Anna Caterina Antonacci


Anna Caterina Antonacci is widely acknowledged as a major artist, and her extraordinary vocal timbre and great acting skills have enabled her to perform a vast and varied repertoire in the world's most important theatres. She has scored notable personal success as Cassandre (Les Troyens) with Sir John Eliot Gardiner at the Théâtre du Châtelet Paris, Incoronazione di Poppea at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, as well as the title role in Medea in Toulouse, at the Teatro Regio Turin and the Châtelet, Paris.

Her debut in a new production of Carmen at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden conducted by Antonio Pappano was a huge triumph, performed also at the Opera Comique conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, and was a precursor to her return to London as Cassandre (Les Troyens) at Covent Garden and the BBC Proms. Also revered for her interpretations of Berlioz' vocal works, performances have included La Mort de Cléopâtre with the Rotterdam Philharmonic conducted by Yannick Nézét-Seguin, with the Hong Kong Philharmonic conducted by John Nelson and with the LPO again with Nézét-Seguin.

Anna Caterina has been honoured with the 'Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'honneur' by the French Republic, which is the highest national distinction one can receive. Her first recording, Era la Notte for the Naive label received great acclaim. She has also recorded  L'Alba separa dalla luce l'ombra for Wigmore Live, with her pianist Donald Sulzen, featuring songs by Tosti, Cilea, and Hahn. 

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News & Features



BELLINI I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Romeo)
BERLIOZ La Damnation de Faust
BERLIOZ Les Troyens (Cassandre)
BIZET Carmen
GLUCK Armide
GLUCK Alceste
GLUCK Iphigenie en Tauride
HANDEL Agrippina
MASSENET Don Quichotte
MONTEVERDI Incoronazione di Poppea (Poppea and Nerone)
MOZART Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira)
PAISIELLO Nina pazza per amore
POULENC  La voix humane
VERDI Falstaff (Alice)


BERLIOZ Les Nuits d'ete
BERLIOZ La Mort de Cleopatra
BERLIOZ La Mort d'Ophelia
CANTALOUBE Chants D'Auvergne
CHAUSSON Poeme de l'amour et de la mer
CHERUBINI Stabat Mater
FALLA Canciones Populares
MARTUCCI Canzone dei Ricordi
PERGOLESI Stabat Mater
POULENC La Voix Humaine
RAVEL Sheherazade
RESPIGHI Il Tramonto
ROSSINI Sabat Mater
ROSSINI Petite messe solennelle
WAGNER Wesendonck Lieder

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Media Player


    When I am laid in earth, Purcell



Lucerne Festival, Lucerne

PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 25 Classical Symphony; STRAVINSKY: Jeu de cartes, Pulcinella

Anna Caterina Antonacci soprano
Paolo Fanale tenor
Alex Esposito bass-baritone

Daniele Gatti conductor
Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Grand Théâtre de Genève, Geneva

Cinq mélodies populaires grecques (8.5 minutes)
Chanson de la mariée
La-bas, vers l’église
Quel galant m’est comparable
Chanson des cueilleuses de lentisques
Tout gai!

 La fraicheur e le feu (Paul Eluard)
 Rayon des yeux
 Le matin les branche attisent
Tout disparu
Dans les ténèbres du jardin
Unis la fraicheur er le feu
Homme au sourire tendre
La grande rivière qui va

CHAUSSON La chanson perpetuelle

POULENC La Voix humaine.

Opera de Lyon, Lyon

BERLIOZ La mort d’Ophélie, Op. 18, No. 2 (7’10)
DEBUSSY  Chansons de Bilitis (9’30)
DUPARC:  La vie antérieure (4’30)
POULENC:  La fraîcheur et le feu (9’)
RAVEL  Kaddisch
POULENC La voix humaine (52’)

Anna Caterina Antonaci, Soprano
Donald Sulzen, Piano

Opera du Rhin, Strasbourg

FAURE Pénelopé

Director: Patrick Davin

Pénélope: Anna Caterina Antonacci
Ulysse: Marc Laho
Euryclée: Élodie Méchain
Cléone: Sarah Laulan
Mélantho: Kristina Bitenc
Phylo: Rocío Pérez
Lydie Francesca Sorteni
Alcandre: Lamia Beuque
Eumée: Jean-Philippe Lafont
Eurymaque: Edwin Crossley-Mercer
Antinoüs: Martial Defontaine
Léodès: Mark Van Arsdale
Ctésippe: Arnaud Richard
Pisandre: Camille Tresmontant

Chœurs de l'Opéra national du Rhin
Maîtrise de l'Opéra national du Rhin - Petits chanteurs de Strasbourg
Orchestre symphonique de Mulhouse

Opera du Rhin, Strasbourg

FAURE Pénelopé

Director: Patrick Davin

Pénélope: Anna Caterina Antonacci
Ulysse: Marc Laho
Euryclée: Élodie Méchain
Cléone: Sarah Laulan
Mélantho: Kristina Bitenc
Phylo: Rocío Pérez
Lydie Francesca Sorteni
Alcandre: Lamia Beuque
Eumée: Jean-Philippe Lafont
Eurymaque: Edwin Crossley-Mercer
Antinoüs: Martial Defontaine
Léodès: Mark Van Arsdale
Ctésippe: Arnaud Richard
Pisandre: Camille Tresmontant

Chœurs de l'Opéra national du Rhin
Maîtrise de l'Opéra national du Rhin - Petits chanteurs de Strasbourg
Orchestre symphonique de Mulhouse

Opera du Rhin, Strasbourg

FAURE Pénelopé

Director: Patrick Davin

Pénélope: Anna Caterina Antonacci
Ulysse: Marc Laho
Euryclée: Élodie Méchain
Cléone: Sarah Laulan
Mélantho: Kristina Bitenc
Phylo: Rocío Pérez
Lydie Francesca Sorteni
Alcandre: Lamia Beuque
Eumée: Jean-Philippe Lafont
Eurymaque: Edwin Crossley-Mercer
Antinoüs: Martial Defontaine
Léodès: Mark Van Arsdale
Ctésippe: Arnaud Richard
Pisandre: Camille Tresmontant

Chœurs de l'Opéra national du Rhin
Maîtrise de l'Opéra national du Rhin - Petits chanteurs de Strasbourg
Orchestre symphonique de Mulhouse

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Julian Sykes interviews Anna Caterina for Swiss Journal, Le Temps about her role in Iphigenie en Tauride at the Grand Theatre de Geneve. Click here to read the full article in French. 

