Of her Metropolitan Opera debut as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto in 2013, the New York Times wrote: “… [Sonya Yoncheva] brought lovely stage presence and a sumptuous, penetrating voice to her performance. (…) Ms. Yoncheva has such vocal glamour that, almost without trying, she tapped all the teeming emotion and sensual yearning that swirl just below Gilda’s demure outer nature (…).” The soprano’s wide-ranging repertoire includes Baroque as well as Mozart, Verdi and Puccini and she has rapidly become a permanent fixture on the most important stages of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, the Berlin and Vienna Staatsoper and the Opéra de Paris. Celebrated for her singularly beautiful voice and powerful dramatic style, Sonya Yoncheva is equally at home on the concert and recital stage.
Highlights of the past seasons
Highlights of the past seasons include her Metropolitan Opera debut as Gilda in Rigoletto, performances of Violetta in La traviata at the Staatsoper Berlin, the Palau de les Arts Valencia, Monte Carlo and the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich; Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust at the Staatsoper Vienna, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden; Léïla (Les Pêcheurs de perles) for the Opéra Comique Paris, and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor for Paris Opéra.
Sonya Yoncheva was a member of William Christie’s Le Jardin des Voix and has maintained a special focus on Early and Baroque repertory, her engagements including Phani/Zima (Les Indes galantes) and Dido (Dido and Aeneas) on tour with William Christie in Europe, Russia and the US, La Fortuna (L’incoronazione di Poppea) at the Glyndebourne Festival, Giunone (Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria) at the Teatro Real, Madrid, Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare) in Reims and Versailles, and Poppea (L’incoronazione di Poppea) and Poppea (Agrippina) in Lille and Dijon with conductor Emmanuelle Haim.
Personal data, education, prizes
Born in 1981 in Bulgaria, Sonya Yoncheva graduated in piano and voice in her hometown Plovdiv in the class of Nelly Koitcheva and obtained her master’s degree in classical singing at the Conservatory of Geneva in the class of Mrs Danielle Borst. Sonya Yoncheva is the winner of several renowned competitions. In 2010, she won Plácido Domingo’s famous “Operalia”-competition and received the Special Prize CulturArte The soprano was also awarded with the Special Prize of Les Amis du Festival for her performance of Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at the Academy of Aix en Provence Festival in 2007, as well as with several scholarships provided by Swiss Foundations such as “Mosetti” and “Hablitzel”. Sonya Yoncheva also is a first prize winner of numerous competitions in her home country Bulgaria: “Competition for German and Austrian classical Music” in 2001, “Competition for Bulgarian classical music” in 2000 and “Young Talents” in 2000. Sonya Yoncheva and her brother Marin Yonchev became the Singers of the Year in the 2000 edition of the competition “Hit-1”, produced by the Bulgarian National Television. Sonya Yoncheva has collaborated with artists such as Sting and Elvis Costello and retains a keen interest in film music, working in particular with famed composer Vladimir Cosma.
Sonya Yoncheva records exclusively for Sony Classical, her debut recording is slated for release in early 2015. She is a Rolex Ambassador.