Born in Sweden, Anne Sofie von Otter’s studies began in Stockholm and continued with Vera Rozsa at London’s Guildhall before she became a principal artist of the Basel Opera from where an international career, which has now spanned more than two decades, was launched. Equally active in opera, concert, recital and recording, and noted as one of the most versatile artists of her generation, Anne Sofie von Otter appears regularly on the world’s major stages and boasts an unrivalled discography.
Anne Sofie Von Otter’s diverse repertoire has played a key role in sustaining her international reputation as an operatic force: Oktavian/Der Rosenkavalier in London, Paris, Chicago, Munich, Stockholm as well as in Vienna and at the Met, conducted by the late Carlos Kleiber (filmed for DVD); Gluck’s Orfeo in Geneva and Alceste at Paris’ Chatelet, both conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Carmen at the Glyndebourne Festival (Philippe Jordan) and at the Santa Fe Opera (Alan Gilbert); Nerone in Monteverdi’s Poppea at the Aix-en-Provence Festival (Marc Minkowski); Didon in Berlioz’ Les Troyens at the Geneva Opera (John Nelson); Komponist at the Vienna State Opera (the late Giuseppe Sinopoli); Concepcion in Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole at the Stockholm Opera and Baba the Turk in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at Vienna’s historic Theater an der Wien (Nicholas Harnoncourt).
Recently, Anne Sofie von Otter has further broadened her repertoire producing two highly-acclaimed Wagnerian role debuts: firstly Brangäne/Tristan und Isolde in a semi-staged production by Peter Sellars with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen followed by Waltraute/Die Goetterdämmerung in a new production by Stéphane Braunschweig at the Aix-en-Provence Festival with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
A long-running relationship with James Levine at New York’s Metropolitan Opera has led to numerous performances of Rosenkavalier, Clemenza di Tito and Idomeneo, as well as Anne Sofie’s stage debut in Debussy’s Pélleas et Mélisande. A regular performer in Paris, the Théâtre des Champs Elysées and Opéra de Paris have been platforms for many role debuts including Handel’s Ariodante (Marc Minkowski), Clairon in Strauss’ Capriccio (Ulf Schirmer),Sesto in both Clemenza di Tito and Giulio Cesare (Marc Minkowski), Handel’s Xerxes (William Christie), Ottavia/Poppea (Rene Jacobs) and Lully’s Thesée (Emmanuelle Haim).
Anne Sofie von Otter performs around the globe in recital with her accompanist Bengt Forsberg, and is a regular performer of chamber music, jazz and crossover programmes. In concert, demand takes her regularly to the major halls of Europe and North America and recent highlights include a residency at Vienna’s Musikverein including Chausson’s Poeme de l’Amour et de la Mer with the Vienna Symphony/Philippe Jordan; Das Lied von der Erde,Les Troyens and Bluebeard’s Castle with the Boston Symphony/James Levine, Oedipus Rex with the LA Philharmonic/Esa-Pekka Salonen and Ravel’s Shéherazade with l’Orchestre National de France/Myung-Whun Chung.
An extensive recording catalogue includes much of her operatic repertoire: Dorabella with Solti, Monteverdi’s Ottavia, Glück’s Orfeo and Alceste, Mozart’s Sesto and Idamantes with Gardiner, Cherubino with Levine, Marguérite with Chung, Dido with Pinnock, Xerxes with Christie, R Strauss’ Composer with Sinopoli, Debussy’s Mélisande, Judith/Bluebeard’s Castle and Oktavian with Haitink, Charlotte/Werther with Nagano and Ariodante, Hercules, Sesto/Giulio Cesare with Minkowski. Anne Sofie began recording with Deutsche Grammophon in 1985 and has a wealth of recordings on that label including with orchestra; Weill, Mahler, Bach, Zemlinsky (Gardiner), Berlioz, Brahms (Levine), Ravel, Mahler (Boulez), Offenbach (Minkowski), Berg, Mahler and a Grammy award-winning Schubert collection (Abbado). Together with Bengt Forsberg, Anne Sofie has also made many award-winning Lieder and chamber music recordings (Schubert, Chaminade, Schumann, Korngold, Brahms, Grieg to name a few). A collaboration with Elvis Costello led to the award-winning release For the Stars, which was followed by I let the Music Speak, a celebration of the music of Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus.
2011/2012 season brings an extensive 13-date European recital tour with Bengt Forsberg and Daniel Hope of the Grammy-nominated Terezin programme, a collection of songs and musical works composed by musicians imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp at Theresienstadt. Additionally, Anne Sofie made concert appearances in New York with Michael Tilson-Thomas, Berlin with Ingo Metzmacher, Paris, Chicago, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Francisco with Myung-Whun Chung, Gavle with Robin Ticciati, Helsinki with Tugan Sokhiev, and at the Gluck Festival in Nurnberg with Marc Minkowski. In recital Anne Sofie von Otter will appear in a new collaboration with the jazz pianist, Brad Mehldau, at the Wigmore Hall, Palais Garnier and the Oslo Opera. On the opera stage, Anne Sofie sang for the first time Offenbach’s La Grande Duchesse in her return to the Basel Opera, in a new production by Christoph Marthaler, reunite with James Levine at the Met as Geschwitz in Berg’s Lulu and repeated her Waltraute at the Salzburg Easter Festival with Sir Simon Rattle. In February-March 2012 she sang Geneviève in Pelléas et Mélisande et the Opéras de Paris (available on medici.tv)
© Ewa-Marie Rundquist
Philippe Jordan, Robert Wilson – Stéphane Degout (Pelléas), Elena Tsallagova (Mélisande), Anne Sofie von Otter (Geneviève), Vincent le Texier (Golaud)
Verbier Festival 2007-2010
Marc Minkowski and his orchestra