Eric Myers interviews Anna Caterina for the 'Road Show' column of May's issue of Opera News. They chat about Paris and why its her favourite place to go when she's not working. Click here to read the full article. 

To read an article on Anna Caterina Antonacci's recent Royal Opera House 'Carmen' please click here.

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Recital, Switzerland

Grand Théâtre de Genève

..."Anna Caterina Antonacci demeure fidèle au public genevois. Elle revient au Grand Théâtre pour un récital avec son accompagnateur favori, le pianiste étasunien Donald Sulzen.", June 2015


Les Troyens

San Francisco Opera

"...perhaps even more exciting, Anna Caterina Antonacci brings her stunning portrayal of the prophetess Cassandra to California after burning up opera houses in France and England... sheer vocal allure and physical appeal". Phillip Campbell, Bay Area Reporter, 4 June 2015
"Antonacci's ready. Even her Cassandre is glamorously Loren-esque in her emotionally intense portrayal of a woman betrayed not by the gods who gave her vision but by the smug, blind bellicosity of men". Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2015
"As Cassandra, Anna Caterina Antonacci was triumphant in the difficult role of the princess who envisions disaster, not only singing flawlessly, but with movements clearly portraying a person in distress". Janos Gereben, San Francisco Examiner, 8 June 2015
"The cast, too, sounded largely first-rate on opening night. Soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci’s Cesira was a dynamo of emotional and vocal majesty, singing with a full-throated urgency that made even the most conventional melodic outbursts seem affecting". Joshua Cosman, SF Gate, 14 June 2015
"One of the great rewards of San Francisco Opera's summer season has been the return of Anna Caterina Antonacci. The Italian soprano, whose last previous appearance here was in 1998, has been wowing audiences as Cassandra in SFO's new production of "The Trojans," adding considerable luster to an already starry cast. Then, Saturday night at the War Memorial Opera House, she scored again, taking on the leading role in the world premiere of Marco Tutino's "Two Women (La Ciociara).Antonacci is sensational". Georgia Rowe, Mecury News, June 2015
"As Cassandra, Anna Caterina Antonacci was vocally and dramatically a compelling figure. Her dark-hued soprano perfectly rendered the darkly ominous portents of Cassandra’s prophecy". James Roy MacBean, Berkely Daily Planet, 11 June 2015
"...Antonacci scored thrillingly in a role she is already famous for..." Phillip Campbell, Bay Area Reporter, 18 June 2015
"As Cassandra, the company cast Anna Caterina Antonacci, the most formidable singer alive for this role..." James L. Paulk, Arts ATL, 22 June 2015
"Il cast è stato capeggiato dalla notevole Cassandra di Anna Caterina Antonacci che ha dato significato al suo personaggio con tutta l'intensità emotiva di una donna ferita, cantando con profonda espressione, solidità in ogni registro e timbro fascinoso". Ramón Jacques, L'ape Musicale, 2 July 2015

