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 and David Alden.
Career highlights include the title roles in Handel’s Rinaldo (La Scala Milan, Zurich Opera and Glyndebourne Festival), in Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba (Salzburg Festival) and in Gluck’s Ezio (Frankfurt Opera). She was Clarice in Rossini’s La Pietra del Paragone (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris), Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri (Teatro Regio, Turin) and she recently performed La Resurrezione with the Berliner Philharmoniker.
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 D. Renzetti and R. Frizza (Berlin, Parma, Turin), Smeton in Anna Bolena (Barcelona) with Editha Gruberova and Elina Garanca, and La Maman, La Tasse chinoise, La Libellule in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (Palermo and Naples), Federica in Luisa Miller and Beethoven’s 9thSymphony at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms.
Particularly fond of Handel, she has sung the title roles of Giulio Cesare (Paris, Dresden, Turin), Orlando (Sydney, Paris, Dresden), Tamerlano (Munich), Amadigi (Naples), Rinaldo (Zurich, Milan and Glyndebourne), Silla (Rome). She also performed as Bradamante in Alcina (Paris), Polinesso in Ariodante (Aix-en-Provence, Barcelona and San Francisco), Bertarido in Rodelinda (London and Vienna), Goffredo in Rinaldo (Chicago), Amastre in Serse (San Francisco and Houston) Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (Brussels).
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 Orfeo with William Christie at the Teatro Real in Madrid.
With Jordi Savall she performed Vivaldi’s Farnace (Madrid) and Teuzzone (Liceu, Barcelona).
In 2017/18 she was artist-in-residence at Wigmore Hall, London 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.
Sonia Prina regularly returns to La Scala in Milan, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Opéra National de Paris, Teatro Real in Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Sydney Opera House, Barbican Centre in London, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Salzburg Festival, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Zurich Opera.
She was invited to sing Vivaldi’s Magnificat at the Vatican under the baton of Zhang Xian for Pope Benedict XVI and Giorgio Napolitano, the former President of the Italian Republic.
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: 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 di Paragone (Naïve). With the label Glossa, Sonia Prina recently released 3 albums: Handel’s Catone and Silla (title role) and the solo album dedicated to Gluck “Heroes in Love” which includes some world premiere recordings.
Among her recent and future engagements are Handel’s Messiah at the Musikverein Vienna under the baton of Erwin Ortner and Mozart’s Requiem with Antonio Pappano at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. She sings Disinganno (Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno) at the Royal Danish Opera and Federica (Luisa Miller) at the Liceu Barcelona.