Sondra Radvanovksy is one of the great sopranos of the 21st century.
Born on April 11, 1969 in Berwyn, Illinois, she moved to Richmond, Indiana in her youth. She sang her first full-length opera at age 21 and then studied theater and voice at the University of South California and UCLA.
In 1995, she won the First Prize at the Loren L. Zachary Society Competition and Met Opera National Council Auditions; she would become a part of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Program. While she would initially get small roles with the company, she would turn into one of its leading sopranos, headlining a number of major production premieres and even opening night in 2017-18.
Other major milestones for the soprano include opening the 2010 Canadian Opera Company’s season as well as performing the rare feat of singing all three Tudor Queens at the Met in 2015-16.
She has performed all over the world, including the Royal Opera House, Paris Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and San Francisco Opera, among many others.
Radvanovsky’s career has been a fascinating one to behold with the soprano’s initial successes coming almost exclusively in the operas of Verdi. She was the reigning Elvira in “Ernani” as well as a renowned Elena in “I Vespri Siciliani.” Her work in “Il Trovatore” and “Un Ballo in Maschera” also had her as a top Verdi singer.
But she slowly took on more and more operas in the bel canto repertory, completing the rare feat of the three Tudor Queens in a single season (the first to ever do it at the Met), all while establishing herself as a reigning interpreter of “Norma.”
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Watch and Listen
Her Verdi album is beloved. Here it is for your listening pleasure.
In 2017-18, the soprano encored “La mamma morta” in Barcelona. Here is that moment.
Here is a production of “Aida” featuring the soprano in one of her famed roles.