Tutino and Ceresa

La Ciociara

San Francisco Opera

"Starring as Cesira is Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, who has garnered outstanding reviews throughout Europe and for her rare North American performances". Opera News Desk,, 22 May 2015
"The stunning Italian diva Anna Caterina Antonacci, for whom Tutino wrote this piece, will lead a cast whose story will both break your heart and mend it with hope and reconciliation."
David Gockley,, 22 May 2015
"If seeing Antonacci while you have the chance is important...then the following production in the summer season should also prove irresistible...having Anna Caterina Antonacci taking on a role indelibly associated with the great Sophia Loren adds to the intriguing prospects of the theatrical production." Paul Campbell, Bay Area Opera, 4 June 2015
"When acclaimed Italian composer Marco Tutino came up with the idea of an opera based on the piece, he knew exactly who he wanted to play the role of Cesira...Anna Caterina Antonacci. "She is unique. You can’t have two Anna Caterinas,” he said. “She is so particular for her voice, but above all for her personality.” " Emily Wilson, SF Weekly, 4 June 2015
"Anna Caterina Antonacci is an opera star who thrives on defying expectations. A mesmerizing performer with a supple and lustrous voice, she seems equally at home in roles written for soprano or the lower-voiced mezzo-soprano." Mike Silverman, The Associated Press, 7 June 2015
"It's probably not a coincidence that the new opera's leading soprano, Anna Caterina Antonacci, bears a strong likeness to the young Sophia Loren". Cheryl North, Mercury News, 8 June 2015
"The cast, too, sounded largely first-rate on opening night. Soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci’s Cesira was a dynamo of emotional and vocal majesty, singing with a full-throated urgency that made even the most conventional melodic outbursts seem affecting". Joshua Cosman, SF Gate, 14 June 2015
"One of the great rewards of San Francisco Opera's summer season has been the return of Anna Caterina Antonacci. The Italian soprano, whose last previous appearance here was in 1998, has been wowing audiences as Cassandra in SFO's new production of "The Trojans," adding considerable luster to an already starry cast. Then, Saturday night at the War Memorial Opera House, she scored again, taking on the leading role in the world premiere of Marco Tutino's "Two Women (La Ciociara).Antonacci is sensational". Georgia Rowe, Mercury News, June 2015
"Anna Caterina Antonacci is something of a cult star, known as a brilliant singing actress, and Tutino wrote the role of Cesira with her in mind". Anne Midgette, Washington Post, 14 June 2015
"Anna Caterina Antonacci gave a finely detailed and responsive performance as Cesira". Lisa Hirsch, San Francisco Classical Voice, 15 June 2015
"Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci... has more than enough strength and passion to make an unforgettable impression as Cesira, La Ciociara... Surprisingly diminutive, Antonacci is still bigger than life as a complicated woman of indomitable courage and humanity. She commands the stage in her grueling assignment with a performance that will likely define her much-admired career". Phillip Campbell, Bay Area Reporter, 18 June 2015
"Soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci blesses Cesira with the raw situational understanding and nerve her character deserves, her determined, full-bodied voice highlighting shades of Cesira's strength and vulnerability". Paul Selar, Bach Track, 18 June 2015
 "Soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci is a force of nature as the formidable Cesira—a vocal powerhouse and deeply committed actress". Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX, 24 June 2015
"The performance by Anna Caterina Antonacci as Cesira was absolutely riveting and vocally wonderful. Antonacci is a singing actress of the first order..." James Roy MacBean, Berkely Daily Planet, 25 June 2015
"The main thing is that Tutino wrote the part of Cesira for Anna Caterina Antonacci, who is as close to the Sophia Loren of opera as we might hope. A dramatically commanding soprano, she is an exceptional stage presence. I was sitting close enough to see her facial expressions, and they registered the cinematic realism of a great actress".
Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2015
"Characters in Two Women include the mother, Cesira (the Loren role), given a knockout performance by one of today's operatic superstars, the sensuous dramatic soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci". Eric A. Gordon, People's World, 29 June 2015
"...Tutino co-wrote the libretto and composed the work for star soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, the perfect operatic incarnation of the down-to-earth, clever, resourceful and sexy heroine. Antonacci is a beauty who has created sensations with the roles of Carmen (Bizet) and Cassandra (Berlioz). She managed seemingly effortlessly to step into Sophia Loren's shoes..." Renate Stendhal, Huffington Post, 2 July 2015

Recital : 12 March 2015

Tobin Centre for the Performing Arts, Opera San Antonio

The program presented Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s “Il segreto di Susanna,” sung in Italian, and Francis Poulenc’s “La voix humaine,” sung in French, with English subtitles shown on monitors at the Tobin Center’s Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater. Despite the wide range in emotion and acting that was required, soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci soared with excellence in both operas. David Hendricks, San Antonio Express News, 13 March 2015

Recital: 05 March 2015

Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center

Ms. Antonacci’s remarkable talent is a suspension between artifice and naturalness, theatricality and subtlety. She may be putting on an act, but she’s also telling the truth.

Her voice resinous, penetrating and peerlessly articulate, Ms. Antonacci did not create an easy program, either to perform or to listen to. The dark intensity was relentless, the mélodies she chose not the repertory’s most melodic. But her alertness to the texts and the unassuming grandeur of her presence made the night riveting.

Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, 6 March 2015
From the moment of her appearance with her pianist Donald Sulzen, even before she opened her mouth, Ms Antonacci commanded attention with her quiet concentration. Her voice hardly needed any warm up as she plunged into her first selection, Berlioz's La mort d’Ophelie. Her high notes may not have a free extension of a soprano, but they were lyrical and clear, and her middle voice is dark and yet warm.  Ako Imamura, Bachtrack, 8 March 2015
Antonacci clearly knew what she was doing when she chose this piece [La voix Humaine], which plays to her strengths as both an actress and singer, with crystalizing insights into Elle's unhappy present and better times, taking full advantage of her penetrating sound. She is up to all the challenges of Poulenc's music, which is, frankly, far more interesting than the storyline and seems more modern and poetic than his score for DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES. Donald Sulzen provided the excellent piano accompaniment for the evening--more collaborator than accompanist, really, for the two seemed completely in tune. Richard Sasanow,, 10 March 2015


Iphigenie en Aulide

Grand Theatre de Geneve

Di un debutto di Anna Caterina Antonacci nell’Iphigénie en Tauride di Christoph Willibald Gluck si parlava già quasi tre lustri or sono: sede doveva esserne il Teatro Comunale di Bologna, allora sotto la direzione di Luigi Ferrari e Gianni Tangucci, ma il progetto sfumò nel nulla e non se ne parlò più. Per chi professa il gluckianesimo, quelli erano gli anni nei quali Riccardo Muti giocava alla Scala le carte dell’Alceste, dell’Iphigénie en Aulide e dell’Iphigénie en Tauride, fino all’asso calato nel 1996 e 1999 con l’Armide: a scorrere le locandine di quest’ultima vengono oggi i brividi, ché alle firme di Muti e di Pier Luigi Pizzi, all’apice del loro fasto artistico, si aggiungeva una schiera di seconde parti rette, tra gli altri, da Norah Amsellem, Violeta Urmana, Giuseppe Filianoti, Juan Diego Flórez, Simon Keenlyside e Gregory Kunde; protagonista era l’Antonacci, incoronata regina delle tragédiennes e dunque candidata ideale e naturale al passaggio a Iphigénie. Da allora a oggi, i trionfi nelle due Alceste di Gluck, nella Medea di Cherubini e nei Troyens di Berlioz, ma anche nella Nina di Paisiello, hanno dimostrato quanto giusto per lei e urgente per gli altri fosse quell’indirizzo di repertorio.

