Star soprano Sonya Yoncheva in a grand opera gala

Gala evening on July 24 accompanied by the Würth Philharmoniker under Domingo Hindoyan

Photo that shows 2021 05 23 Sonya Yoncheva5293 C Victor Santiago. © Victor Santiago
© Victor Santiago

Internationally celebrated opera singer Sonya Yoncheva will be devoting herself to the composers Verdi, Mascagni, and Puccini in a gala concert on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 8 pm in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. She will be accompanied by the Würth Philharmoniker under the direction of Domingo Hindoyan.

1000 guests will be able to participate in the third stage of a Baden-Württemberg model project in the Festspielhaus, and around 400 seats are also available free of charge in front of two specially constructed large screens in the Kurpark Baden-Baden (in front of the Kurhaus). The Festspielhaus Baden-Baden is thus holding fast to its plans of offering a large-scale classical music viewing experience in Baden-Baden once a year from now on. EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG is the partner for the project.


Big sound from the late nineteenth century

In the late nineteenth century, everything got bigger, from the orchestras to the voices. The romantic ideal of creating an overwhelming experience as well as modern instrumental techniques had a direct influence on singing technique. Coloratura was reduced in favor of the beautiful line that was meant to rise above the orchestra. The ideal of the “big voice” emerged, an ideal to which we owe the most beautiful opera arias today: melodies by Verdi, Mascagni, Dvořák, and Puccini which Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva will be presenting.

Desdemona at the Easter Festival

A truly “big voice,” at home in all the world’s great opera houses and also on the Festspielhaus stage, Sonya Yoncheva thrilled the Baden-Baden audience with Verdi in June 2018, and she has also been seen in the Festspielhaus as a passionate singer-performer, including in her debut here in 2014 as Marguerite in Gounod's Faust and in 2015 in The Marriage of Figaro. Her Desdemona in Verdi's Otello at the 2019 Easter Festival was unforgettable. Her international opera appearances from Milan to New York are among the highlights of the musical year. On ZDF, Yoncheva was admired in the Christmas concert from the Dresden Frauenkirche and as Violetta Valéry in La traviata.

From Aida to Il trovatore

On July 24, guests will experience passionate feelings, dramatic destinies, and moving emotions clothed in unforgettable melodies.

The evening in the Festspielhaus will open with Guiseppe Verdi. The Grand March from Aida will be followed by the aria “Ritorna vincitor!” – “Return a conqueror!” – with its heroic passion, plunging soon afterward into the magic of the imploring song that is guaranteed to get under your skin.

Singing the role of Leonora from the opera Il trovatore, Yoncheva, filled with rapturous feelings, confesses in “Tacea la notte placida” about her finally hearing her lover sing under her window again at night: “Sweet and sad were heard the sounds of a lute, and a troubadour sang some melancholy verses … and in them was repeated a name, my name!”

From Verdi's compatriot Pietro Mascagni, the intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria rusticana and the poignant “Ave Maria” will be heard.

What would such a gala be without Giacomo Puccini? Arias from La bohème and Madama Butterfly invite us to revel in the glorious music. The “Witches’ Dance” from Puccini's Le Villi, known to many as the ballet Giselle, brings the emotions to a boil and, with its musical power, forces Roberto, the opera’s main character, to dance himself to death in a kind of tarantella.

The evening's artists will then transport us to another world with musical impressions by Antonin Dvořák, featuring his Slavonic Dances and the “Song to the Moon” from the opera Rusalka. In the latter piece, some of the most imaginative and melodically inventive music of the nineteenth century envelops the nymph, unhappily in love, in enchanting orchestral sounds – transparent and yet incredibly poignant.

Sonya Yoncheva will offer a foretaste of her appearance at the 2022 Easter Festival with an aria from Tchaikovsky's Iolanta. Yoncheva will sing the entire opera in a concert-version performance with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Kirill Petrenko on Easter Monday 2022.

Photo that shows 2021 05 23 Sonya Yoncheva4648 C Victor Santiago.
Sat 24.07.21 Sonya Yoncheva

Domingo Hindoyan, conductor and Würth Philharmoniker

Updated: 7/16/2021