Her 2016 performance in the title role of Norma at the Royal Opera House was arguably the moment when Sonya Yoncheva became an international star. Since then she’s been a regular and very welcome guest at Covent Garden, highlights of which include a wonderful reading of Mimi in La bohème in early 2020.
She’s also no stranger to the recording studio and her latest album - recorded during lockdown - spans an arc from 1600 to the present day. Composers such as Monteverdi, Cavalli and Dowland are represented and she also includes a folk song from her Bulgarian homeland, Zableyalo mi agance. And why is the album called Rebirth? It came, explains Yoncheva herself, from an urge for a "rebirth that our world desperately needs at present, something that it achieves by drawing on the very deepest recesses of the human psyche and on its origins in music and the arts".
1. Alessandro Stradella: Queste lagrime e sospiri 2. Claudio Monteverdi: O rosetta, che rosetta 3. Francesco Cavalli: E te pur vero ... Luci mie, voi che miraste 4. Orlando Gibbons: The Silver Swan 5-6. Claudio Monteverdi: Voglio di vita uscir 7. José Marín: Ojos, pues me desdenáis 8. Leonardo García Alarcón: Y a tus plantas Nisea 9. Simón Díaz: Pasaje del Olvido 10. Bulgarian Folk Song: Zableyalo mi agance 11. Francesco Cavalli: L'Egisto: Sinfonia della notte 12. Claudio Monteverdi: Oblivion soave 13. Barbara Strozzi: L'Eraclito amoroso 14. Santiago de Murcia, Diego Fernández De Huete: Tarantela española 15. Alfonso Ferrabosco II: Hear me, O God 16. John Dowland: Come again, sweet love doth now invite 17. Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco: No Hay Que Decirle El Primor 18. Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus: Like an Angel Passing Through My Room
Sonya Yoncheva (soprano) Cappella Mediterranea Leonardo García Alarcón
"… the voice of the glamorous Bulgarian Sonya Yoncheva couldn’t be warmer. … it’s hard to dislike any album that takes such delight in personal expression and makes old music sound new." The Times