Eppure, per il suo debutto nella ventilata Iphigénie en Tauride si sono dovute attendere le recite ora in corso al Grand Théâtre di Ginevra (25 gennaio - 4 febbraio). Nessuna sorpresa e conferme maiuscole. Quello dell’Antonacci è un codice culturale e stilistico noto, fermo, risaputo, forbitissimo. In esso e su esso v’è ormai poco da aggiungere. Non sono ammesse rivali davanti alla cura maniacale della parola, nella sua pregnanza espressiva, nella sua consistenza fonetica e nel suo dispiegamento retorica. Timbro altero e malinconico, di inconsueto calore nei centri, e gesto tanto sollecito quanto coturnato conciliano nella sua lettura musicale e attoriale il realistico e il declamatorio, l’appartenenza al moderno e la conoscenza dell’antico. Tale è la completezza dell’artista, altrimenti inusitata sulle scene liriche, che nella tempesta iniziale dell’opera, dopo una pantomima superbamente dominata, quando la cantante attacca le sue prime battute, solo allora ci si sovviene che ella è lì per essere ammirata non solo alla vista ma anche all’ascolto. Alla mente rimarrà dunque, ancora una volta, un paradigma di arte musicale e teatrale, atteso e confermato, completo e stabile poiché non esibito nell’istinto di un momento, bensì compreso in un percorso artistico erudito, sorvegliato, maturato sulla padronanza di molte discipline.


Nello spettacolo ginevrino, tutto il resto è di vaglia ma passa in subordine rispetto allo stradominio carismatico della primadonna. Interessante soprattutto a parole è la presenza di Hartmut Haenchen come concertatore: la sua specializzazione in Wagner e Mahler basta a spiegare in nome di chi egli sia stato convocato a leggere Gluck. Detto non più un ventennio fa, ma oggi e in conclamata epoca di esecuzioni storicamente informate, l’incoraggiamento di turgide letture tardoromantiche pare sempre più un’anacronistica sopravvivenza culturale. Tuttavia, se Haenchen è un Kapellmeister non troppo sensibile alle sottigliezze letterarie e ornamentative del classicismo francese, in lui si rileva parimenti la volontà di rivolgere lo sguardo verso il Settecento, e di adottare, accanto a tempi piuttosto seduti e a fraseggi caparbiamente legati, impasti lievi se non edenici, escursioni dinamiche contenute, infine una sincera dedizione al testo musicale e al mestiere del cantante. Il tutto in armonioso dialogo con l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, il coro del teatro e una compagnia di canto non sublime ma decorosa.

Merita curiosità prima e lode poi la prestazione di Bruno Taddia come Oreste, cioè quella di un baritono leggero, dedito perlopiù a parti buffe, in uno dei ruoli tragici per antonomasia. Avviene che egli riversi nell’eroe euripideo l’acume maturato passando da Taddeo a Figaro a Malatesta, con esiti attoriali interessanti poiché frastagliati nella psicologia e svelti nel modulare di risorse. Regge inoltre senza troppo sforzo e con limitata perdita di smalto una tessitura assai acuta, codificata in chiave di Basso ma di fatto alle soglie della gamma tenorile: sono così arginati i danni di un’errata interpretazione delle categorie vocali, nel percorso dal Settecento francese, con la sua scuola declamatoria e il suo corista più grave di un buon semitono, ai giorni nostri, dove tutto tende alla globalizzazione e dove la macrocategoria vorrebbe costringere a sé il fenomeno come un letto di Procuste (leggi: il baritono di Gluck condivide con quello di Donizetti il nome ma non l’essenza, e il concetto non è facile da disaminare con direttori artistici e case di produzione; nelle loro ragnatele finiscono cantanti incauti o senza voce in capitolo).


Nell’errore di valutazione appena descritto cade invece Alexey Tikhomirov, basso tecnicamente imperniato sulla pastosità del registro centrale: con lui nella parte di Thoas, ognuna delle innumerevoli salite al registro acuto (acutissimo, per un basso autentico) si risolve nella disperazione di portamenti sforzati. Come dire che i miracoli fatti da Ildar Abdrazakov come Calchas nell’Iphigénie en Aulidemilanese del 2002, voli al Sol3 compresi, non andrebbero evocati lontano dalla santità manifesta: la prossima volta, a Ginevra cerchino il baritono che la scrittura vocale sottintende, e non l’emulo di Ramfis o del Padre Guardiano. Acutissima, secondo la tradizione francese dell’haute-contre, è anche la parte di Pylade, qui sostenuta da Steve Davislim con rotondità e morbidezza alle inevitabili soglie del falsetto.

La regìa di Lukas Hemleb, le scene di Alexander Polzin, i costumi di Andrea Schmidt-Futterer, l’assistenza coreografica di Joanna O’Keeffe e le luci di Marion Hewlett procurano una realizzazione teatrale inedita e rispettosa di quella musicale. Nella ricostruita cavea megalitica di un teatro greco agiscono personaggi e masse tutti raddoppiati da una marionetta a grandezza quasi naturale e manovrata a vista. Ciascun attore-personaggio, con la fluida mobilità del proprio corpo, interloquisce così con il proprio raddoppio psicologico, fantoccio inespressivo e rigido nei movimenti, o con gli altri attori-personaggi ora fatti di carne e ora di legno. Non sempre si coglie la ragione dell’espediente, da intendersi innanzitutto come cifra del teatro di Hemleb, ma la straniata atmosfera creata nell’istante rappresentativo e la materia di libera riflessione a margine dello spettacolo rispondono puntuali all’appello.

