Sonia Prina quickly established herself as one of the leading contraltos of her generation. After graduating in singing and trumpet from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, she was admitted at the Academy of Young Singers of the Teatro alla Scala.
She made her operatic stage debut at the Scala at only 23 years old as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia conducted by Riccardo Chailly and featuring young Juan Diego Flórez as Almaviva.
Thanks to her unique voice she received international recognition and won several prizes including The Italian music critics’ Prize “Franco Abbiati” in 2006 and the “Tiberini d’Oro” Prize in 2014 both naming her “Best Singer of the Year”.
Sonia has collaborated with conductors such as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Giovanni Antonini, Harry Bicket, Fabio Biondi, Ivor Bolton, Alan Curtis, William Christie, Ottavio Dantone, Diego Fasolis, Christopher Hogwood, René Jacobs, Paul McCreesh, Marc Minkowski, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Patrick Summers, Jordi Savall, to name just a few, and appeared in productions of Robert Carsen, David McVicar, Pier Luigi Pizzi, John Copley, Damiano Michieletto and David Alden.
Career highlights include the title roles in Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba (Salzburg Festival) and in Gluck’s Ezio (Frankfurt Opera). She was Clarice in Rossini’s Pietra del paragone (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris) and Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri (Teatro Regio, Turin). She performed La Resurrezione with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Emmanuelle Haïm, Mozart’s Requiem with Antonio Pappano at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms.
Particularly fond of Handel, she sang the title roles in Giulio Cesare (Paris, Dresden, Turin), Orlando (Sydney, Paris, Dresden), Tamerlano (Munich), Amadigi (Naples), Rinaldo (Zurich, Milan, Glyndebourne), Silla (Rome, Bucharest). She also performed as Bradamante in Alcina (Paris, Vienna, Munich, Hamburg, Bordeaux), Polinesso in Ariodante (Aix-en-Provence, Barcelona, San Francisco), Bertarido in Rodelinda (London, Vienna), Goffredo in Rinaldo (Chicago), Amastre in Serse (San Francisco, Houston), Galatea in Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (Brussels, Bucharest, London). She sang Handel’s Messiah at the Musikverein Vienna under the baton of Erwin Ortner and at the Paris Philharmonie under Hervé Niquet.
Sonia’s repertoire comprises the Monteverdi Trilogy in which she appears as Ottone in L’Incoronazione di Poppea with Rinaldo Alessandrini, Penelope in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria with Ottavio Dantone, Messaggera and Speranza in L’Orfeo with William Christie at the Teatro Real in Madrid.
Other Baroque highlights are Vivaldi’s Farnace (Madrid) and Teuzzone (Liceu, Barcelona) with Jordi Savall, Juditha Triumphans with Jean-Christophe Spinosi (Paris Théâtre des Champs-Elysées), Scarlatti’s Vergine addolorata under Fabio Biondi (Staatsoper Berlin), Hasse’s Semele with Claudio Osele (Theater an der Wien).
In addition to the Baroque period, Sonia Prina has distinguished herself in Romantic and post-Romantic repertoire. She sang Mistress Quickly in Falstaff with conductors Donato Renzetti and Riccardo Frizza (Berlin, Parma, Turin); Smeton in Anna Bolena (Barcelona) alongside Edita Gruberová and Elina Garanca; La Maman, La Tasse chinoise, La Libellule in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (Palermo and Naples); Federica in Luisa Miller (Barcelona).
In 2017/2018, she was artist-in-residence at London Wigmore Hall where she has been re-invited year after year since 2012. She gives recitals in major cities throughout Europe, South America and Japan with orchestras such as the Venice Baroque Orchestra, Il Giardino Armonico, Accademia Bizantina, Le Concert d’Astrée, Europa Galante, Kammerorchester Basel, Ensemble Matheus.
Her vast discography includes several works by Handel – Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, La Resurrezione (Virgin,) Lotario (DHM), Rodelinda (Deutsche Grammophon), Ezio (Erato) – and by Vivaldi: La Senna festeggiante, L’Olimpiade, the title role in Ottone in villa and the solo album “Arie Ritrovate” (Naïve). Sonia also recorded Monteverdi’s Orfeo (Erato) and the title role in Gluck’s Ezio. She appears in the following DVDs: Ascanio in Alba (Deutsche Grammophon) and Rinaldo (Opus Arte) in which she sings the title roles, as well as La Pietra del paragone (Naïve). For the label Glossa, Sonia released Handel’s Catone and Silla (title role), as well as the solo album “Heroes in Love” dedicated to Gluck which includes some world premiere recordings.
Among her recent and future engagements are the title role in Vivaldi’s Ottone in villa with Diego Fasolis at La Fenice, Giove in Hasse’s Semele under Claudio Osele at the Easter Festival Musikkultur Rheinsberg and Enrico in Rossini’s Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. Under the guidance of Zubin Mehta, Sonia Prina appears in the world premiere of Chansons populaires pour voix et petit ensemble by contemporary French composer Marc-André Dalbavie at the Florence Opera.