Anne Sofie von Otter is considered one of the finest singers of her generation and is sought after by many of the major conductors, orchestras, opera and recording companies of the world. Born in Sweden, her studies began in Stockholm and continued with Vera Rozsa at London’s Guildhall. She commenced her professional career as a principal member of the Basel Opera before she was launched on an international career that has now spanned more than two decades. Always particularly renowned for her interpretation of Oktavian in Der Rosenkavalier, this is a role she has not only recorded for EMI with Bernard Haitink, but also performed in Stockholm, Munich, Chicago, Covent Garden and at the Paris Bastille, as well as in Vienna, at the Met and in Japan with the late Carlos Kleiber (the latter available on DVD).
Anne Sofie von Otter has scored many personal successes on the main operatic stages of Europe: Gluck’s Orfeo in Geneva was followed by his Alceste at the Chatelet, (Sir John Eliot Gardiner/Bob Wilson, recorded for both CD and DVD); Paris’ Palais Garnier played host to portrayals of Handel’s Ariodante (Marc Minkowski) as well as Sesto in both Clemenza di Tito and Giulio Cesare and Clairon in Strauss’ Capriccio. In addition to Oktavian at Vienna’s State Opera came the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos; Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea was heard at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Ottavia in the same piece at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, also the venue of debuts as Handel’s Xerxes (William Christie, recorded by EMI Classics) and Lully’s Thesée (Emmanuelle Haim). Another Handel role, Ruggerio in Alcina, marked a return to Sweden’s historic Drottningholm Festival and Glyndebourne Festival was the venue for her stage debut as Carmen (Philippe Jordan/David McVicar). At the Royal Stockholm Opera, Anne Sofie introduced the role of Concepcion in Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole to her repertoire and recently enjoyed huge success as Orphée in a new staging by Mats Ek. It was the challenging role of Didon which marked Anne Sofie von Otter’s return to the Geneva Opera in Iannis Kokkos’ staging of Berlioz’ Les Troyens.
Anne Sofie enjoys an ongoing relationship with New York’s Metropolitan Opera and James Levine where she has over the past years sung numerous performances of Rosenkavalier, Clemenza di Tito and Idomeneo as well as Debussy’s Pélleas et Mélisande, marking her stage debut in the role. Anne Sofie made her debut at the Santa Fe Opera Festival in 2006 as Carmen, conducted by Alan Gilbert.
An acclaimed recitalist, Anne Sofie von Otter performs around the globe with her accompanist, Bengt Forsberg and an equally busy concert career takes her regularly to the major halls of Europe and North America. Last season Anne Sofie enjoyed a residency at Vienna’s Musikverein where her performances included Chausson’s Poeme de l’Amour et de la Mer with Philippe Jordan, lieder recitals with Bengt Forsberg and both chamber music and jazz concerts. Anne Sofie also appeared twice with the Boston Symphony/James Levine in Das Lied von der Erde and Les Troyens, the latter at Tanglewood. In 2007, Anne Sofie von Otter joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen for semi-staged performances of Tristan und Isolde in which she debuted her highly acclaimed Brangäne.
Anne Sofie von Otter’s recording relationship with Deutsche Grammophon began in 1985 and today she boasts an extensive personal discography: together with Bengt Forsberg, she has made many award-winning Lieder and chamber music recordings (Schubert, Chaminade, Schumann, Korngold, Brahms, Grieg to name a few); with orchestra she has recorded Weill, Mahler, Bach and Zemlinsky (Gardiner), Berlioz and Brahms (Levine), Mozart (Pinnock), Berg, Mahler and a Grammy award-winning Schubert collection (Abbado), Ravel and Mahler (Boulez) and Offenbach (Minkowski). Other recordings for DG have included For the Stars, the award-winning collaboration with Elvis Costello; Music for a While, a baroque recital with harpsichord and lute, I let the Music Speak, a celebration of the music of Benny Andersson/Bjorn Ulvaeus, and most recently her highly acclaimed and award winning Terezín/Theresienstadt recording with Bengt Forsberg and Daniel Hope, a collection of moving songs and musical works composed by musicians imprisoned in the Theresiensdadt concentration camp.
Her opera catalogue includes Dorabella with Solti, Monteverdi’s Ottavia, Glück’s Orfeo as well as Sesto and Idamantes with Gardiner, Cherubino with Levine, Marguérite with Chung, Dido with Pinnock and R Strauss’ Composer with Sinopoli. A frequent performer of opera in concert, Anne Sofie has also recorded live Debussy’s Mélisande (ON de France/Haitink for Naive); Judith/Bluebeard’s Castle (BPO/Haitink for EMI); Charlotte/Werther (Opéra de Lyon/Nagano for Erato); Ariodante, Hercules, Sesto/Giulio Cesare (Musiciens du Louvre/Minkowski) and Baba the Turk/Rake’s Progress (LSO/Gardiner) all for DG Archiv.
The last season included Anne Sofie von Otter’s house debut at Theater an der Wien in Rake’s Progress, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, her first Waltraute/Goetterdämmerung at the Stockholm Opera, followed by the same role at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. In concert, Anne Sofie von Otter will return to Los Angeles in a Peter Sellars staging of Oedipus Rex, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, tour with both Concerto Copenhagen/Lars Ulrich Mortensen in Bach and Les Arts Florissants/William Christie in French Baroque, and take her band on tour to the Far East for a series of Christmas concerts.
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