Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva performs March 24 at the Vilar | VailDaily.com

Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva performs March 24 at the Vilar

Beaver Creek venue carries on reputation as classical music destination

Special to the Daily
Sonya Yoncheva performs at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Thursday, March 24. Vail Valley Foundation/Courtesy photo

The Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek sees a variety of world-class performers grace its 535-seat theater each year, but the intimate venue in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado is garnering attention as a leader in bringing prolific classical artists to the United States. The welcoming and intimate venue has hosted legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma (2021) and his genre-defying friends of The Goat Rodeo, Irish virtuoso flute player Sir James Galway (2017), Welsh bass-baritone opera and concert singer Sir Bryn Terfel (2016), and operatic sopranos Anna Netrebko (2011) and Renee Fleming (2010).

Sonya Yoncheva – a superstar Bulgarian soprano named Female Singer of the Year – will continue the tradition of classical music virtuosos coming to Beaver Creek when she performs at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m., accompanied by Malcolm Martineau on piano. Her performance at the VPAC follows, and is bookended by, her leading role as Elisabeth de Valois at The Metropolitan Opera in New York City – Vilar and The Met being her only two stops in the United States in Winter 2022.

Yoncheva will be accompanied by Malcolm Martineau on piano.
KK Dundas/Courtesy photo

“We are so pleased to welcome Sonya Yoncheva to the Vilar Performance Arts Center this winter for our classical and opera fans of the Vail Valley and beyond. Her performance here is one of only two stages to present her in the US this season,” said VPAC Executive Director Owen Hutchinson.

With legendary Russian soprano Anna Netrebko absent from main stages around the globe, The Met included, Ms. Yoncheva of Bulgaria continues her ascent into the premier echelon of opera sopranos. Her current role at The Met features Yoncheva performing one of opera’s most notable Italian works, “Don Carlo,” in French – a first at the venue after more than 200 stagings in the venue’s history.

“Continuing the legacy of opera greats visiting the VPAC, we are honored to host arguably the most prolific opera soprano in a significant chapter of her career,” Hutchinson said. “To hear the soaring elegance and power of Yoncheva’s voice in our resonant hall will be a significant cultural moment in the history of our theater.”

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‘Enchantingly beautiful’

Yoncheva received the 2021 Opus Klassik as Female Singer of the Year at the Konzerthaus Berlin – the award ceremony of Germany’s most important classical music awards. In her home country of Bulgaria, she received the Woman of the Year award in 2021 from the lifestyle magazine Grazia. She’s been named ambassador of UNICEF Bulgaria in support of mental health for children and adolescents.

In 2021, Yoncheva was celebrated as the Roman Diva Floria Tosca at the Wiener Staatsoper for her “enchantingly beautiful” singing (Kurier), her “focused, silvery, velvety shimmering voice” (Der Neue Meker) and her embodiment of a “heroine full of feminity” (Toute la Culture).

Following a series of spectacular debuts at the world’s leading opera houses, Yoncheva has been heralded as one of the most acclaimed and exciting performers of her generation. She has become an acclaimed fixture on the most important stages of the world, including The Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Bayerische Staatsoper, Berlin State Opera, Wiener Staatsoper and the Opera de Paris.

Her unforgettable portrayals of iconic roles have received tremendous acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Of her performances in la Traviata at the Staatsoper Berlin, Die Welt proclaimed: “She is the finest Violetta since Maria Callas. The Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva is possibly the best Traviata in the world at present.”

Her extensive repertoire includes jewels of the Baroque canon as well as works by Mozart, Verdi, Tchaikovsky and Puccini. Her most current album, “Rebirth,” was released in March of 2021. In “Rebirth,” Yoncheva offers a traditional folksong from her Bulgarian homeland. “Music that moves you to tears,” writes the APA about the album; while the FAZ raved about the Bulgarian folksong “Zableyalo mi agance” being “an unforgettable experience.”

Yoncheva has been on a meteoric rise since the beginning her career. Her first occasion performing at the Met was as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto in late 2013 – after the soprano schedule to perform dropped out due to pregnancy. In the opera world, an arena where programs and casts are decided years in advance, it was the break of all breaks. More twists of fate helped propel Yoncheva to the top of the classical music scene, where she currently sits.

Cho was first brought to the world’s attention in 2015, when he won First Prize at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw. In 2016, he signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. He’s gone on to perform with prestigious orchestras including Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, Munchner Philarmoniker, Deutsches Symphonie-Orcester Berlin, Orchestre de Paris and The Philadelphia Orchestra.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit VilarPAC.org.

If you go…

What: Sonya Yoncheva in Recital

When: Thursday, March 24, 7 p.m.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek

Cost: Tickets start at $85. Student tickets are $25. This performance is part of the VPAC’s Pay Your Age offering (for ages 19-30), and there is also a buy three, get one free offer.

More information: Visit VilarPAC.org/Sonya-Yoncheva-in-Recital.


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