“A mesmerizing Yoncheva leads a stellar cast in Met’s “Norma””
Reviews are in for Sonya Yoncheva’s Norma at the Metropolitan Opera and they are rave reviews! Check out the quotes here below:
“A mesmerizing Yoncheva leads a stellar cast in Met’s “Norma”
“Sonya Yoncheva first appeared in gold as she entered the grove, exuding a mystical, other-worldly sense of serenity and glamour. Yoncheva’s Druid princess was at times almost feral with an animal-like intensity, and at others noble in bearing and voice. She could spin out musical lines effortlessly in her plush, velvety voice—and did so in Norma’s great aria, “Casta Diva”—or hurl vocal fireballs at Pollione with a vengeance. As Norma walked to her death, Yoncheva was again completely veiled, although in funereal black.”
Rick Perdian, New York Classical Review
“In the title role, Yoncheva’s portrayal was nothing short of sublime. Her Act one entrance seemed to build off all the musical and dramatic fervor of the earlier numbers as Yoncheva ascended the platform with a palpable air of awe and mystery before her powerful, unaccompanied lines drew all eyes and ears towards herself. Her following aria, “Casta Diva,” wove a truly tender invocation to peace, with her delivery and tempo carrying with ease that deftly bore Yoncheva’s sentiments across the broad, lyrical phrases. This display of Norma as a figurehead was wonderfully contrasted by her private cabaletta, “Ah! Bello a me ritorna,” where her truer feelings were shown with fatuous and accurate tones.
Yoncheva maintained a wellspring of vocal color and dramatic nuance throughout her long time onstage. Her Act two scene, where she contemplates murdering her children, saw her physically and mentally at her wit’s end, as seen from her hunched, almost-predatory bearing, and heard through her languid pianissimos and lyricism that seemed in dialogue with the unhinged woodwinds. Yoncheva’s battle of wills against Spyres in the final scene saw both actors play off each other to splendid results. Vocally, they were well-matched, and neither seemed to shy away from getting more physical. This chemistry was vital in their eventual union in death at the pyre, staged as a fatal yet redemptive wedding ceremony for the two.”
Logan Martell, OperaWire
“For Norma, you need a conductor, but you also need a Norma—and Tuesday night’s was Sonya Yoncheva, the soprano star from Bulgaria. In just about any role she assumes, she is a diva playing a diva. She is that way in Tosca (naturally). She was that way as Fedora at the Met earlier this season. She was that way in Norma two nights ago.
She was no cool Norma. She was tempestuous, a diva indeed. I even thought of a strange, contradictory phrase: “verismo bel canto.” In her singing and acting, Yoncheva was combining bel canto and verismo. To excellent effect.
The first thing Norma sings is “Casta diva,” the great aria. Yoncheva sang it adequately. She could have been more limpid, more liquid. But she was good enough. If she had sung that way all evening long, she would have been satisfactory.
Do you know it was the worst singing she did all night? And it wasn’t bad at all.
For about two hours, she put on a clinic of singing. It was secure, varied, smart, alert, beautiful, scalding—all that was necessary. I have heard many Normas more renowned than Yoncheva. More “traditional,” too. I have heard none better, in all honesty.”
Jay Nordlinger, The New Criterion
“Yoncheva’s Norma looks and feels young, with little of the imposing gravitas of a high priestess. Instead, the soprano gives us a character on the edge of collapse.(…)
… capable of releasing a plush and pliant sound that plays especially nicely with that of her co-stars… . …a final scene worthy of her character.”
Gabrielle Ferrari, Observer
“Sonya Yoncheva’s Norma shines with an intense vocal personality in a distribution that is nevertheless very homogeneous. The soprano indeed ensures the power of all her interventions, working with a mixture of tight vibrato in the upper high registers, and fuller natural vibrato, according to the intentions of the character. Sonya Yoncheva, already seen in Fedora this same season in loco, thus once again asserts herself as an operatic tragedienne. The singer invests herself physically and vocally in an intense role, infusing it with psychological relevance… . … the high notes are bright and warm. … “Casta Diva” stands out as the great musical moment that it is, the mastery unfolding with the voluntary extension of her voice, playing delicately with crystalline descents, in an out of time musical and mystical moment.”
Claire Massy-Paoli, Ôlyrix
“The artist in the title role has barely time to warm up before she gets to sing one of the greatest–and most difficult–arias in the repertory: “Casta diva,” a prayer to the moon goddess asking her for peace. There have been performances that were more buttery and legato, but certainly none more sure of itself and alert to the needs of the aria. In the long, challenging work, Yoncheva showed that she’s a singer to relish.”
Richard Sasanow, Broadwayworld