Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Birthday: Alexandrina Pendatchanska

"È strano…Ah, fors'è lui…Sempre libera"
La Traviata (Verdi)
[Live recording from 1987]
Soprano Alexandrina Pendatchanska was born September 24, 1970 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her grandfather, Sasha Popov, was a violinist and conductor and the founder of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and her mother, Valerie Popova, was an internationally acclaimed soprano who sung regularly at La Scala in Milan from 1983 to 1986. Pendatchanska studied piano from early childhood and graduated from Bulgaria's National School of Music, where she studied piano and singing. Her mother was her voice teacher. She made her professional debut at age 17 in the role of Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata. Two years later she won the Antonín Dvořák Competition in Karlovy Vary. In 1988 she placed second in the International Vocal Competition in Bilbao and went on to win the 1989 UNISA singing competition in Pretoria. Her first international engagement took place in Bilbao, Spain, where she sang the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. Since that career launch in 1989, she

"Esprits de l'air, esprits de l'onde"
Esclarmonde (Massenet)
[Live recording from 1992]
has sung in some of the world's greatest theaters including Teatro dell 'Opera di Roma, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro Verdi Trieste, Monte Carlo Opera, Houston Grand Opera, the Bregenz Festival, Washington Opera, Hamburgische State Opera, Santa Fe Opera and the Rossini Festival in Pesaro. One of her greatest feats came in November 1992 when she performed the title role in Massenet's Esclarmonde at the Teatro Regio in Turin when she was 22 years old. The role's originator, Sybil Sanderson, was 24 when she created the infamously difficult role. Pendatchanska took on such diverse in her early career as Königin der Nacht in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (Cape Town), Ophelia in Thomas's Hamlet (Monte Carlo, Vienna), Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto (Cardiff, Monte Carlo), Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma (Rome) and Elena in Rossini's La Donna del Lago (New York). From 1997-2001, she sang the roles of

"Essa corre al trionfo!" Ermione (Rossini)
Elisabetta in Donizetti's Roberto Devereux, Lucrezia Contarini in Verdi's I due Foscari, Adina in Donizetti's L'elisir d'Amore, Alaide in Bellini's La Straniera, Madama Cortese in Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims and the title roles of Puccini's Suor Angelica, Rossini's Ermione, Verdi's Luisa Miller. Her current repertoire includes the roles of Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Elisabetta in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, Vitellia in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito and the title roles of Rossini's Semiramide and Händel's Agrippina. Her orchestral engagements include Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, L'Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI, Philadelphia Orchestra, L'Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Solisti Veneti, the Russian National Orchestra, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of the ORF, Vienna Symphony Orchestra and L'Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa

"A vos jeux, mes amis" Hamlet (Thomas)
Cecilia, in works such as Verdi's Requiem, Rossini's Stabat Mater and Honegger's Le Roi David, working with such esteemed conductors as Myun-Whun Chung, Charles Dutoit, Eliahu Inbal, Jesús López-Cobos, Nello Santi, Bruno Bartoletti, Maurizio Benini, Bruno Campanella, Daniel Oren, Evelino Pidò, Vladimir Spivakov and René Jacobs. Highlights of recent seasons include the New Year's concert with the Russian National Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Spivakov in Moscow; her debut in Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées where she sang Stonatrilla in Gassmann's L'Opera Seria conducted by René Jacobs; Rossini's Ermione at the New York City Opera; Giulio Cesare at the Innsbruck Festival; Vivaldi's La Fida Ninfa with the Ensemble Matheus at the Festival d'Ambronay; Don Giovanni in Toulouse; Semiramide and Don Giovanni at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, the Innsbruck Festival Weeks and the Festival in Baden-Baden; Luisa Miller at the German Opera Berlin; a new production of Il Turco in Italia at the Bavarian State Opera; La Clemenza di Tito in Bari, Lyon and at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Other recent performances include the Petite Messe Solennelle under the baton of

"Forse un destin che intendere"
Parisina d'Este (Donizetti)
Riccardo Chailly in Leipzig and London; Orlando Paladino at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin and at the Innsbruck Festival with René Jacobs; new productions of Idomeneo at the Théâtre de La Monnaie in Brussels, Maria Stuarda in Toronto and La Finta Giardiniera at the Theater an der Wien. Her discography includes Glinka's A Life for the Tzar (Sony), Rachmaninov's The Bells (Decca), Donizetti's Parisina d'Este (Dynamics), Sartorio's Giulio Cesare in Egitto (ORF), Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, Don Giovanni and Idomeneo with René Jacobs (Harmonia Mundi), an album of Verdi duets with Nicola Ghiuselev and Vladimir Stoyanov (Gega) and two solo recordings titled Opera Arias (Capriccio) and Genuine (Integral Classic). Her performances in Roberto Devereux and I due Foscari are available on DVD. [Source, Source]

Bonus: 20-year old Alexandrina Pendatchanska singing "O zittre nicht" from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte: