Biography

Alex Penda

Alex Penda, also known as Alexandrina Pendatchanska, was born in Sofia in a family of renowned Bulgarian musicians. At the age of 19 she had won important singing competitions and had her international breakthrough with her debut as Lucia/LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR in Bilbao. Alex Penda quickly established herself in the international opera scene and is regular guest at the world’s famous opera houses such as Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Berlin State Opera, German Opera Berlin, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Theatre La Monnaie Brussels, Boshoi Theatre Moscow, Teatro San Carlo Naples, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées Paris, Lincoln Center New York, Opera Houston, Santa Fé Opera as well as Washington Opera.

Her wide repertoire reaches from Baroque operas by Monteverdi and Handel over Belcanto and Verdi up to the dramatic roles of Wagner and Strauss.  It includes roles like AGRIPPINA, Fiordiligi/COSI FAN TUTTE, Helene/LES VESPRES SICILIENNES, Eboli/DON CARLO, CARMEN, Donna Anna & Donna Elvira/DON GIOVANNI, Elettra/IDOMENEO, Vitellia/LA CLEMENZA DI TITO, Elisabetta/MARIA STUARDA, Chrysothemis/ELEKTRA, SALOME, Kundry/PARSIFAL, Amelia/UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, Lady Macbeth/MACBETH, Leonore/FIDELIO and Margherita in Boito´s MEFISTOFELE.

Highlights of the last seasons include: Eboli in Oviedo, Elisabetta in Toronto, Salome in Santa Fe, Warschau and Moskau, Nedda/PAGLIACCI in Vienna, Donna Elvira in Aix-en-Provence as well as Elettra in Vienna, Bruxelles and Cologne. She also celebrated great successes as Helene in Naples, as Chrysothemis in Bari, Vitellia in Bruxelles and Leonore in Santa Fe. Her marvelous debut as Kundry in Tokio, her performances as Poppea in Vienna and in MEFISTOFELE in Baden-Baden also earned her much recognition. Just recently she made her debut as Lady Macbeth/MACBETH in Avignon and sang the Contessa in Tel Aviv under Dan Ettinger. In december 2017 she gave an astonishing debut in the title role of Puccini’s TOSCA in her hometown Sofia. In Spring 2018 she made her debut as Santuzza/CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA at La Monnaie Bruxelles and celebrated a huge success.

Current and future projects include her debut as Elisabetta/DON CARLO at Theater St. Gallen, Lady Macbeth/MACBETH in Limoges, Reims and Massy as well as more performances of TOSCA, of Giorgetta/TABARRO and SALOME.

Apart from her busy operatic calendar, Alex Penda sang Verdi’s MESSA DA REQUIEM, Rossini’s STABAT MATER and PETITE MESSE SOLENELLE, Beethoven’s IX Symphony and Honnegger’s LE ROI DABID. She collaborated with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, L’Orchestra Sinfonica della Rai, Philadelphia Orchestra, L’Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Russian National Orchestra, ORF Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Rom, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Concerto Köln, Ensemble Matheus, Complesso Barocco and Academy for Old Music. Alex Penda worked under the baton of Riccardo Chailly, Myun-Wyun Chung, Charles Dutoit, Jesus Lopos-Cobos, Bruno Bartoletti, Carlo Rizzi, Ivor Bolton, Daniel Oren, René Jacobs, Vladimir Jurowski, Mark Minkowsky and has been part of some outstanding productions of directors such as Sir Jonathan Miller, Hans Neuenfels, Christof Loy and Dmitri Tcherniakov.
In the highly acclaimed Mozart’s recordings of Rene Jacobs for Harmonia Mundi her renditions of Vitellia, Donna Elvira, Elettra, Arminda have been regarded as ultimate interpretations. Those recordings received numerous awards as BBC Music Magazine Award, Gramophone’s Editor Choice and two Grammy nominations (Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording). Alex Penda’s discography also enlist Handel’s Agrippina for Harmonia Mundi (Grammy nomination for Best Opera Recording 2013),  Rossini’s Semiramide for NAXOS, Terradellas’ Sesostri, Glinka’s  Antonida /LIFE FOR THE TZAR for Sony, Rachmaninov’s THE BELLS for Decca, Donizetti’s PARISINA D’ESTE for Dynamics, Sartorio’s GIULIO CESARE for ORF as well as  two aria recital albums. Her performances as Elisabetta/ROBERTO DEVEREUX, Lucrezia Contarini/I DUE FOSCARI, Donna Elvira/DON GIOVANNI, Alcina/ORLANDO PALADINO and PETITE MESSE SOLENNELLE with Gewandhaus Leipzig under Riccardo Chailly are available on DVD.