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 prize of the Italian music critics Premio 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 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) and Isabella in “L’Italiana in Algeri” (Teatro Regio, Turin). She performed “La Resurrezione” with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Emmanuelle Haïm.
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) with Edita Gruberovà and Elīna Garanča, and La Maman, La Tasse chinoise, La Libellule in “L’enfant et les sortilèges” (Palermo and Naples), Federica in “Luisa Miller” and in 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), Bertarido in “Rodelinda” (London and Vienna), Goffredo in “Rinaldo” (Chicago), Amastre in “Serse” (San Francisco and Houston), and Galatea in “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 2017/2018 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, Federica (“Luisa Miller”) at the Liceu Barcelona and the title role in “Lucio Cornelio Silla” with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi at the Bucharest George Enescu Festival.