her upcoming CD “Handel” is one of the most anticipated of 2017 and she also has a Christmas album scheduled for December.

With an impeccable technique and a melting voice, Yoncheva’s Tatiana will likely be one biggest highlights this season.


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