Francesco Lora, L'ape musicale, 25 January 2015


La Captive + La mort de cleopatre

Barbican Centre

It was appropriate, too, that Berlioz, embodiment of the revolutionary and romantic spirits alike, occupied the rest of the evening. Anna Caterina Antonacci was a responsive and intelligent soloist in La Captive and La Mort de Cléopâtre, the two works showcasing how much colour and searchingly dramatic detail the Gardiner and ORR approach brings to such repertoire, never more so than in the spareness of the writing that follows Cleopatra’s death and which looks forward 80 years to Strauss’s Salome. Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 9 November 2014


Les Nuits d'été

Halle-aux-Grains, Toulouse

Anna Catarina Antonacci est très aimée à Toulouse et chacune de ses venues tant à l’opéra (Carmen, Médée) qu’au concert (Marguerite, Era la Notte, récital avec piano) lui vaut un beau succès artistique autant qu’une chaude sympathie de son public. Il faut dire que l’art vocal de la grande tragédienne, musicienne hors paire, se lie avec un art du dire sans égal aujourd’hui dans la langue française. Ses Nuits d’été de Berlioz étaient donc très attendues, d’autant que beaucoup avaient en mémoire la superbe interprétation in loco avec Suzan Graham en 2009. La voix si expressive d’Anna Caterina Antonacci peut parfois être rebelle, avec un vibrato large et des registres disjoints. C’est avec une plénitude rare, une facilité déconcertante et un hiératisme inattendu que la belle Antonacci a débuté les Nuits d’été. Une diction gourmande de chaque mot, des phrasés d’une élégance souveraine ont enchanté dès les premiers instants de la Vilanelle, qui a semblé pleine d’esprit. Le Spectre de la Rose avec des voyelles sombres et une douceur moelleuse des consonnes a mis en évidence la poésie et la musique comme rarement liées.
Hubert Stoecklin,, 29 October 2014
La soprano italienne, timbre chaleureux et expressif, est l'interprète des six mélodies du cycle «Les Nuits d'été» de Berlioz. Présence de tragédienne, elle laisse aussi respirer les phrases, maîtrise le souffle, donne du poids aux mots, enveloppée par un orchestre aussi nuancé que somptueux. Anna-Marie Chouchan, La Dépêche du Midi, 23 octobre 2014
Les six mélodies des Nuits d’été d’Hector Berlioz sont interprétées par la soprano italienne Anna Caterina Antonacci, artiste d’opéra accomplie, déjà familière du compositeur français grâce à son interprétation de Cassandre dans Les Troyens. L’effectif de chambre et la délicate voix de la chanteuse tirant son ambitus vers des hauteurs de mezzo-soprano, amenaient une ambiance très intimiste. La candeur du premier poème de Théophile Gautier, Villanelle, offrait une articulation douce mais extrêmement précise, permettant de saisir tout le texte. La voix toute intérieure, peu rayonnante de la chanteuse, répondait à la situation littéraire et facilitait néanmoins l’évasion.  Arnaud Saura-Ziegelmeyer, Bachtrack, 19 octobre 2014


Dido and Aeneas

Teatro Carignano

A parte la presenza prezionsa dell’Ars Cantica Choir di Marco Berrini, la temperatura poetica e drammatica complessiva è stata ispirata dalla magnifica terna di protagoniste femminile (Anna Caterina Antonaci, Laura Polverelli, Yetzabel Arias Fernández) che si sono spartite tutte le parti solistiche dalla tragedia garantendo concordanza espressiva e di gusto. E così anche il duetto tra le due streghe, come altri piccoli interventi, sono risuonati come inediti, pervasi di gemme vocalistiche mai ascoltate così intense....E il confronto con la Didone scossa e rassegnata, turbata ma orgogliosamente infrangibile nella risolutezza femminile – così come l’ha ricreata il canto intelligente e profondo della Antonacci – l’estremo confronto / contesa amorosa aveva accenti di drammaticità limpida e stremata.  Angelo Foletto, La Repubblica, 14 September 2014

Era la notte

Rose Theater, Lincoln Centre

'A Madwoman Lets It Rip'

The extraordinary Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci has concentrated her career in Europe. Each appearance she makes in America, like her New York recital debut last year at Alice Tully Hall, is coveted by opera fans familiar with her intelligent and charismatic artistry.

So it was on Wednesday when an audience at the Rose Theater waited expectantly for Ms. Antonacci to present the American premiere of “Era la Notte,” a dramatic staging of four 17th-century Italian vocal works, lasting just over an hour and fashioned by this imaginative artist and the director Juliette Deschamps into a portrait of characters confronting love, abandonment, senseless combat and death.

When Ms. Antonacci finally appeared onstage, she looked like a madwoman. That was the idea.

The mood for “Era la Notte” (“It Was the Night”), presented here as part of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, was set by the musicians, soloists from the period-instrument orchestra Les Siècles, who played a subdued, dancelike passacalio by Biagio Marini. The simple set (by Cécile Degos) was dominated by a trellis in the rear, with rows of lighted candles. At the front of the stage was a shallow pool of water. Ms. Antonacci, wearing a rumpled cream-colored gown with gold embroidery, carried a bucket and some motley rags, like a fine lady who thinks herself a crazed washerwoman.

She then began a lament by Pietro Antonio Giramo in which the singer portrays a woman driven to irrational despair by the affliction of love. In the text (with English translations projected in supertitles), the woman says that she lacks the words, the music, to explain her feelings. Only her fury can break through the confusion.

The music is a classic example of the early-17th-century Italian penchant for exploring extremes of expression with vocal lines that alternately swoon, cry and sigh, and agitated instrumental writing. Ms. Antonacci eschewed conventionally beautiful singing to get at the emotional intensity of the music: longing, pain, even moments of futile fantasy.

Selected instrumental pieces by Marini were used as transitions between the other vocal works. The second one was Monteverdi’s “Lamento d’Arianna,” which is the lament of the mythical title character, who has been abandoned by her lover, Theseus. Ms. Antonacci sang it with a real white bird sitting on her extended finger, seemingly entranced by the singing until she ushered it into a small cage.

