Aile Asszonyi

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Aile Asszonyi
Asszonyi in 2012
Born (1975-07-22) 22 July 1975 (age 48)
Väike-Maarja, Estonia
EducationEstonian Academy of Music and Theatre
OccupationOperatic soprano

Aile Asszonyi (born 22 July 1975) is an Estonian soprano who has made an international career, known for dramatic roles such as Puccini's Turandot, Wagner's Senta and Elektra by Richard Strauss.

Life and career[edit]

Asszonyi was born on 22 July 1975. Her mother Aino Asszonyi was an architect. Her maternal grandfather John Pori was a renowned orchestra leader and dance musician.[1][2] She studied at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn with Matti Pelo and Helin Kapten, graduating in 2002.[2] She studied further at the studio of the Dutch National Opera from 2002 to 2004,[2] and the Carlo Bergonzi Accademia Verdiana in Busseto.[2][3] She won the Prix des Donateurs at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels[3] in 2004.[4]

Asszonyi first sang in the Philharmonic Chamber Choir in Estonia. She made her stage debut in 2000 as Despina in Mozart's Così fan tutte at the Theater Vanemuine in Tartu. She participated in the world premieres of Isidora Žebeljan's operas Zora D and Dve glave i devojka. She was a member of the Estonian National Opera from 2010.[2] Her roles include Haydn's Armida, Mozart's Fiordiligi, both Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Adina in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, Verdi's Violetta and Giovanna d'Arco.[2][5] She then ventured into more dramatic roles such as the title role in Beethoven's Fidelio, and both Elisabeth and Venus in Wagner's Tannhäuser.[3] In Europe, she performed the roles of the Mother in Dallapiccola's Il prigioniero at the Oper Graz[3] in 2016,[5] Prothoe in Schoeck's Penthesilea at the Oper Bonn, and Abigaille in Verdi's Nabucco at Theater Regensburg. She appeared as Fata Morgana in Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges at Theater Koblenz, as both Wagner's Isolde and Puccini's Turandot at the Staatstheater Saarbrücken, and as Senta in Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer with De Nederlandse Reiseoper. She has sung with conductors such Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi and Dirk Kaftan and with directors such as Dmitry Bertman, Michiel Dijkema, Stefan Herheim, Roman Hovenbitzer, Tobias Kratzer, Peter Konwitschny, David Pountney, Daniel Slater, Nicola Raab and Andrejs Žagars.[3][5]

In 2023 Asszonyi appeared in the title role of Elektra by Richard Strauss at the Oper Frankfurt,[3] directed by Claus Guth and conducted by Sebastian Weigle. A reviewer noted that she was convincing from the beginning by both a "energetic voluminous high dramatic voice" and by stage presence, acting as a traumatised woman close to madness.[6] Jan Brachmann from the FAZ experienced her as identifying with her character, and portraying in her monologue a woman with an unrealised capacity to love.[7]

She took part in the world premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina's oratorio Über Liebe und Hass / About Love and Hate both in Tallinn and at the Olavsdagene Festival in Trondheim.[3][8]

Asszonyi was named best musician of the year 2007 by the Estonian Music Council, and was awarded the annual Estonian Theatre Award for the best operatic performance in 2009.[2]



  1. ^ "Asszonyi, Aile | Estonian Music Information Centre". Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Aile Asszonyi". Estonian National Opera. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Aile Asszonyi / soprano". Oper Frankfurt. 2023. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  4. ^ "Final 2004: Aile Asszonyi - Opera". Queen Elisabeth Competition. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  5. ^ a b c "Aile Asszonyi / soprano". Oper Graz. 2023. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  6. ^ Richter, Alexandra (10 April 2023). "Elektra(un)komplex: Richard Strauss' Elektra an der Oper Frankfurt". (in German). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  7. ^ Brachmann, Jan (21 March 2023). "Ganz ohne Blut und Beil". FAZ (in German). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  8. ^ "The Estonian National Symphony celebrates Gubaidulina". 17 October 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2023.

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