Best of 2021: OperaWire’s Top 11 Singers of 2021
Sondra Radvanovsky has made history throughout her career, most notably during the 2015-16 season when she became the first soprano at the Met to perform Donizetti’s three queens in one season. And since then she has consistently gone against expectations with repertoire choices on her way to some of the most memorable moments in recent opera history.
And a pandemic didn’t stop that from continuing in 2021.
First, Radvanovsky made her debut as Imogene in a streamed performance of “Il Pirata” from the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli before joining Piotr Beczała in the Met recital series. She then premiered a new production of “Aida” at the Paris Opera, which was streamed worldwide and garnered a massive audience. She returned to live performance in Barcelona when she sang her Tudor Concert with critics stating that she “amazed in Donizetti’s Three Final Scenes.”
In the summer, Radvanovsky returned to the Teatro Real during a production of “Tosca,” which became the talk of the opera world. During the production, the soprano encored “Vissi d’arte” in all but one performance and became the first female singer to give an encore at the Teatro Real during an opening night. She followed up that historic run at the Festival Castell de Peralada where she also performed an encore during a performance of “Tosca.” Both the Madrid and Peralada performances were recorded and broadcast worldwide.
In the fall she made her debut as Lady Macbeth, a role that she considered a dream and for which critics said she “exuded power and confidence.” The debut was streamed and recorded for audiences to see worldwide. The soprano ended her year with her return to the Metropolitan Opera, a theater she had not performed at for two years. She brought her iconic Tosca to the stage and stole the show with her “Vissi d’Arte.”
As we enter 2022, Radvanovsky will continue to add roles to her repertoire including “Turandot” and Odabella in “Attila,” which will no doubt be exciting.