Columns linked to Sonya Yoncheva

Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Jacques Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann is based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann, with the French libretto having been written by Jules Barbier. It premiered at the Théâtre National de l'Opéra-Comique in Paris on 10 February 1881 in a three-act version (with prologue and epilogue), but Offenbach never got to see the full version performed having died four months earlier. It had, however, been presented in an abridged form at the...


Sonya Yoncheva is Norma at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

In 1898 Giuseppe Verdi described Vincenzo Bellini as being ‘rich in feeling and in an individual melancholy of his own’. The associated musical traits can be found in abundance in Norma of 1831, with academic David Kimbell suggesting that the composer’s most astonishing achievement in the opera was ‘amid all the more obvious excitements of musical Romanticism, to have asserted his belief that the true magic of opera depended on a kind of incantation in which...


Željko Lučić and Sonya Yoncheva: Otello at the Metropolitan Opera

Thibault Courtois

Opening Night at the Met is like no other night. It is that night when the show is as much on stage as it is in the audience, when the most classical tuxedos leave space to the craziest, fanciest and brightest gowns. Opera aficionados are happy to see each other and are catching up like school kids after a summer vacation while more “notable” New Yorkers slowly and strategically walk the red carpet so it does not look like they are holding up before they get in front of the...


La Traviata with Sonya Yoncheva - Met Opera (jan. 2015)

Thibault Courtois

            Willy Decker’s Traviata premiered in Salzburg in 2005 with Rolando Villazón and Anna Netrebko. It had already generated huge DVD sales and had become one of the most iconic contemporary productions across the opera world when Peter Gelb picked it up in 2010 for the Metropolitan Opera, consequently getting rid of the cherished but aging 1996 Franco Zeffirelli’s production. Needless to say, even though New...


Sonya Yoncheva in the Met’s ‘La Bohème’

Thibault Courtois

You could sense fear in the audience when Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera showed up on the stage with a microphone when everyone was expecting Ricardo Frizza to appear in the pit. Gelb had bad news and good news, as he said. Ramon Vargas had cancelled last minute but fortunately, the Met was able to fly in Bryan Hymel from Chicago earlier the same day. Gelb also announced that Sonya Yoncheva, the lead soprano, had a new born five weeks ago (general “awwww”...


Berlioz's Les Troyens triumph at La Scala

La Rédaction

Milan’s Teatro alla Scala was one of the first theatres to take on the arduous task of staging Les Troyens, at a time when Berlioz’s work was a matter of complete indifference to the public.In an epoch-making Italian edition, Giulietta Simionato amd Mario Del Monaco were able to restore their full dimension to the principal roles, thanks in part to the presence of Rafael Kubelik at the rostrum.Leaving it up to the English to go back to the original version some...