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“Sonya Yoncheva is an intense Norma” at the Bayerische Staatsoper

Earlier this month, Sonya Yoncheva reprised one of her signature roles, that of Bellini’s Norma at the Bayerische Staatsoper. The press response has been enthusiastic:

“Edita Gruberová is still vividly remembered by many opera-goers in Munich as having had the monopoly on Norma in this production. Sonya Yoncheva masters the title role no less excellently. With rock-solid stability in all registers, expressive phrasing and striking acting, she experiences the rollercoaster of emotions between priestly authority, passionate love, anger, despair and resignation with equal authenticity.”
Oliver Bernhardt,

With her haunting soprano, Sonya Yoncheva is an intense Norma, who is in no way vocally inferior to Tara Erraught as her rival Adalgisa, while Joseph Calleja as Pollione harmonizes perfectly with both singers with his flattering tenor.
Their arias, duets and especially the trio in the fateful jealousy scene at the end of the first act open the ears and completely block out visual components such as the stage, text and content.
Anna Schürmer, OVB Heimatzeitung

“The cast is well chosen and well put together. Sonya Yoncheva succeeds in winning over the Munich audience with her expressive acting and a memorable, colorful voice. Here stands a fighter who is at odds with fate. She is filled with raging despair and revenge, conquered by generous love. She staggers convincingly through the storm of emotions, her voice always following her. The high notes are incisive; she can also generate emotions in self-questioning recitatives and sinks darkly into the low register. The trio of the three protagonists tested by fate is dense and exciting, but this Norma holds her own against the complacent Pollione and the naive Adalgisa.”
Dr. Helmut Pitsch, Opera Online

“She displayed the full range of a great lyric tragedienne, vibrant and intense, able to convey the psychological complexity of her character with the subtle interplay of brilliant high notes, a solid, nuanced middle register and beautiful descents into the lower register.”
Luc-Henri Roger, Résonances Lyriques / Opera World

[Photo © Wilfried Hösl]