March 01, 2022

A Personal Note from Sondra Radvanovsky on “The Three Queens”

The Three Queens project has been a very special highlight of my career. It is very rare when something comes together so quickly and easily.

I sang all three Donizetti Tudor Queens operas in one season at The Metropolitan Opera during 2015/2016: a first for the Met, and a feat only ever attempted anywhere by a handful of other sopranos.

When Maestro Riccardo Frizza came up with the idea of doing the final scenes from each of the Donizetti Tudor Queens operas over a gin and tonic, I could have kissed him…what a GREAT idea and one that no one had attempted before. Being a person who LOVES challenges, I talked about the idea with Anthony Freud, and he immediately fell in love with it.

The challenge of doing the last scenes from each of the operas was twofold: how do you make it exciting for the audience and, quite frankly, could I manage to sing that much technically difficult music in one evening?!  The project involved an incredible team of people, including renowned couturier Rubin Singer, whose extraordinary gowns represented a modern take on Tudor fashion.

My relationship with Lyric Opera of Chicago goes back to 2002 when I made my debut there in the title role of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah.  Having been born and raised in the Chicago area, I have always had a special connection with the city and its vibrancy.”

– Sondra Radvanovsky

Photo by Michael Cooper