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The Mind Over Finger Podcast

Mar 27, 2020

Today on the show, I’m so excited to speak with the incredible and globally celebrated soprano Sondra Radvanovsky!

In our conversation, Sondra covers a variety of topics, including how she prepares for a role, the importance of understanding how we learn, how to perform at our best, and the importance of kindness in our field.

She also expands on:

  • The importance of understanding how and how quickly we learn
  • When it’s good to walk away and hit reset in order to learn faster
  • How a desire to please and to express emotions can negatively affect the quality of our performance
  • The importance of being in the moment during a performance
  • How she prioritizes her health while maintaining a heavy performing schedule involving lots of travel

Sondra has wonderful insight in store for you, and I know you will enjoy this episode!


Don’t forget to visit the Mind Over Finger Resources’ page to check out amazing books recommended by my podcast guests, as well as my favorite websites, cds, the podcasts I like to listen to, and the practice and podcasting tools I use everyday!  Find it here:!


And join the Mind Over Finger Book Club in the Tribe!  We meet HERE, and we’ll begin 2020 with The Inner Game of Golf by Tim Gallwey!


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More about Sondra Radvanovsky:






Sondra at The Met:


Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky is a globally celebrated artist. The depth and exquisite color of her voice are matched by her dramatic acting ability and versatility across a remarkable range of repertoire, from the title roles in Rusalka and Lucrezia Borgia, to Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac and the title role in Manon Lescaut. She is widely regarded as one of the premiere Verdi sopranos alive today, as well as one of the premiere interpreters of bel canto.

Radvanovsky begins the 2019-20 season in the title role of a production of Sir David McVicar’s Rusalka at the Canadian Opera Company. She then performs in concert and recital in Vancouver, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Ã Coruña (Spain) and Baden-Baden (Germany). Radvanovsky will sing a concert titled “The Three Queens” at the Chicago Lyric Opera, a concert featuring the last act of each of the three Queens trilogy. This will be followed by a concert version of Il Pirata at the Palais Garnier in Paris. In February 2020, the soprano will be singing Liza in Pique Dame at the Chicago Lyric Opera. This is followed by both the title role in Aida and Liza in Pique Dame at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. The season ends with Sondra Radvanovsky singing the title role of Aida at the Staatsoper in Vienna.

She has performed in every major opera house in the world, including the Royal Opera House, Teatro alla Scala, Opernhaus Zürich, and numerous others. Her signature interpretations of Verdi's heroines include the title roles in Aïda and Luisa Miller, Elvira in Ernani, Elena in I Vespri Siciliani, Elisabeth de Valois in Don Carlo, Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, and Lina in Stiffelio, among others.

She trained at the Metropolitan Opera in the late 1990s in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. After performances in smaller roles there, Radvanovsky caught the attention of critics as Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann and was singled out as a soprano to watch. On the concert platform, she has sung with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Verbier Festival Orchestra, both with James Levine; with the Chicago Symphony and David Zinman; with the San Francisco Symphony and James Conlon, and with the Bayerische Staatsoper and Zubin Mehta.

Radvanovsky's debut recording, Verdi Arias, was released in April 2010 on the Delos label. The album quickly became a critical hit and made several season-best lists, including those of NPR and The New Yorker. In 2011 Delos released a CD of Verdi opera scenes with Radvanovsky and her frequent artistic partner Dmitri Hvorostovsky to coincide with the pair’s return to the Met stage in Il Trovatore. The disc was recorded with the Philharmonia of Russia and Constantine Orbelian.

Radvanovsky is no stranger to the screen. She stars in a Naxos DVD of Cyrano de Bergerac alongside Plácido Domingo, and in Il Trovatore, Un Ballo in Maschera, and Roberto Devereux for the wildly popular “Met: Live in HD” series. She has also been an enthusiastic host for the “Live in HD” transmissions of La Fanciulla del West, Otello, and Francesca da Rimini.

Born just outside Chicago, Radvanovsky now makes her home with her husband near Toronto and has dual citizenship.


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Most sincere thank you to composer Jim Stephenson who graciously provided the show’s musical theme!  Concerto #1 for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra – Movement 2: Allegro con Brio, performed by Jeffrey Work, trumpet, and the Lake Forest Symphony, conducted by Jim Stephenson.

Also a HUGE thank you to my fantastic producer, Bella Kelly!