Arda Madikian

Soloist, Mezzo-Soprano
She is of Armenian descent and was born in Izmir, Turkey on 01/09/1924. She moved to Athens at an early age and studied voice with Elvira de Hidalgo and Alexandra Trianti. She debuted with sporadic appearances in Athens (1942/47). In 1948 she went to England and had a career. In 1950, she appeared with the Oxford Opera Society as Dido in Berlioz’s opera The Trojans [Les Troyens]. She sang the same role in 1952 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and the Dutch Festival at the Hague. In Oxford, she also participated in the world premieres of Joseph Velez’ opera Incognita, singing the lead role (1951) and Britten's opera The turn of the screw (1954. In 1951 she appeared at London’s Mermaid Theatre as Witch in Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas. In 1953, she made her Royal Opera House London debut as Musetta in La bohème. As of 1954 she appeared with the English Opera Group, mainly in works by Britten. There, she sang works including Byzantine hymns in recitals, as well as six surviving ancient Greek hymns transcribed by Theodor Rainah. In 1957 she recorded Mikis Theodorakis' song cycles Eros and Death and Cycle. Her repertory included roles in the operas: Idomeneo, King of Crete [Idomeneo, re di Creta], Electra and Gustav Holst’s Sāvitri. She was an Association of Friends of Music board member and chairwoman of the Maria Callas Scholarships Association, which she co-founded together with Christos Lambrakis and Maria Callas. She has also been a member of juries for International Song Contest. She died on 9/11/2009. At the GNO she appeared once in the role of Sanducca in (Rustic Chivalry/Cavalleria rusticana] (1964/65), while she also served as a GNO board member (1974-1980).