Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky made an incandescent San Francisco Opera debut this month as Leonora in Il Trovatore, prompting reviewers to glow about her, and rediscover their faith in the workhorses of the Italian repertoire. "Even if nothing else happens during the rest of the San Francisco Opera's 2009 fall season, soprano Sondra Radvanovsky has already provided us with at least one extraordinary and indelible musical memory." the SF Chronicle said. "In her company debut Sondra Radvanovsky wielded her alluring voice with affecting power and poignant intimacy," chimed the NY Times. The Examiner extolled her "big, fabulously projected voice" which "had every note in place." And the SFCV book-ended a lauding paragraph about her with "nothing matched the vocal and dramatic impact Radvanovsky made as Leonora" and "It was all marvelous to hear and witness, from beginning to end." She has sung this role at venerated institutions such as the Met or Covent Garden, so the quality of her performance should not exactly come as a surprise.

SFist had the chance to meet up with her for a coffee at Absinthe last week, and despite all the acclaim and success on the biggest operatic stages, she maintains a girl-next-door easy-going vibe. The only way we could tell she was a true diva was that she ordered earl grey tea, the expected drink for singers. (She didn't even spike it with honey. That is devotion to one's craft.)