Long before she became one of the world’s leading Verdi-sopranos, Sonya Yoncheva was into early music. It was 10 years ago at the Geneva Conservatory that she met period instrument specialist Leonardo García Alarcón who conducted a production of Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppeain which she played the title role. Their mutual enthusiasm has been brewing ever since and now, thanks to downtime brought on by the pandemic, it has matured into a full-blown concept album entitled Rebirth.

Sonya Yoncheva
Sonya Yoncheva. Photo © Alexander Thompson/Sony Classical

“I love the simplicity of this music and the sound itself,” the Bulgarian-born soprano tells me over FaceTime from her home in Geneva where international travel restrictions meant that the album had to be recorded. “The concept fits the times we are living in today. A big part of it is Renaissance music and I called it Rebirthbecause I think we are in this kind of period right now. I wanted to show that we haven’t changed that much – music has survived many difficult periods in its history and it’s going to survive this...