Sonia Theodoridou – Music Award
Some worthy Greeks profess abroad another modern Greece, that of creation, culture, spirit, art and high aesthetics.
One such personality is the internationally renowned Soprano Ms. Sonia Theodoridou, who with her angelic voice ha
s conquered the largest Lyric Theatres of Europe and the world. At the Suor Angelica performance he performed with the director of Convent Garden, Antonio Pappano in Brussels, at the Royal Theatre, when the curtain closed, people instead of clapping had burst into sobs. Then they all stood up and deposited Diva who made them cry.
At the Frankfurt Opera House, where he sang Iphigenia in Taurus, the salzburg director went to congratulate her with tears in her face and saying only: Oh you Greek!
Mrs. Sonia Theodoridou was born in Veria. He studied at the National Conservatory “Manolis Kalomiris” in the class of Kate Papalexopoulou, from where he graduated with distinction as well as with an award of “Excellent and Distinguished Execution”. She was awarded the “Maria Callas” scholarship which enabled her to further study at the Cologne Academy of Music and later in London with Vera Rozza. She did a lot of hard work to study, since the scholarship money wasn’t enough and her father was a political exile.
Among other things, she specialized in the repertoire of German Songs (Lieder) with Elisabeth
Schwarzkopf.Sonia Theodoridou has appeared in the most important lyrical theatres in Europe such as, the Frankfurt Opera, Berlin State Opera, Berlin German Opera, Hamburg State Opera, National Theatre of Munich and Stuttgart, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels), Théâtre Chatelet of Paris, Teatro Communale of Firenza , Teatro La Fenice of Venice, Basel Theatre, Lyon and Montpellier Opera, Schwetzingen Festival, Visbaden’s Maifestspiele, Budapest Opera House, Athens and Thessaloniki Concert Hall, Atticus Herod Theatre, Ancient Epidaurus Theatre, Delphi Ancient Theatre etc. in cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Berlin, Cologne, New York, SaltLake City, Zalzburg, Vienna etc.
As a soloist he has given numerous concerts and singing recitals in Cologne (Cologne Philharmonic), Budapest (Franz Liszt Academy), Italy (Reggio Emilia), Israel (Tel Aviv Philharmonic), Lisbon (Colosseum), Tokyo, Frankfurt (Alte Oper), Munich (Gasteig) and has collaborated with famous conductors and orchestras such as Wolfgang Sawallisch, Zubin Mehta, Sir Neville Mariner, Antonio Pappano, Rene Jacobs, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Gerd Albrecht, Garry Bertini, Ivan , Marcello Viotti, Helmut Rilling, Andras Schiff, Frans Bruggen with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment, Concerto Köln, the Vienna Philharmonic and others.
There was the Mimi of “La Bohemian”, The Fiordlitzi of “So They All Do”, Elvira of “Don Giovanni”, Pamina of “Magic Court”, Violetta of “La Traviata”, Cleopatra of “Julius Caesar” etc.
Mrs. Sonia Theodoridou is not a Diva who enjoys her glory distancing herself from Greece and social reality.
In an interview and asked about how she feels in europe’s big scenes, she replied: “I’ll tell you. Abroad when the stage opens and I go in, (then I’m 1.60 height), I stand up and I get too big and maybe sometimes I say “Come on, put Greece aside”, … The Greece of the heart, the Greece of the grandmother from Pontos, the Greece of my uncles, these aching eyes of Greece… or even our history, if you will, of this heavy legacy that we carry on our backs. I feel a strange pride and a feeling that there’s no way you’re going to fail because you’re carrying all this behind you…”
With this philosophy, with this feeling of heavy heritage, Ms. Theodoridou strives to offer as much as she can in upgrading our culture, through many different actions.
In 2010 she founded, together with her husband, distinguished Maestro Theodoros Orphanides, Orchestra Mobile, and a year later Uman Voice, their own record label in order to highlight the words Greek music abroad, to spread it and to promote Greek artists. Musicians from Israel, Turkey, Germany and other countries participate. Their great pride is the project with poems by Cavafy that was melded by Athanasios Simoglou.
The two shocked Europe and the world with their silent protest event inside the British Museum in London in June 2014, with the aim of returning the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens, rekindling the theme and gaining the admiration and support of both the public and the global artistic community.
Sonia Theodoridou with six girls dressed in white entered the British Museum in search of their lost “sister”. The silence was mixed with awe and respect and they were put away in awe for the “modern” Caryatids to pass. London fell silent, the world bowed. Even the guards set aside…
She and her husband work passionately to create music libraries in provincial cities, making donations and struggling to pass on music education to young people.
The soprano who enchants the audience in the biggest operas, sees the crisis as an opportunity for the Greeks to become who we really are and ought to be. Her words modestly attribute her reflection: “I a
m from a province, too, but I had a mother who wanted to study us so that we could become something in our lives. The crisis, for me, is deeply cultural. My grandmothers and grandparents were refugees, but they insisted on being educated. You can go through with the little, and with the little you can create!”
“You know, we find that there is a shift in the world in supply. This is the positive of the crisis, despair leads us to open up, to become more united, to be no longer of the “have” but of the “we”. I hope we get a chance to do our self-criticism through all this. My generation didn’t give the kids what we got from our parents. We filled them with materials, so the void was created. It was a bubble that manifested itself through our politicians who are, in a way, our conscience.”