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 has sung the title roles in 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), Disinganno in Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Copenhagen), Bertarido in Rodelinda (London and Vienna), Goffredo in Rinaldo (Chicago), Amastre in Serse (San Francisco and 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.
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.
With Jordi Savall she performed Vivaldi’s Farnace (Madrid) and Teuzzone (Liceu, Barcelona).
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 Editha Gruberova 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 international career has led her to La Scala in Milan, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Opéra National de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro Real in Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Zurich Opera, Barbican Centre in London, Sydney Opera House, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Salzburg Festival, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Bucharest George Enescu Festival.
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: 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 Lucio Cornelio Silla at the Bucharest George Enescu Festival and in Asia under Fabio Biondi with whom she also appears as Nicodemo in Scarlatti’s Vergine Addolorata at the Baroque Festival of the Staatsoper Berlin.
Sonia sings the roles of Giove in Hasse’s Semele at the Theater an der Wien and Verona under Claudio Osele; Holofernes in Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans at the Paris Théâtre des Champs-Elysées with Jean-Christophe Spinosi; Tamiri in Vivaldi’s Farnace at the Venice Malibran Theatre; Tassile in Handel’s Alessandro with the Kammerorchester Basel under the baton of Diego Fasolis in Göttingen, Paris and Basel. She performs Handel’s Messiah with the Helsiniki Baroque Orchestra in Tampere and at the Paris Philharmonie under the direction of Hervé Niquet. Accompanied by the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Jonathan Cohen, Sonia sings Vivaldi’s Senna festeggiante at Müpa Budapest’ Béla Bartók National Concert Hall.