In the third piece, “Lagrime mie,” a lyrically elegant yet fraught vocal cantata by Barbara Strozzi, one of the very few published female composers from that era, Ms. Antonacci portrayed a man embittered by the indifference of the lovely Lidia.

The riveting conclusion of “Era la Notte” came with Ms. Antonacci’s performance of Monteverdi’s “Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda,” an 18-minute tour de force from the composer’s Eighth Book of Madrigals. The piece tells the story, taken from Tasso’s epic poem “Gerusalemme Liberata,” of the Christian knight Tancredi, who falls in love with Clorinda, a warrior-maiden, a Saracen, who joins the Muslim forces.

During a fierce night battle, Clorinda, dressed as a man, is fatally wounded by Tancredi, who is horrified to discover her identity. With her last words, Clorinda asks to be baptized by Tancredi, which, she has come to believe, will save her spiritual life.

As performed by the arresting Ms. Antonacci, dressed in black pants and a shirt, wielding a sword, the metaphor of this work came through powerfully: love, especially when it involves breaching cultural differences, is the ultimate battle. The piece is mostly delivered in narrative lines by a character called Testo, with the dialogue of two lovers usually sung by two singers. Ms. Antonacci sang all the parts in her stunning performance. At the end, she collapsed into the pool of water, as real showers fell from above at the rear of the stage, snuffing out the candles.

She must come back to New York. The Metropolitan Opera should invite her to sing any role in any opera she wants.
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, November 14, 2013
White-Hot Antonacci Captivates White Light Festival 

Live from New York, it's soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci! Lucky for us. Antonacci is considered one of those distinctive, uncategorizable singers who show up every once in a while to excite and inspire us, but never quite find the broader acceptance they deserve. Thus, she doesn't sing at the Met and we have to hold on until performances like "Era la Notte," which was on display twice last week at Lincoln Center's White Light Festival. To say she captivated the audience would be an understatement.

Masters of the early Italian Baroque
"Era La Notte" is a performance piece created by Antonacci and director Juliette Deschamps, culled from music by early Italian Baroque composers: Giramo´s Lamento della Pazza, Monteverdi´s Lamento d'Arianna, Strozzi´s Lamento and, finally, Monteverdi´s Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. (Transitional music is by Marini.)

You can tell by the names of these songs that this is not a light-hearted evening. This is not the Baroque of trills and thrills, but one of lament-filled texts that call for (that overused term!) a "singing actress," with the emphasis on "actress," to bring them to life.

Every nuance of the characters
Antonacci has been doing this piece for going on 10 years and she knows every corner of the music. This is not singing that astounds with its beauty (in this music, anyway), but chills with its remarkable understanding of every nuance of the characters. Indeed, her nano-insights into the music are key to the great success of the evening--which lasts just over an hour but provides audiences with a sumptuous feast to chew upon. No one goes home hungry.

It begins with a mad scene from Giramo that makes Donizetti's Lucia seem lucid. The fragment of Monteverdi's Arianna--whose lover has left her sola, perduta, abbandonata--is filled with incredible sadness. Antonacci switches gender for the Strozzi, where she portrays a man angered by his lover's disinterest.

Antonacci pulls out all the stops
Finally, the soprano plays all the parts in Il Combattimento, from Monteverdi's Eighth Book of Madrigals, a story of a Christian knight who accidentally kills his lover. Antonacci pulls out all the stops in this 18-minute monodrama about the downside of love, collapsing at the end in a pool of water, as the backdrop curtain of candles is doused (the scenic and lighting design and costumes by Cecile Degos, Dominique Bruguiere and Christian Lacroix, respectively, brought distinctive work that felt just right with the music.) The instrumental soloists of Les Siècles provided memorable accompaniment for Antonacci.

Looking back, I might have wished for a few lighter moments to break the unabiding sadness, but I guess the characters portrayed don't have much to smile about. Gazing out into the Rose Theatre, it was clear that the audience surely did.
Hey, Mr. Gelb, how about bringing her to the Met? Maybe "Era La Notte" as part of a triptych with Poulenc's LA VOIX HUMAINE and Schoenberg's ERWARTUNG? (Okay, I'd settle for two.)

Richard Sasanow, Broadway World, 18 November 2013


La Damnation de Faust

Maison Symphonique de Montréal

'Anna Caterina Antonacci, one of today’s leading operatic singing actresses, was incandescent as Marguerite. The longing of the ingénue in the “Roi de Thulé” aria, the rapture in the love duet and the despair in “D’amour l’ardente flame” made one wish the work was more about Marguerite than about Faust.' Ossama el Naggar,, 12 September 2013


BBC Proms

Royal Albert Hall

'...Antonacci's effortlessly powerful voice gathered together Wagner's complex but subtle orchestrations and took them to another level. This is how voice and instruments should sound, a perfect blend yet thrillingly individual.'

Jeffery Taylor, The Express, 25 August 2013

La Morte de Cleopatre

Philharmonie Berlin

Auch für die ganz eigene Expressivität von "Der Tod der Cleopatra", Hector Berlioz' Solokantate für Sopran und Orchester von 1829, ist das Orchester bestens gewappnet. Cleopatras Klage vor ihrem Selbstmord mit Schlange ist von einer indirekten Gefühlssprache. Der junge Berlioz war an den edel distanzierten Affekten der Pariser Oper geschult – aber eben auch am zupackenden Vorbild Beethovens. So ist der frappierendste Teil der Schluss: das in Herzschlägen gnadenlos auskomponierte Verlöschen des Lebens. Anna Caterina Antonacci als Cleopatra singt (und spielt) königlich – zeigt also die hoheitliche Distanz der Königin zu ihrem Schicksal als Privatperson. Ein Konflikt, den sie dann in allen Farben in ihrem Gesang austrägt. Eine Meisterleistung.  Matthias Nöther, Morgen Post, 02 June 2013

Recital 09 May 2013

Wigmore Hall

Perhaps because of its unusual scoring for mezzo-soprano and string quartet, Ottorino Respighi's setting of Shelley's poem The Sunset, translated into Italian as Il Tramonto, doesn't get many outings. With the Heath Quartet in attendance, it formed the end point of this Wigmore Hall programme by Anna Caterina Antonacci, whose repertory includes soprano and mezzo roles, which she sings with equal success.

