Sonya Yoncheva

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Sonya Yoncheva
Native name
Соня Йончева
Born (1981-12-25) 25 December 1981 (age 37)
Alma materConservatoire de Musique de Genève
OccupationOpera singer (soprano)
Spouse(s)Domingo Hindoyan

Sonya Yoncheva (Bulgarian: Соня Йончева; born 25 December 1981) is a Bulgarian operatic soprano.

Early life[edit]

Born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Yoncheva did not have a conventional childhood. Since the age of 6, she was already "working", according to her own words from an interview for Metropolis.[1] She studied piano and voice at the National School for Music and Dance in Plovdiv. During her teenage years, she hosted a Bulgarian television show about music.[2] She won several music competitions in Bulgaria in 2000 and 2001, including a joint win with her brother as "Singers of the Year 2000" in the "Hit-1" competition organised and produced by Bulgarian National Television.

In 2009, she obtained her master's degree in classical singing from the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève, where her teachers included the opera singer Danielle Borst.[3]


Yoncheva was an invited participant in William Christie's "Jardin des Voix" academy for young singers in 2007.[4] She has continued work in the baroque repertoire with Christie, and also with Emmanuelle Haïm.

Yoncheva was the female first-place winner of the 2010 Operalia competition.[5] Her debut at the Metropolitan Opera was in November 2013 when she stepped in as Gilda in Rigoletto, in advance of her previously scheduled official debut.[6] In 2014 at the Met, she sang her stage role debut as Mimì (La bohème) in November and shared the role of Violetta (La traviata) in December.[7] In 2015 she appeared as Desdemona in the season opening production of Otello the Metropolitan Opera[8] and in September 2016 she made her debut as Norma at the Royal Opera House, where she sang Antonia in Les contes d'Hoffmann in October of the same year.[9]

In June 2017 she made her debut at the Teatro alla Scala as Mimì in La bohème.[10] She made her role debut in the title role of Puccini's Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera for their 2017/18 season to great critical acclaim. Yoncheva set a record as first singer to appear in leading roles in three movie-theater broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera in one season (Tosca, Mimi in La bohème and Luisa Miller in the 2017/18 season).[9][11] Other role debuts in the 2017/18 season include Luisa Miller at the Metropolitan Opera and Élisabeth de Valois in Don Carlos at the Paris Opera. For her role debut as Imogene in Vincenzo Bellini's Il pirata at the Teatro alla Scala in June 2018, the first production of the piece after a legendary 1958 staging with Maria Callas as Imogene the press proclaimed that her performance would "surely see Yoncheva enter La Scala's hall of fame alongside Callas".[10][12] In summer 2018 Yoncheva sang the role of Poppea in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at the Salzburg Festival.

Yoncheva began the 2018/19 season performing the title role of Médée in a staging at Staatsoper Berlin conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Other performances in 2018/19 include Desdemona in Verdi's Otello and the title part of Iolanta at the Metropolitan Opera, Desdemona in a new production for Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Tosca at Staatsoper Berlin and Paris Opera, Norma at the Bavarian State Opera, La traviata at Teatro alla Scala and Médée at the Salzburg Festival.[13]

Yoncheva is a Rolex artist[14] and was named's 2017 Artist of the Year.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Yoncheva and her husband Domingo Hindoyan, a Venezuelan conductor, live in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. The couple have a son, Mateo, born 6 October 2014.[2] Her younger brother Marin Yonchev is a former rock singer and is now appearing in operatic concerts alongside Yoncheva.[9][16]


Yoncheva is featured on commercial recordings on the Virgin Classics label.[17] She also appears in commercial DVD releases of Claudio Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria[18][19], and of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's Il Flaminio. Additionally, she is featured on Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater" and Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro" on Deutsche Grammophon.[20] In November 2013, she signed a recording contract with Sony Classical[4] and has released several solo CDs including:[20]


  1. ^ Martina Müller (2016-01-11). "Die bulgarische Sopranistin Sonya Yoncheva". Metropolis (in German). Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  2. ^ a b Michael Cooper (2014-11-27). "A Last-Minute Sensation". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-26.
  3. ^ Naxos Records. "Danielle Borst". Naxos Records. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  4. ^ a b Martin Cullingford (2013-11-15). "Soprano Sonya Yoncheva signs to Sony Classical". Gramophone. Retrieved 2014-12-26.
  5. ^ "Bulgarian soprano and Romanian tenor triumph in Operalia". Gramophone. 2010-05-04. Retrieved 2014-12-26.
  6. ^ Anthony Tommasini (2013-12-07). "Musical Chairs at the Met". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-26.
  7. ^ "Sonya Yoncheva, soprano". Operabase. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  8. ^ F. Paul Driscoll (December 2015). "Otello – 21 September 2015 review". Opera News. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Sonya Yoncheva / Calendar". Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Interview Sonya Yoncheva / La Stampa". Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Sonya Yoncheva Met Tosca". Opera News. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  12. ^ "Review Il pirata Teatro alla Scala 2018 / Bachtrack". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  13. ^ Website Sonya Yoncheva, retrieved 2018-12-23
  14. ^ "Rolex and Sonya Yoncheva". Rolex. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  15. ^ [@medicitv] (11 April 2017). "One week to go before the Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva's first concert as artist of the year!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  16. ^ "Sonya Yoncheva Verdi Concert Berlin". Eventim. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  17. ^ Nicholas Kenyon (2012-04-21). "Rameau, Lully, Purcell, Handel: Une fête Baroque! – review". The Observer. Retrieved 2014-12-26.
  18. ^ Irurzun, José M (21 April 2009). "Review of DVD of Monteverdi, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria". Seen and Heard International.
  19. ^ Pryer, Anthony (20 January 2012). "Review of DVD of Monteverdi: Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria". BBC Music Magazine.
  20. ^ a b "Sonya Yoncheva - Recordings". Retrieved 11 January 2018.

External links[edit]