The tenor and actor Håkan Starkenberg is passionate about examining the possibilities of music theatre, and he has mainly focused on spiel- and character roles. Recently he made a very appreciated appearance as Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man, in the world premiere of a new opera by Carl Unander-Scharin. In summer 2013 he will sing Flute in Britten’s The Midsummer’s Nights Dream at Läckö Opera.
Season of 2011/12 Håkan Starkenberg appeared as Gastone in La Traviata at the Royal Opera in Stockholm. During fall 2010 Håkan Starkenberg appeared at NorrlandsOperan as District Attorney in the newly written opera based on Lars von Trier’s screenplay Dancer in the dark, by the Danish composer Poul Ruders. During the summer he participated in La Gazza Ladra at Läckö Slottsopera.
He made his debut as Steuermann in Der Fliegende Holländer at Gothenburg Opera in 1995. Since then he has been a guest at most of the Swedish opera houses and has been appreciated for his warm lyric timbre and his acting abilities.
Contemporary music and 20th century composers are close to his heart much because he himself has been active as a composer. Among the works that Håkan Starkenberg has contributed in the original cast one can mention: The Bombparty at Gothenburg Opera and Angel NorrlandsOperan, both works by Paula af Malmborg-Ward; The Virtuous Burglar (Inte alla tjuvar kommer för att stjäla) at Malmö Opera and Body for sale (Lik till salu) at NorrlandsOperan, both by Thomas Lindahl.
Håkan Starkenberg has also participated in the Swedish Royal Opera’s touring production of Staden (The City) by Sven David Sandström at the World Expo 2000 in Hannover.
Other important engagements during Håkan Starkenberg’s career are for example the role as Florio in Isle of bliss by Hilding Rosenberg at the opening of the new NorrlandsOperan, Basilio and Don Curzio in Staffan Valdemar Holm’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro, his international debut as Gastone in La Traviata at Edinburgh Festival and the role as Polycarpus in the celebrated production of Swedish classic The Bailiffs and the Beer at Opera på Skäret.
During 2003 he was a guest soloist at New Brunswick Summer Music Festival in Canada where he sang the first performance of songs by Eldon Rathburn and also performed Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for tenor, horn and strings.
Håkan Starkenberg is often engaged as a concert singer and his repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Spatzenmesse, Haydn’s Jahrzeiten and the evangelist parts in Bach’s St John and Saint Matthew passion among others.
Håkan Starkenberg got his education at the Theatre- & Operaschool in Gothenberg, Operastudio 67 and Studio Lirico, Cortona, Italy.
Håkan Starkenberg is also active as a composer and director, and he got his breaktrough as a director in the highly acclaimed avant-garde version of Puccini’s Tosca.
He has received a number of scholarships, including Anders Sandrew, Frimurar-Barnhusorden and Vadstena-akademien.
Available records: Isle of bliss, Rosenberg (Naxos).
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