Sonya Yoncheva
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Sonya Yoncheva
Sonya Yoncheva
? ?
Born (1981-12-25) 25 December 1981 (age 38)
Alma materConservatoire de Musique de Genève
OccupationOpera singer (soprano)
Years active2007-present
Domingo Hindoyan (m. 2014)
RelativesMarin Yonchev (younger brother)

Sonya Yoncheva (Bulgarian: ? ?; born 25 December 1981) is a Bulgarian operatic soprano.

Early life

Yoncheva was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. From the age of 6, she was "working", according to her own words from an interview for Metropolis.[1] She studied piano and voice at the National School for Music and Dance in Plovdiv. During her teenage years, she hosted a Bulgarian television show about music.[2] She won several music competitions in Bulgaria in 2000 and 2001, including a joint win with her brother as "Singers of the Year 2000" in the "Hit-1" competition organised and produced by Bulgarian National Television.

She took advanced studies in classical singing with Danielle Borst at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève and obtained the master's degree in 2009.[3]


Yoncheva was an invited participant in William Christie's "Jardin des Voix" academy for young singers in 2007.[4] She has continued work in the baroque repertoire with Christie, and also with Emmanuelle Haïm.

Yoncheva was the female first-place winner of the 2010 Operalia competition.[5] In May 2011, she portrayed Cleopatra in a co-production of Giulio Cesare by the Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing [fr] and Opéra de Reims [fr],[6] performances of which also took place at the Royal Opera of Versailles.[7] In June she performed in L'elisir d'amore as Adina as part of Festival Nuits Musicales Sainte Victoire in Peynier.[8][9]

Her debut at the Metropolitan Opera was in November 2013 when she stepped in as Gilda in Rigoletto, in advance of her previously scheduled official debut.[10] In 2014 at the Met, she sang her stage role debut as Mimì (La bohème) in November and shared the role of Violetta (La traviata) in December.[11] In 2015 she appeared as Desdemona in the season opening production of Otello the Metropolitan Opera[12] and in September 2016 she made her debut as Norma at the Royal Opera House, where she sang Antonia in Les contes d'Hoffmann in November of the same year.[13]

In June 2017 she made her debut at the Teatro alla Scala as Mimì in La bohème.[14] She made her role debut in the title role of Puccini's Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera for their 2017/18 season to great critical acclaim. Yoncheva set a record as first singer to appear in leading roles in three movie-theater broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera in one season (Tosca, Mimi in La bohème and Luisa Miller in the 2017/18 season).[15][16] Other role debuts in the 2017/18 season include Luisa Miller at the Metropolitan Opera and Élisabeth de Valois in Don Carlos at the Paris Opera. For her role debut as Imogene in Bellini's Il pirata at the Teatro alla Scala in June 2018, the first production of the piece after a legendary 1958 staging with Maria Callas as Imogene the press proclaimed that her performance would "surely see Yoncheva enter La Scala's hall of fame alongside Callas".[14][17] In summer 2018 Yoncheva sang the role of Poppea in L'incoronazione di Poppea at the Salzburg Festival.

Yoncheva began the 2018/19 season performing the title role of Médée in a staging at Staatsoper Berlin conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Other performances in 2018/19 included Desdemona in Verdi's Otello and the title part of Iolanta at the Metropolitan Opera, Desdemona in a new production for Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall as well as Tosca at Staatsoper Berlin.

In Spring 2019, Sonya Yoncheva announced to be expecting her second child in Fall.[18] Therefore, the soprano doesn't perform from mid July to November 2019, before returning to the stage for Puccini Gala Concerts at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, and in Sofia. In the 2019/20 season, she will also make her role debuts as Fedora in a new production at the Teatro alla Scala and as Manon Lescaut at the Metropolitan Opera, and will return as Tosca to the Wiener Staatsoper and Bayerische Staatsoper, as title role in Médée to the Staatsoper Berlin, as Mimì to the London Royal Opera House and as Imogene in Il pirata to the Teatro Real in Madrid.[19]

