Artist of the Week: Sondra Radvanovsky

Leading Soprano Makes her Roles Debut as ‘Medea’ in Metropolitan Opera Premiere

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera)
On Sept. 27, the Metropolitan Opera is set to open the new season with the company premiere of “Medea.” The opera was made famous when Maria Callas rediscovered it in the 1950s and took it to the Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House, and the Dallas Opera. She also took the story (not the opera though) to the silver screen in a film by Pasolini. It was the opera with which she gave her last Italian performances. It later served as a vehicle for such divas as Leyla Gencer, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Monserrat Caballe, Anja Silja, and Shirley Verrett, among others.

Now Sondra Radvanovsky joins the ranks of the sopranos who will take on the role.

The Canadian-American soprano will interpet the Italian version for the first time in her career. She noted the role “can be serpentine, or what we’ve been calling the Hulk, or a goddess. It’s exhausting.” She added in a recent interview with the New York Times, “I could not have thought of a better role to be singing right now than Medea. It’s the best therapy you can ask for.”

With the new role, Radvanovsky will team up with Sir. David McVicar, with whom she has worked on many Met productions including, “Il Trovatore,” the historic Tudor trilogy, “Tosca,” and “Norma.” She recently did a new production with the director in Chicago of “Macbeth” in which she made her anticipated role debut as Lady Macbeth.

“Medea” will also mark her second opening night at the Met following the 2017-18 season opener of “Norma” with OperaWire stating that “Sondra Radvanovsky soared through the treacherously difficult role, bringing pathos and beauty to every moment she spent onstage.”

For audiences not in New York for the historic debut, the opera will be Live in HD. The soprano is also headlining two productions in Zurich this season and is returning to the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Canadian Opera Company, Teatro San Carlos, and Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Recent Recordings

Radvanovsky is one of the most distinct voices of her generation so here is a look at some recent performances including “Macbeth,” “Turandot,” and a preview of “Medea.”

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