Tosca Writes Poems and Sings Them, Too

For London-based soprano Katerina Mina, generosity of emotions is the most important trait on stage.

This blog continues its series of profiles of young American, Canadian, and British singers who sing German repertoire. Their answers to a small set of questions show what it takes to pursue the career of their dreams. Katerina Mina’s singing ranges between Wagner and Puccini, Barber and music to her own poetry.

Photo: Shantha Delaundy Photography

From where?
I was born in Cyprus to a Greek father and a Cypriot mother.

Your Fach?
Spinto Soprano

Your favourite role:
My absolute favourite role has to be Tosca! I’m so looking forward to performing this role next year in a tour in the USA with the American National Opera Company.

Your hero in opera:
Joyce DiDonato

Your hero in real life:
My beloved mother Anastasia

Your recent performance:
Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater” & “Te Deum” in Bishop’s Castle, England.

Best opera production you saw in Germany:
“La Forza del Destino” at Bayerische Staatsoper.

Craziest opera production you saw in Germany:
“Faust” at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

The biggest challenge in singing German opera or Lieder:
Organising and forming the consonants in such a way that they are prominent, yet part of the legato line.

The latest opera production you’ve put on stage:
Santuzza from Mascagni’s opera “Cavalleria Rusticana”, one of my favourite characters of verismo opera.

And the reaction of the audience was …
It was such a great feeling to experience the love and warmth of the audience, something I am very thankful for. After I changed fach recently from the lyric to the more dramatic soprano repertoire, it is also very encouraging for me to receive the positive reaction of the audience, colleagues and my mentors.

As Elle in Francis Poulenc’s “La Voix Humaine”

Your next project or performance, and where:
Next week I am recording a new CD Album with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, with Maestro Grzegorz Nowak. The recording will consist of many beautiful arias from the Spinto Soprano repertoire including two German pieces, Leonore’s aria from Beethoven’s “Fidelio” and Elsa’s Dream from Wagner’s “Lohengrin”. There will also be arias by Puccini, Verdi, Cilea, Giordano; Samuel Barber’s “Andromache’s Farewell” and two world-premiere pieces written by Swiss composer Stephan Hodel on two of my poems with titles “Love” and “Angel of Fire” . It is the first time my poetry is set into music!

Your favourite quality in a singer:
I love sincere singers who possess an individual sound in their voice and who are emotionally generous on stage.

Your favourite German word:


Find more information about Katerina Mina at

Watch and listen to her performance of “Vier Lieder” by Alma Mahler-Werfel.






Published by


Bernd Hendricks. Born in Duisburg, Germany. Based in Berlin. Writer, German Language Educator. I was six years old when I went to the opera for the first time. My Grandma took me to Hänsel und Gretel at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Duisburg. The first time I met an opera singer personally was during my time as foreign correspondent in New York when at a Christmas party a baritone pelted me with questions about the language of Zauberflöte. He was preparing for his role as Papageno. After my return to Berlin in September 2010, I have been giving German lessons to singers on their audition tours. My workshops in Berlin, Vienna, and London are based on my widely read book Ach, ich fühl’s—German for Opera Singers in Three Acts: Studying, Speaking, Singing. My latest book, Die Frist ist um—Navigate the Language of 10 German Operas, takes you on a journey through the language of the most popular and often performed operas in the German-speaking countries. I am also the author of several non-fiction books and two novels.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s