Valente Lecture: Helēna Sorokina
Mezzo-soprano Helēna Sorokina was born in Riga, the capital of Latvia. She gained her first musical experiences at the age of five in violin, piano, and voice. She studied choral conducting at the Latvian Music Academy and worked as a conductor with several choirs. Since 2010 she has been studying singing at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, first with Claudia Rüggeberg and later with Antonius Sol. As a participant in several choir conducting and singing competitions, she achieved honorable achievements. In 2008 she won the Emilis Melngailis Competition for Young Conductors in Liepaja, Latvia, for the Best Interpretation of a Choral Orchestra Work. In the same year, she was in the final four of the International Choir Conductors Competition Towards Polyphony in Wroclaw (Poland) and was awarded the Special Jury Prize.
Sorokina works regularly as an oratorio and concert singer for the EuropaChorAkademie and various orchestras in Germany and abroad. Under the direction of Joshard Daus she sang the old parts in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Messiah, Bruch’s The Song of the Bell, and Mendelssohn’s Paulus in some of the largest concert halls in Germany, Italy, and Austria. Thanks to her absolute ear, in 2013 she was able to create one of the main roles (1st woman) in the premiere of the opera Asteroid 62 by D. Kourliandski and in 2016 the alto in the world premiere of the opera performance Paradise by M. Hiendl at the musikprotokoll, Styrian Autumn festival.
As a soloist, she performed as part of the International Bruckner Festival Linz 2014 (EntArteOpera). Since 2015 she has been a scholarship holder of the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) and LiveMusicNow. She regularly organizes recitals, including her 2015 concert “Shadow Theater with Harpsichord” as part of the Riga Festival for Early Music and Dance, and in 2016 the concert “Heavenly Sounds and Voices” as part of Linzer Höhenrausch. She regularly performs chanson programs together with Professor Karlheinz Donauer and their popular interpretations include songs sung by Zarah Leander and Marlene Dietrich. In this genre, she has been performing in variety shows with the jazz orchestra Eddie Luis and the Merciless. In 2017 she joined the vocal ensemble for old and new music called “Cantando Admont” under the direction of Cordula Bürgi. With this ensemble she has performed at the Salzburg Festival, Yale NUS College in Singapore, open music and the other string in Graz, Klangspuren Schwaz, Imago Festival Ljubljana, Music and Church Brixen, Brücken.