Antonacci is an exceptional artist in other respects. Simply but suavely dressed, she took command of the platform through natural presence rather than the exploitation of approval-winning effects. In her performances themselves, she drew the audience into a space where all that mattered was the unadulterated revelation of the words and music as one fused entity. She acted each song with facial expressions and minimal yet telling physical gestures, but above all with the extraordinary resources of an instrument she could fine down to a thread or soar on to magnificent heights.

Il Tramonto proved a good vehicle for her deeply considered yet apparently spontaneous artistry, its concentration on love and mourning allowing her to shade in the darker hues of her multicoloured tone. The Heath Quartet players supported her with refinement, drawing out all the subtlety of Respighi's expert writing; earlier, they contributed a witty account of Hugo Wolf's Italian Serenade and a delicate one of another elegiac study, Puccini's Crisantemi.

The bulk of the programme was accompanied with a blend of concentration and flair by pianist Donald Sulzen, who proved as adept in conveying the lucid textures of Debussy as in the quasi-orchestral flamboyance of Wagner's Wesendonck Songs. Meanwhile, in her presentation of the ambiguity of Debussy's intimacies, as well as in Wagner's grander, operatic manner, Antonacci was more than equal to every demand.
George Hall, The Guardian, Friday 10 May

Recital 23 April 2013

Teatro de la Zarzuela de Madrid

Pocas veces se da una conjunción máxima entre la voz y la palabra, el acento y el gesto. La mezzo Anna Caterina Antonacci- anunciada ahora como soprano- es la prueba de que se puede cantar e interpretar dentro de unos lógicos parámetros, sin caer en manierismos ni efectismos exacerbados, que lo único que logran es alejar al espectador de lo esencial: el canto.

La cantante italiana puede estar satisfecha de su debut junto al pianista Donald Sulzen en el ciclo de Lied del Teatro de la Zarzuela. Se presentó con un enjundioso programa de canción francesa e italiana, con melodías muy acordes a sus características: elegancia y vía libre para su habitual sensualidad, en todos los aspectos imaginables. Bastaron apenas unos acordes para sumergirnos en las tres primeras canciones correspondientes a los "Estudios Latinos" del compositor Reynaldo Hahn. Enseguida nos enamoró profiriendo unas frases repletas de sensualidad y morbidez en un timbre riquísimo y variado en toda la gama central, como si las notas fluyeran de manera instantánea y volaran hasta difuminarse en la última butaca del teatro. Le acompañó un impoluto fraseo y acentuación franceses, que casi podían cazarse al vuelo. Quizá sea en esa zona central donde resida ese encanto suyo tan particular y que le prepara para unos repertorios más agudos. Esta contiene un sonido pleno y luminoso, de matices sedosos, aterciopelados y a todas luces cálidos, merced de una emisión volátil y relajada.

"La muerte de Ofelia" de Berlioz, llevada con tacto y finura por el pianista, que acarició cada una de las teclas con la delicadeza que se merece la propia cantante, le supuso algún problema a Antonacci. Pudimos apreciar, junto a unos sonidos perfectamente hilados sobre la línea de canto, notas extremadamente graves que ocasionaron pérdida de consistencia y reclamaban una mayor cobertura.
       Muy interesantes nos parecieron las dos canciones que parten del mismo texto ("Green" y "Mandoline"), orquestadas de manera diversa por Gabriel Fauré y Claude Debussy. La soprano resolvió con fortuna la agilidad imperante en las primeras frases de ambas canciones, con proverbial juego de dinámicas.  La segunda parte, iniciada con las bellísimas canciones en dialecto veneciano del mismo Hahn, sirvieron para mostrarse más cómoda y natural en el recitado. Le favoreció la tesitura intermedia, por la que enseguida asomaba su color grave sin necesidad de forzar el instrumento, idílico para estos poemas, en especial "L'avertimento", el cual le dio pie a desarrollar su faceta actoral antes de volver al repertorio francés con un sentido "Au bord de l'eau" de Fauré, o una cuidadísima versión de "Diane, Séléné", rematada en una estupenda sfumatura sobre la última palabra. La cantante ofreció dos propinas a modo de conclusión. La primera, "Marechiare", le devolvió a sus orígenes y la desgranó con impoluta musicalidad y buen legato. La segunda, que avisó que sería "canción española", "La Tarántula", para regocijo de los que la aclamaban en la sala. Bonito gesto de la cantante que además cantó con un notable castellano. ¿Qué tendrá nuestro repertorio que a tantos cantantes extranjeros les fascina?.
       El pianista estadounidense que hacía también su presentación oficial en Madrid, ofreció un recital paralelo, siempre al servicio de los requerimientos de la solista principal, cuidando al extremo el tempo y el fraseo, fundiéndose ambos en un solo intérprete. Fruto de ello surge la habitual colaboración entre ambos integrantes, que parecen conocerse a la perfección.
       Para terminar conviene recordar dos cosas. La primera, que la información (o la falta de ella) sigue brillando por su ausencia unas calles más allá de Jovellanos, junto a la Plaza de Oriente. La propia cantante asegura que no hará Alceste de Glück la próxima temporada, conocedora de su anuncio. Sí estará en cambio en los cada vez más apetecibles Troyanos milaneses en abril de 2014, con Gregory Kunde en el papel de Aeneas.
Arian Ortega,, 26 April 2013


La Voix Humaine

Grand Theatre de la Ville, Luxembourg

Read a full interview with Anna Caterina on her role in La Voix Humaine Philippe Banel, Tutti Magazine

Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers

Royal Festival Hall

'A great artist, Antonacci has the ability to immerse herself completely in whatever she sings, so that even in extracts we are acutely conscious of an absolute totality of characterisation.' Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 03 October 2012
'[Anna Caterina] gave an engrossing and impassioned rendition of Dido's farewell from Berlioz 'Les Troyens' and as an encore, Carmen's Act II 'Les tringles des sistres tintaient' that was undoubtedly the highlight of the concert.' Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard, 02 October 2012

North American Recital Tour

Fayetteville, Montreal, New York and Washington D.C.

