On 26th January Ilia Papandreou gave her ovation-celebrated debut at the Mainfranken Theater Würzburg as interpreter of the title role in Richard Strauss’ opera Ariadne auf Naxos. Under the musical direction of GMD Enrico Calesso and directed by Dominique Horwitz, Ilia Papandreou performed in a Strauss opera for the first time since her debut as Marschallin.
“With a warm voice and great inwardness, Ilia Papandreou captivates her audience,” says Frank W. Breitenstein in BR Klassik. For Renate Freyeisen (O‑Ton), Ilia Papandreou stands out from the circle of “outstanding singer-actors […] alone through her wistful arias”: “Ilia Papandreou gives [the Ariadne] with her highly dramatic soprano brilliant heights, fine emotions in ever-rounded lines, and she also looks dazzling, personifying her grief and longing for death convincingly. ”
Mathias Wiedemann (Main-Post) recognizes in the prima donna or Ariadne the “dramatically most ungrateful role” of the opera, “but Ilia Papandreou sings herself with a large, clear soprano and luminous presence in the spotlight. Above all, it is her voice that carries the tremendous melodic richness of the music. ”
As Princess Jaroslawna in Alexander Borodin’s rarely heard opera Prince Igor, Ilia Papandreou made her successful debut at the Anhalt Theater in Dessau in May and June, adding another Russian soprano role to her extensive repertoire.
In the concertante performances with the Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau under the musical direction of Kapellmeisterin Elisa Gogou the audience and critics were very enthusiastic:
“The great guest soloist Ilia Papandreou,” as Johannes Killeen is writing in the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, “made the piece especially shining with her lyrical and dramatic expressiveness, clear style and high notes that never sounded thin or sharp.”
Ilia Papandreou was nominated as “Female Singer of the Year 2018” for her interpretation of Desdemona in Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello in the current Opernwelt critics’ poll. She had given her celebrated and much-acclaimed debut in May this year at the Erfurt theatre.