Yoncheva triumphs in Callas role

The Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva received huge ovations at La Scala Friday night, reprising a role in La Pirata that was last sung there by Maria Callas 60 years ago.

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  • Thank you for the YT link. Amazing performance from Yoncheva, it is her role debut and it is unbelievable how she sings this monster piece, would be great to have the recording from a later performance.
    It seems the loggionisti loved her, she got a triumph in a bel canto opera not many sopranos would dare to sing at La Scala. A lot of boos for the baritone, conductor and stage director.

  • If all those ignorants would just stop comparing any nice voice we have got (and don’t get me wrong as am very happy we have Netrebko, Rebeka, Yoncheva etc.) with the greatest among all who was by far MARIA CALLAS. One generally shouldn’t compare but never ever with a unique artist like Callas. No one ever came even close to her and just think of her repertoire: Elvira and Brunhilde and from Kundry to Violetta – in more or less all roles (not only Norma Tosca Violetta and Lucia) she is the benchmark.

    • Another way that opera is like baseball (besides obsession with history and statistics).

      All other sports have a “greatest” (or at least candidate for the title) who is currently playing. Greatest [American] football player? Tom Brady. Greatest basketball player? LeBron James, who may not have taken the title from Michael Jordan yet, but he just might. Greatest tennis player? Federer.

      Greatest baseball player? Babe Ruth, and always will be.

    • Well, yes. But when someone like Yoncheva willfully (or not) starts coloring her voice and flapping her top in direct imitation of Callas, what is one to say? No matter and no denying: We know who is the original and who is the derivative.

  • Of course no need to compare Yoncheva with Callas after 60 years, but nobody knows this opera, only few references like Callas and Caballé therefore the comparaison is unavoidable. I find Yoncheva’s debut at the same level and the role has still room to grow. The colour of her voice unique, fantastic agility, high notes all of them beautiful with few exception at the end, (maybe tired, during the second act she sings all the time nonstop) low register beautiful and her middle is the best of all sopranos today. We have gain a new great Imogene. Let’s enjoy and leave Callas in peace.

  • The Met’s Il Pirata fifteen years ago was a rather sad affair – La Scala’s looks to have some style; the Met’s was earthbound.

    Fleming wasn’t bad, but she wasn’t good either. Her cover, Olga Makarina, however, was excellent. She ended up doing 2 or 3 full performances, due to Fleming’s illness. That was a singer who should have had a bigger career.

    Perhaps the production will be revived at the Met for Yoncheva?

    • John Copley’s production was the worst aspect of the Fleming affair, if the Met can’t afford to bring over the La Scala production, maybe Nézet-Séguin and his orchestra and chorus can walk a few blocks downtown and do a concert performance at Carnegie Hall with Yoncheva.

  • I wish the classical music cult would stop worshipping the golden performer ‘calf’ and rejoice in the core of the matter, the music, more.
    Who cares of the name of the title role is Yoncheva! What about the music?
    Sick world, particularly that classical music cult and its followers. Perverted.

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