Karolina Andersson is Violetta in Malmö Opera’s La Traviata
Welcome to the new season’s first News Letter! Late summer offers several exciting new productions such as Malmö Opera’s La Traviata which goes on tour in South Sweden between 14 Sept. and 4 Dec. Here Swedish soprano Karolina Andersson will make her debut in the role of Violetta. Karolina Andersson is one of Scandinavia’s foremost sopranos having sung roles as The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Gilda in Rigoletto and Governess in The Turn of the Screw. Last spring she had a great success as Regan in Malmö Opera’s production of Reimann’s expressionist opera Lear.
Question: The role of Violetta is one of the most demanding roles for sopranos. How have you prepared yourself for it?
Answer: When studying for this part I have not thought differently than I do when preparing for any other part. Why focus on particular difficulties and demands of a role? Every role requires something of you but you can choose how to look upon it and how to approach the task. I prefer to start with an unbiased approach, to come to know the music and let myself be seduced by it, to enjoy being present in the drama. I am really happy about being given the chance to sing Violetta’s part and look forward to the rehearsals and the coming tour.
Q: Last spring you stepped in at the last minute as Pamina in The Magic Flute at Malmö Opera, where you sang from the side of the stage, a spectacular achievement! The performance was led by Leif Segerstam. Tell us something about this event!
A: A sudden crisis at the theatre led to my stepping in as Pamina with half an hour’s notice! I had sung the part before, but that was eleven years ago and in Swedish. In Malmö I had to sing in German! I briefly said hello to Leif Segerstam and tried a few openings, and then it was just go and no looking back. Numerous performances as The Queen of the Night of course helped a lot and as the first panic subsided, I truly enjoyed the situation. Thankfully, the maestro was very pleased, so after overcoming the first “dead-man-walking-feeling” it was quite a positive experience.
Q: You have worked on several great stages in Europe, e.g. the Opéra National de Paris and the Staatsoper Berlin. How did you experience being employed at the Komische Oper in Berlin?
A: The time at the Komische Oper has meant a lot to me and although I am no longer permanently employed in its ensemble, I still regard it as “my house”. My experiences there, the work method, the strong will, the courage and also the feeling of solidarity, the joy – the Komische is a life-and-death theatre. It goes without saying that it is also a smoothly run operation. Performances must be produced in a never-ceasing stream and as a member of the ensemble you will sing many roles, maybe not always your own choice. There are of course many advantages with being permanently employed but one disadvantage is the fact that you are tied up and have few opportunities to make guest appearances at other theatres. In the end this made me hand in my notice. I had received a few offers that I simply could not refuse. Except for the time at the Komische, I have always free-lanced, so I cannot compare with being permanently employed at a house in Sweden. But I can definitely state that the tempo in Germany is different – whether you like it or not.
Q: What roles would you like to do in the future?
A: Dear me … what roles? I would very much like to sing Strauss, for instance Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier but also Lulu and Lucia di Lammermoor, browse among the Mozart roles as e.g. Konstanze, continue try new challenges with new material … This sounds ok for the near future and then I will have to wait and see how my voice develops. There is so much wonderful music – frankly, most roles hold treasures! I want to form roles that mean something and make a difference, roles that have a will, a mission to influence and above all to affect.
In Malmö Opera’s La Traviata Natalie Hernborg can be heard in the role of Flora. Director is Robin Norton-Hale.
Don Giovanni and the New Generation Opera
Ville Matvejeff leads the New Generation Opera and the Tapiola Sinfonietta in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Helsinki Festival. The title role is sung by Waltteri Torikka who was recently awarded the Martti Talvela Award, one of the most important opera prizes in Finland!
The Swedish Radio Orchestra
Niklas Björling Rygert will sing Monostatos’ part in The Magic Flute with the Swedish Radio Orchestra. Performances are given at Drottningholms Slottsteater on 26 and 27 August during the Baltic Sea Festival; conductor is Daniel Harding. On 11 Sept. Fredrik Burstedt conducts for the first time the Swedish Radio Orchestra in a programme that contains among other things Bruch’s Violin Concerto and Respighi’s Trittico Bottecelliano.
Daniel Hope - Artist in Residence at the Meraner Musikwochen
Daniel Hope is this year's Artist in Residence at the Meraner Musikwochen Festival in Italy. He curates a week of unique performances from September 3-7 2013 based on "Spheres" featuring among others composer Max Richter, The Berlin Radio Choir/Simon Halsey, Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin and David Finckel
Mats Rondin returns to Malmö Opera
With Mats Rondin conducting, Malmö Opera presents the musical Miss Saigon, based on Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly. This is a new production and it opens on Sept. 6 with performances until Jan. 29 2014.
Sara Widén makes her debut at the Royal Opera in Stockholm as well as in the role of Pamina on Sept. 14. A new production of the Magic Flute opens on Sept. 18 at the Folkoperan in Stockholm with Kristina Hansson as Pamina.
At Västerås, Andreas Stoehr leads the Västerås Sinfonietta on Sept. 12, the start of the new season. The programme includes Prokofjev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Andrea Tarrodi’s Birds of Paradise.
Svenska Konsertbyrån AB (The Swedish Concert Bureau) in Stockholm is one of northern Europe's leading artist management agencies within the field of classical music.