"...This was no diva showcase but a thoughtful program of French and Italian songs mostly from the Belle Epoque [...] Her voice has a distinctive timbre: rich and warm yet focused and clear. She is comfortable at both ends of her range, whether cresting to soft, lingering high notes or dipping to dark, velvety lows. But it is what she does with her voice that makes her such a riveting artist. In 'En Sourdine', her singing found an uncanny balance between intense expressivity and magisterial elegance..." Anthony Thompson, New York Times, 09 April 2012
"Inhabiting each song like the sole character in a minature drama and molding the vocal lines with considerable freedom, her voice took on added richness and vibrancy, and she proved mesmerizing in evoking the heartbreak and erotic frankness of the texts [...] Her vivid engagement with the words and complete immersion in the psychological life of Ottorino Respighi's songs 'Sopra un' aria antica' and 'Nebbie' revealed an incomparable artist at work. Even her encore of 'Moon River' was so artfully done, it made one yearn to experience Antonaccci in fully staged opera..." Joe Banno, The Washington Post, 12 April 2012
...Antonacci's greatest strength: a rare ability to unite words and music with poetic insight and visceral drama. The music making was potent. Demonstrating a keen musical intelligence and a sensitivity and commitment to the material, Antonacci sang with crisp diction, impeccable taste, dramatic urgency, and a resonant middle register [...] her voice was a singularly and freely expressive instrument, particularly when coupled with her graceful yet naturally commanding stage presence, and the songs often took on an intimate yet powerfully personal quality. [...] From the all-Italian second half of the program, most memorable were the five songs from Respighi and Refice's 'Ombra di nube', all sung with exquisite phrasing, greater control of her upper register, and an expert sense of vocal drama... DC Metro Theater Arts, 13 April 2012
...In regards to her formidable singer-actor expertise, she appeared to "like" herself on stage as opposed to "loving" herself onstage. The 'message and the music' always remained more significant than the 'messenger'. There were no comedic rolling eyes, no over rehearsed grand gestures, no startling caesuras. Instead, there was perfection: a beautiful woman, a gorgeous voice, a sensitive piano accompaniment and a performance that, from start to finish, was honest, admirable, intelligent and endearing. A performance in which she, after more than two and a half hours, keft her audience screaming for more. Perfection, after all, has its rewards. The City Wire, Arkansas, 05 April 2012

Recital: 05 December 2011

Wigmore Hall

'...The voice, a dark lustrous instrument that can be soprano or mezzo with equal ardour, is clearly in magnificent shape. The histrionics are undimmed but never unhinged: this is a thinking artist, not a sulky diva. And the appetite for adventure is still sharp. This recital delved into the rarer realms of French and Italian romantic art-songs with enchanting results. [...] Antonacci never made the mistake of larding sentimentality on already overripe material. Just as Respighi, in his Sopra un'aria antica, contains the explosive passions of Gabriele d'Annunzio's poetry within a limpid, quasi-Baroque world, so Antonacci emotes from within a pristine technique. Her legato line is a liquid wonder, but when the poem requires a conversation to be animated, she characterises each voice in a marvellously deft parlando. Nowhere was her control and imagination better demonstrated than in the last bars of Cilea's Nel ridestarmi: a stunning leap to a top note; a Callas-style glissando to the depths, and still enough power to ping the last note like an arrow in the heart. [...] The five songs of Reynaldo Hahn's Venezia are wry love-serenades written to be sung on a gondola, by a man. Antonacci is clearly not a man. Yet she simply ignored these circumstantial barriers and infused them with wit and warmth. Finally she mustered her lushest sound for a gloriously sustained unfurling of Licionio Refice's Ombra di nube...' Richard Morrison, The Times, 07 December 2011




REYNALDO HAHN: from Venezia – Chansons en dialecte vénitien (1901)
FRANCESCO PAOLO TOSTI: Quattro canzoni d'Amaranta (1907)
FRANCESCO CILEA: Serenata ('Mormorante di tenero desio'), Nel ridestarmi, Non ti voglio amar
REFICE: Ombra di nube
ANTONIO CESTI: Intorno all'idol mio
OTTORINO RESPIGHI: Sopra un'aria antica
Encore - TOSTI: Marechiare (Canto Napoletano)

Anna Caterina Antonacci, Soprano
Donald Sulzen, Piano
Wigmore Hall Live


Carmen [DVD]

Royal Opera House, London


Era La Notte

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI Lamento d'Ariana, Lasciatemi morire
BARBARA  STROZZI Lamento: Lagrime mie, a che vi trattenete
PIETRO ANTONIO GIRAMO Lamento della pazza, Chi non conosce
CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda

Modo Antiquo
Anna Caterina Antonacci
Federico Maria Sardelli


Ermione [DVD]

Glyndebourne Festival Opera, 



Rodelinda [DVD]

Glyndebourne Festival Opera, 
William Christie, 



Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira) [DVD]

Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna



Les Troyens [DVD]

Châtalet Theatre, Paris
Sir John Eliot Gardiner,

Opus Arte