Yoncheva is a Rolex artist[20] and was named's 2017 Artist of the Year.[21] She is also the winner of the 2019 Readers Award of the International Opera Awards.[22]

Personal life

Yoncheva married Venezuelan conductor Domingo Hindoyan in July 2014,[23] and lives together in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. The couple have a son, Mateo, born 6 October 2014.[2] In October 2019, their daughter Sophia was born. [15][24] Her younger brother Marin Yonchev is a former rock singer and is now appearing in operatic concerts alongside Yoncheva.[15][25]


Yoncheva is featured on commercial recordings on the Virgin Classics label.[26] She also appears in commercial DVD releases of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria[27][28], and of Pergolesi's Il Flaminio. Additionally, she is featured on Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater" and Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro" on Deutsche Grammophon.[29] In November 2013, she signed a recording contract with Sony Classical[4] and has released several solo CDs including:[29]


  1. ^ Martina Müller (2016-01-11). "Die bulgarische Sopranistin Sonya Yoncheva". Metropolis (in German). Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b Michael Cooper (2014-11-27). "A Last-Minute Sensation". The New York Times. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Sonya Yoncheva". Schmopera. Retrieved .
  4. ^ a b Martin Cullingford (2013-11-15). "Soprano Sonya Yoncheva signs to Sony Classical". Gramophone. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Bulgarian soprano and Romanian tenor triumph in Operalia". Gramophone. 2010-05-04. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "Jules César en Egypte" (PDF). Retrieved .
  7. ^ Langlois, Frank (2011-05-22). "Christophe Dumaux, nouveau Jules César". ResMusica (Review).
  8. ^ "Les Nuits Musicales Sainte Victoire - 6ème édition 2011". (in French). 2011-04-04. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Borodine, Clémence (2011-06-26). "« Elixir d'amour » enchanteur des spectateurs". RMTnews International (in French). Retrieved .
  10. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (2013-12-07). "Musical Chairs at the Met". The New York Times. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Sonya Yoncheva, soprano". Operabase. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ F. Paul Driscoll (December 2015). "Otello - 21 September 2015 review". Opera News. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ Valencia, Mark (2016-11-08). "Review: Les Contes d'Hoffmann (Royal Opera House)".
  14. ^ a b Mattioli, Alberto (2017-06-14). "Cantare Bohème alla Scala non è roba vecchia, è storia". La Stampa. Retrieved .
  15. ^ a b c "Sonya Yoncheva / Calendar". Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ "Sonya Yoncheva to Replace Kristine Opolais in Premiere Performances of Metropolitan Opera's New Tosca". Opera News. 2017-06-16. Retrieved .
  17. ^ Imam, James (2018-07-02). "Sonya Yoncheva triumphs in Il pirata at La Scala". Bachtrack.
  18. ^ "Sonya Yoncheva Cancels Forthcoming Stage Performances Due to Second Pregnancy". Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ Website Sonya Yoncheva, retrieved
  20. ^ "Rolex and Sonya Yoncheva". Rolex. Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ [@medicitv] (11 April 2017). "One week to go before the Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva's first concert as artist of the year!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  22. ^ International Opera Awards 2019 - The Winners!, retrieved
  23. ^ "Already ten days since we have celebrated our marriage...". 2014-08-04.
  24. ^ "Carnet rose : Sonya Yoncheva de nouveau Maman". Forumopéra. Retrieved .
  25. ^ "Sonya Yoncheva Verdi Concert Berlin". Eventim. Retrieved .
  26. ^ Nicholas Kenyon (2012-04-21). "Rameau, Lully, Purcell, Handel: Une fête Baroque! - review". The Observer. Retrieved .
  27. ^ Irurzun, José M (21 April 2009). "Review of DVD of Monteverdi, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria". Seen and Heard International.
  28. ^ Pryer, Anthony (20 January 2012). "Review of DVD of Monteverdi: Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria". BBC Music Magazine.
  29. ^ a b "Sonya Yoncheva - Recordings". Retrieved 2018.

External links

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