“Making her role debut [as Musetta], Valentina Naforniţa looked as if she had come straight out of a Dior advert. She was perfectly cast as the much-courted Musetta, both visually and vocally”.
Moldovan soprano Valentina Naforniţa most recently made a successful debut as Gilda Rigoletto
at Teatro alla Scala to major acclaim. Currently an ensemble member at the Wiener Staatsoper, she will sing in the prestigious Vienna Opera Ball in February 2013.
Winner of the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition at the age of 24, Valentina Naforniţa was one of the youngest singers in the history of the competition. She also received the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize and was also a finalist of the Song Prize.
Valentina Naforniţa was born in Glodeni, Republic of Moldova. She graduated from the Stefan Neaga Music College in Kishinev in 2006 and continued her training at the National University of Music in Bucharest, Romania, with Maria Slatinaru-Nistor and Eleonora Enăchescu. At the Opera Studio, she has sung Norina Don Pasquale, Adina L’elisir d’amore and Lauretta Gianni Schicchi. She has also appeared with the Romanian National Opera and George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra. She has previously won the ‘Emerging Voice’ prize at the 62nd Annual Competition for Young Opera Singers of Europe 2011 (Associazione Lirica Concertistica Italiana), Orange Prize for Young Musicians, Romania in 2009 and the second prize in the Hariclea Darclée Voice Competition in 2010.
As a young artist at Wiener Staatsoper in 2011/12, she sang the roles of Lisa La Sonnambula, Papagena Die Zauberflöte, Barbarina Le nozze di Figaro, and Giannetta L’elisir d’amore. She has also appeared at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and Petworth Festival. In 2012, she was invited to sing at the Paris International Opera Competition and was awarded the second prize.
Highlights in 2012/13 season include her debut at Teatro alla Scala as Gilda Rigoletto, solo recital at Wiener Musikverein, Musetta La bohème with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and the AIDS Operngala in Bonn. Roles at Wiener Staatsoper this season include Marzelline Fidelio, Musetta, Najade Ariadne auf Naxos, Clorinda La Cenerentola and Ada Die Feen. She has also toured with the company to Japan for Le nozze di Figaro and Die Zauberflöte. In 2013/14 season she will sing Musetta, Adina, Gilda and role debut as Pamina in Vienna. She will make her debut at Staatsoper Berlin.
Valentina Naforniţa is represented worldwide by Intermusica.
April 2013 / 398 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.
Clorinda in Rossini La Cenerentola / Wiener Staatsoper
cond. Jesús López-Cobos / dir. Sven-Eric Bechtolf
Valentina Naforniţa and Magarita Gritskova were the beautiful daughters of this cryptic Buffo; both were vocally striking and agile, providing the lively and effervescent upper voices for the quintets and sextets.
Wilhelm Sinkovicz, Die Presse, January 2013
Gilda in Verdi Rigoletto / Teatro alla Scala
cond. Gustavo Dudamel / dir. Gilbert Deflo
“For their last production of the 2011/12 season, Verdi’s Rigoletto, La Scala in Milan [...] cast Valentina Naforniţa, a rising star amongst sopranos, as Gilda. [...]
The performance on 8th November was the house debut at La Scala, Milan, for 25 year old Moldovian soprano Valentina Naforniţa, as well as her role debut as Gilda, who goes willingly to her death out of love for the duke. Winner of the renowned BB Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 2011, and member of the Ensemble at the Wiener Staatsoper since last year, Naforniţa’s voice was crystal-clear, yet warm and expressive, and she struck her high notes as if on a glass harmonica”.
Birgit Popp, Opera Notes, November 2012
Musetta in Puccini La bohème / Wiener Staatsoper
cond. Franz Welser-Möst / dir. Franco Zeffirelli
“Making her role debut, Valentina Naforniţa looked as if she had come straight out of a Dior advert. She was perfectly cast as the much-courted Musetta, both visually and vocally”.
„(In ihr Rollendebüt): Valentina Naforniţa erschien auf der Bühne wie einer Dior-Werbung entstiegen und ist somit als umschwärmte Musetta eine Idealbesetzung, denn auch stimmlich vermochte sie zu überzeugen“.
Rainer Elstner, Wiener Zeitung, December 2012
“Musetta was also drawn from the ensemble: Valentina Nafornita, the very incarnation of this figure, played and sang the role as a racy chick with a big heart and soul; this was a memorable debut”.
„Auch die Musette kommt aus dem Ensemble: Valentina Nafornita, optisch die Inkarnation dieser Figur, bringt in Spiel und Stimme eine flotte Biene mit Herz und großer Seele auf die Bühne, ein denkwürdiges Debüt“.
Wilhelm Sinkovicz, Die Presse, December 2012
Marzelline in Beethoven Fidelio
Wiener Staatsoper / cond. Peter Schneider / dir. Otto Schenk
“Especially exciting is company member Valentina Naforniţa, the new Marzellina, singing in a light and brightly toned soprano voice with audibly explosive potential”.
Wilhelm Sinkovicz, Die Presse, October 2012
Lisa in Bellini La Sonnambula
Wiener Staastoper / cond. Evelino Pidò / dir. Marco Arturo Marelli
“Naforniţa can boast the stature and grace of a ballerina which, coupled with her bell-like soprano and impressive stage presence, amply demonstrated that she is an ensemble member with undoubted promise for the future.”
Moore Parker, Opera Critic, February 2012
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition - Final
St. David’s Hall / cond. Jac van Steen
“Sublime...This is a voice in a million, with rich, warm colouring across the whole range, great agility in coloratura, with unfailing musical adaptability…”
Stephen Walsh, The Arts desk, June 2011
“Valentina Naforniţa's voice and style were perfectly suited to her first song, which was Rakhmaninov's Ne poy, krasavitsa, primne.”
“I have heard Ian Burnside on Radio 3 say he would gladly listen to her singing the Phone Book. There is no doubting the beauty of her voice. She is also exceptionally pretty - shouldn't be relevant, but of course it is.”
Intermezzo, June 2011
“Naforniţa thrilled the jury and the audience in the main final with a programme consisting of arias from Lucia di Lammermoor, Rusalka and Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.”
David Threasher, Gramophone, June 2011
“American mezzo Joyce DiDonato said of [Naforniţa's] victory: 'I think it's really exciting. She has a real element of star quality and the quality of the voice itself is something very special.'”
Classical Music, August 2011
“Valentina Naforniţa… sent the audience into ecstasies in her earlier round: she is a ravishing stage presence with a naturally vibrant voice, rich in the middle and silver at the top. Her ability to suggest character made her ‘Regnava nel silenzio’ from Lucia di Lammermoor totally credible… suggested a stamina that augurs well for a starry future.”
Rian Evans, Opera, August 2011
“The evening’s delightful discovery was Moldovan soprano Valentina Naforniţa. This elegant, intoxicating young soprano set the contest alight with a programme of Verdi, Korngold and Gounod, each sung with beauty and remarkable presence for such a young singer.”
Mike Smith, Wales Online, June 2011