The Greek Soprano Ilia Papandreou was born in London and raised in Frankfurt, Germany. She began her musical studies at the Berklee College of Music, then continued in Frankfurt and finally received her diploma from the Athens Conservatory of Music with honours. She took part, among others, in master classes by Montserrat Caballé. She was a member of the Theater Erfurt Ensemble until 2015.
She has sung over 40 premieres with great success, such as Leonore (Fidelio) and Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) already in her first season, followed by important parts the title role of Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka, Antonia (Les contes d’Hoffmann) and La Contessa in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. In 2010 she was to be seen in the both enticing and extremely ambitious part of Manfred Gurlitt’s Nana. The highly acclaimed performance of this almost unknown opera of 1931 was also published on CD in 2010.
More recently Ilia Papandreou sang Puccini’s Mimì (La Bohème) Liù (Turandot; in Nice), Elettra (Idomeneo), Alice (Robert le Diable), Agathe (Der Freischütz), Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito), Tatjana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Agnès Sorelle in Jeanne d'Arc, the title role of his Čarodejka (The Enchantress), and lastly the Verdi heroines Amelia (Simon Boccanegra), Elisabetta (Don Carlo). She was nominated as “Singer of the Year 2014” in Germany's most prominent Opera Magazine, Opernwelt, for her celebrated debut as Desdemona in Giuseppe Verdi's Otello.
Her latest achievement was interpreting Maria Callas in Terence McNally’s play Master Class, and her highly praised interpretation of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. In 2015 she gave her debut as Marguerite (Faust) and as Brunehilde in Ernest Reyers' Sigurd. She guested among others in Leipzig as Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), as Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) in Weimar and several times in St. Gallen. Furthermore she stood in as Eva in Wagner's Meistersinger at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan with the conductor Daniele Gatti. The same year, she gave her debut as Marta in Weinberg's Auschwitz opera The Passenger in Gelsenkirchen and as Iolanta in Prague, and in November gave her triumphant debut as Medea in Luigi Cherubini’s opera of the same name.
Upcoming projects are, amomg others, a Concert with Thessaloniki State Orchestra singing Ernest Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la Mer and the role of Jaroslawna in Alexander Borodin’s Prince Igor at the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau.