LEONTINA VĂDUVA, Soprano – Switzerland/Romania
After studying with Professor Arta Florescu at the Bucharest Conservatory, soprano Leontina Văduva made her international début in the title rôle of Jules Massenet’s Manon at the Capitole Theatre, Toulouse, in 1986. She reprised the rôle, which has since become her calling card, at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, when she made her London début, a performance that earned her the prestigious Lawrence Olivier Award in 1988.
After settling in France, a country that welcomed her with open arms and was to bestow on her the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1999, Leontina Văduva quickly became one of the most illustrious ambassadors of the French operatic répertoire. She shone in the rôles of Micaëla, Antonia, Juliet and Mireille in some of the world’s most important opera houses. Nevertheless, it was as Mimi in Puccini’s La Boème that she made her U.S. débuts, in San Francisco in 1996 and at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, in 2000. Her audio recordings include Rigoletto (1993), The Tales of Hoffmann (1996), La Boème (1996) and Opera Arias (1997), conducted by Plácido Domingo. A special chapter in her video recordings is held by the DVD of Romeo and Juliet, recorded at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1994, conducted by Sir Charles MacKerras and directed by Nicolas Jöel, which has become the absolute standard for performances of Gounod’s opera.
Leontina Văduva’s stage career has taken her to some of the world’s most prestigious opera venues, from the Teatro alla Scala, Wiener Staatsoper, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Opéra de Paris, and Teatro Colòn to the opera houses of Baltimore, Basle, Geneva, Nice, Cologne, Bordeaux, Tokyo, Santiago de Chile, Toulon, Marseilles, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Turin. Her operatic talents have brought her numerous awards, including the Medal of the City of Toulouse, the Prize of the Royal Philharmonic Society of Music, and the Romanian Order of Cultural Merit in the rank of Grand Officer.
In recent years, Leontina Văduva has been in frequent demand as a teacher of masterclasses in Europe and Asia and as a member of the judging panels for the most prestigious international canto competitions. She teaches canto at the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne and at the Conservatoire Claude Debussy, Paris.