Sondra Radvanovsky Profile Photo

Sondra Radvanovsky

Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky is a globally celebrated artist. The depth and exquisite color of her voice are matched by her dramatic acting ability and versatility across a remarkable range of repertoire, from the title roles in Rusalka and Lucrezia Borgia, to Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac and the title role in Manon Lescaut. She is widely regarded as one of the premiere Verdi sopranos alive today, as well as one of the premiere interpreters of bel canto.

Latest News:

  • 23.03.2016 - Sondra Radvanovsky - interview feature in The Guardian

  • Enjoy Sondra's recent interview via The Guardian, titled: Sondra Radvanovsky: 'Singing bel canto means living like a nun'


    t one high-stakes moment during the the third act of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, Queen Elizabeth I sings a passage that the New York Metropolitan Opera’s English supertitle system translates like so: “I am talking. Listen to me.” Though because Sondra Radvanovsky is the soprano who happens to be singing the role, this spring, the textual meaning of the line has a superfluous feel. When Radvanovsky is on the house’s stage, paying attention to anything else seems like the wrong call.

    Already, this season, she has turned in memorable performances – as a singer and as an actor – in Donizetti’s two other, so-called “Tudor Queen” operas (specifically, the title roles in Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda). For director David McVicar’s new-production run of Devereux, which opens on Thursday night, she will be completing a single-season programming feat first made famous by Beverly Sills. Radvanovsky is upfront about the fact that Donizetti didn’t conceive of these operas as a formal trilogy. But putting them on in the same year is a delight for bel canto fans. And given the power of Radvanovsky’s voice, her performances offer an invaluable chance to hear these operas with fresh ears.

    After an impressive final dress rehearsal on Monday morning, I sit outside the singer’s dressing room as makeup artists peel away the layers of stark-white pallor that she is using in her portrayal of a late-in-life Virgin Queen. At one point, Plácido Domingo glides past with such suavity, I barely register that he is cutting the line entirely. (It’s cool; he’s earned it.)

    When I have my audience, I ask how it feels to be nearing the completion of a run that poses some taxing dangers for a soprano’s voice. “It’s been exhausting, I’m not going to lie to you,” she says. “They’re not easy operas. Singing bel canto is like walking on a tightrope – especially with a larger voice, like mine. So, it’s constantly living like a nun: not going out, not talking a lot.” After knocking the wood of the piano bench in her dressing room, she adds: “I don’t want to cancel a show, because people have paid to come hear me sing the three queens. So … I wash my hands constantly; they’re raw from washing. I’m going to the gym and really taking care of myself and trying to stay fit, eating properly. Anything I can do.”

    « return