Well done to UK Cypriot Opera singer Katerina Mina on receiving a medal from Ludvig Nobel at the Stockholm Culture Awards in the category of Opera alongside Swedish music star, pianist, composer and singer, Robert Wells. The Award Ceremony took place at the magnificent Great Hall of the Knights at the House of Nobility in Stockholm.
The Stockholm Culture Awards have as its purpose to highlight and praising world-class cultural personalities, who are knowledgeable and distinguished in their field and work hard to strengthen the status of classical arts in and for Stockholm and make them more accessible to all. Both Swedish and foreign citizens are eligible.
The awards gathers members and others interested in and for Stockholm’s culture, history and development in a rapidly changing world
Over the years, the circle of interested people has expanded and the Stockholm Culture Awards focus on the city’s culture and history, in an international context, has expanded.
The Stockholm Culture Awards are also interested in the impact of countries on the city’s cultural and historical development with the purpose to strengthen Stockholm in its role as a city of culture and knowledge.
The Stockholm Culture Foundation was formed in 1983 by a group of students (Rikard Högberg, Sverker Littorin, Hans Wernstedt and Hans von Gaffron) from the Stockholm Nation in Uppsala, who became acquainted with each other during the university studies at Uppsala University. Most of them were active members of Stockholm’s Nation, in the latter part of the 1970s and early 1980s. The common interest was Stockholm’s culture and history.
The Stockholm Culture Foundation has done much, from rescuing cultural buildings at Långholmen in Stockholm, rock carvings in Herrebro outside Norrköping, demonstrated against the construction of a highway (which was moved), awarding merit medals to MTV stars at Kåtorps Gård in Roslagen, building monuments in St. Petersburg over the old Swedish city Nyen (later renamed St. Petersburg), to hand out merit medals at the Royal Palace in Stockholm and in the Blue Hall at Stockholm City Hall.
A prizewinning British soprano, Katerina Mina has recently taken Santuzza (Cavalleria rusticana) and Giorgetta (Il tabarro) into her repertoire and is preparing a number of roles for the stage: Tosca, Manon Lescaut, Leonora (La forza del destino), Amelia (Un ballo in maschera) and Elsa (Lohengrin). Her career has already encompassed Violetta (La traviata), Mimi (La bohème), Nedda (Pagliacci), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Elle (La Voix humaine) and Kupava (Snegurochka).
Katerina was born in Cyprus and makes her home in London, where she studied voice and piano at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama before going on to win prizes at the Julián Gayarre International Singing Competition and Concorso Vocale Internazionale di Musica Sacra. She is now mentored by the American voice teacher Pamela Kuhn, and coaches with Anthony Manoli, Mark Packwood and Anthony Legge.
In 2018 she released her debut album, Angel of Fire, on the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s own label. Accompanied by the RPO under conductor Grzegorz Nowak, she performs operatic arias by Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Beethoven, Giordano and Cilea, Andromache’s Farewell by Samuel Barber, and the world premieres of two songs by Swiss composer, Stephan Hodel, which are settings of poems written by Katerina herself.
On the concert platform, Katerina has appeared in London at the Southbank Centre, St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields (with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra under Marios Papadopoulos), Conway Hall and the Hackney Empire; around the UK at the Buxton Opera House, Shrewsbury Abbey, De La Warr Pavilion (Bexhill-on-Sea), De Montfort Hall (Leicester), and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Nick Davies at the Royal and Derngate Theatre in Northampton. Her European engagements have taken her to Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Paris, Moscow, Florence, Athens, Tenerife, Ancona, and, her native Cyprus, notably in concerts of Mozart and Grieg with the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra under Esa Heikkilä. She has also made a tour of Japan and appeared in Toluca and Acolman with the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra under Enrique Bátiz. Her future plans include the world premiere of a piece by Alessandro Valtulini at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan.
Katerina Mina’s wide-ranging concert repertoire includes the Verdi and Mozart Requiems, Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Kleine Orgelmesse and Scena di Berenice, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater and Te Deum, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, songs by Duparc, Tippett’s Five Negro Spirituals from A Child of Our Time, David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus, Epitaph and Epiphany by Mikis Theodorakis, The Peacemakers by Karl Jenkins and ‘symphonic rock’ by Rick Wakeman.
In 2014 she appeared beside the late Professor Stephen Hawking at the closing ceremony of STARMUS 2014, the International Festival of Astronomy, in the Canary Islands, where she performed music by Alexandros Hahalis, and in 2018 she opened and closed the inaugural ceremony of the First International Day of Light at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris, performing songs by the British songwriter Linda Lamon.
As an educator she has directed two school choirs and a number of successful musical productions.
Katerina Mina is an Ambassador of the UK Friends of Israel Opera, and has been awarded the Russian Federation’s medal for peace and friendship.