Soula's work in classical music
Greek-Canadian soprano Soula Parassidis has delighted audiences on three continents with her commanding voice, authentic character interpretations, and glamorous stage presence.
In the 2019-2020, seasons, Soula appeared as Elettra in Idomeneo at Teatro Massimo Palermo, Helmwige in Die Walküre at Opera Boredeaux, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at Guangzhao Opera, and Bice in the Italian premiere of Korngold's Violanta at the Teatro Regio Torino, which was broadcast on RAI5 and available on DVD on the Dynamic label. As a former flutist, she also served as a moderator and host for Medici TV at the Carl Nielsen International Competition. Further appearances included the Guangzhou Opera's 10 year gala, performing Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder. In 2020 Soula should have made her US opera debut and house debut as Erste Dame with Houston Grand Opera in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, and reprised her role as Donna Elvira in Shenzhen, in co-production with Opera Bordeaux and Guangzhao Opera.
In previous seasons, Soula has appeared at many of the world's major opera and concert venues, first appearing on the international operatic scene as Fiordiligi in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte with the Ensemble Philidor directed by Yves Beaunesne and conducted by Francois Bazola. She was then quickly invited to sing at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, where she performed in Orhpée aux Enfers, also directed by Yves Beaunesne, and conducted by Alain Altinoglu with the Salzburg Camerata, which was broadcast on ARTE on French and German television.
As a member of the house ensemble at Oper Leipzig for three seasons,, Soula performed a wide variety of leading roles accompanied by the Gewandhausorchester, including productions of Aufstieg und fall der Stadt Mahagonny, Don Giovanni, Carmen, Die Zauberflöte, Hänsel und Gretel all conducted by Ulf Schirmer, and she also starred in a new production of Admeto Re di Tessaglia directed by Tobias Kratzer and conducted by Federico Maria Sardelli. During her engagement she had the privilege to work closely with German director Peter Konwitschny in productions of Al gran sole carico d'amore, Parsifal, Elektra, Aida and Cosi fan tutte. Since leaving Oper Leipzig, Soula has appeared on several occasions as a guest with the company.
Other notable performances include La Clemenza di Tito with the Taipei Symphony orchestra conducted by Benjamin Bayl and directed by Justin Way, the title role of Vanessa by Samuel Barber at the Opéra-Théatre de Metz Métropole, Don Giovanni at Guangzhao Opera, Die Walküre at Opera Bordeaux, Idomeneo at Teatro Massimo Palermo created by famed Italian director Pier Luigi Pizzi, Capriccio at Opéra-Théatre de Metz Métropole, Violanta at Teatro Regio Torino, Dialogues des Carmelites with Vancouver Opera, Cosi fan tutte at Nürnberg Opera, Les Pecheurs des Perles at Opera Holland Park. and concerts with RTÉ concert orchestra and John Wilson, performing excerpts from Die Lüstige Witwe and Die Fledermaus, Cosi fan tutte at Theater Athenée Paris.
Concert appearances include excerpts from Die Walküre (Sieglinde) at Opera Bordeaux, the Mahler's 4th Symphony at the Orchestre National de Capitole de Toulouse conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero, Correspondances by Henri Dutilleux with the Czech Philharmonic at the Rudolfinum Prague which was also broadcast on Radio France, Wesendonck Lieder at the Attersee Festival in Austria, Bachainas Brasilieras at the Berliner Waldbühne, Giuditta at the Teatro Massimo Palermo, Giulio Sabino at the Gewandhaus Leipzig, Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Wüttembergische Philharmonie, as well as concert performances of Cosi fan tutte at the Berlin Philharmonie.
Born to a Greek father and Irish mother, Soula grew up in Vancouver, Canada and first trained as a flutist and actor before studying voice. She completed her formal education at the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Academy of Music, subsequently studying in Europe with Brigitte Fassbaender, Cheryl Studer and Karan Armstrong in Innsbruck, Wurzburg and Berlin respectively. Soula has been the recipient of generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as multiple prize winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.
In recent years, Soula has begun to adjust the concentration of her repertoire from Mozart roles like Fiordiligi and Vitellia and other lyric repertoire, to specialize in roles from Strauss and Wagner. Her main roles in the dramatic fach include Chrysothemis, Salome, Elsa, Kaiserin, and Sieglinde. She has had the pleasure to sing some of this exciting new music on stage, including the Gräfin in Capriccio at Opera Theatre Metz Metropole, Helmwige in Die Walküre at Opera Bordeaux, 5te Magd at Opera Leipzig, and Sieglinde excerpts from Die Walküre in concert at Opera Bordeaux.