Parvathi Subbiah

Lies Askonas Fellow


Venezuelan-Indian soprano Parvathi Subbiah is currently completing her Doctorate in Venezuelan politics at Cambridge University, whilst simultaneously embarking on a solo career. A former student of Mirella Freni at her Centro Universale del Bel Canto Academy in Italy, Parvathi began studying piano and singing in Venezuela and went on to study at the Oberlin Conservatory with Julien Robbins, and later with Elizabeth Hynes at the University of Southern California.

Her orchestral concert repertoire includes Stravinsky Les Noces, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Villa Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras, Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne, Verdi’s Te Deum, Mozart’s Requiem, Ch’io mi scordi di te, and Exsultate Jubilate, which she sang with Christian Vasquez and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela in Caracas. She also premiered Sperger’s Aria for soprano and concertante bass with Edicson Ruiz, double bassist with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

On the opera stage, her roles include Susanna at the Lyric Opera Studio in Weimar; Violetta and Mimi at the Aspen Music Festival; Sandrina la Finta Giardiniera and Mrs Coyle Owen Wingrave at the University of Southern California; Geraldine Barber’s A Hand of Bridge at the Londrina Music Festival, Brazil; Suor Angelica with the Empyrean Ensemble in Cambridge; and Violetta La Traviata Act 3 at the Figaro Opera Society in Venice.

A committed recitalist, Parvathi has performed in Cambridge, Los Angeles, Caracas, and Curitiba (Brazil), with her repertoire ranging from Schubert to Strauss, Rachmaninov to Montsalvatge, and Manuel de Falla to atonal works by renowned choral composer Morten Lauridsen, who invited her to perform his Spanish song cycle Cuatro Canciones sobre poesías de Federico García Lorca.


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    07 Feb 19 Puccini's Suor Angelica Trinity College Music Society
    Trinity College Chapel

    Subbiah stands out as both the dramatic and vocal highlight, however; from her earliest moments on stage she shines as a woman full of warmth and spirit, and her final moments are especially moving as her voice soars over the orchestra, begging the Madonna for mercy. As is always a risk with lesser known works, and especially with those where the audience doesn’t have access to a fully translated libretto (though in this case the audience is given a helpful programme which translates twenty key sections), the sense of some smaller moments is lost on the audience, but Subbiah in particular is skilled at guiding the audience through Angelica’s emotional highs and lows.
    Varsity Theatre

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    09 Nov 17 Holst's Savitri Cambridge University Opera Society
    ADC Theatre

    Subbiah’s striking and contrasting stature served to reinforce the emphasis, placed by Holst’s vocal writing, upon the opposed forces of life and death represented by their characters. She was a dramatic force equal to her counterpart, Death, and the emotional turmoil of Sāvitri as her unwitting husband drew closer to his dying moment was an early and particular highlight.
    Matt Coote, Varisty Theatre

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    08 Nov 17 Holst's Savitri Cambridge University Opera Soceity
    ADC Theatre

    In the title role of Sāvitri, Parvathi Subbiah was captivating, giving the role spontaneous and natural inflection….The unaccompanied opening between Death and Sāvitri was particularly impressive, with absolute certainty and commitment from both Subbiah and Quilligan.
    The Cambridge Student