Ulrika Tenstam Biography English

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ULRIKA TENSTAM, Mezzo-Soprano – Biography

Ulrika Tenstam is an artist with a wide range both vocally and scenically. Since her sensational debut as Clytemnestra in Iphigénie en Aulide of Gluck at Drottningholms Slottsteater and the big breakthrough as Delilah by Saïnt-Saëns, she has been praised for her powerful role interpretations.

Recent engagements include Rita in The handmaid’s tale (Paul Ruders) at the Royal Danish Opera, Lai in the opera movie Tre knivar från Wei (Reine Jönsson), The Swiss Grandmother in The death of Klinghoffer (John Adams), Kristina Lugn och Katarina Frostensson in Makten och härligheten (Fredrik Österling) at Helsingborgs Konserthus, Mrs Noye in Noye’s fludde (Britten) at Berwaldhallen, Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni) at Dala-Floda Opera festival, Anna in Under en kvinnas hjärta (Sven-David Sandström) with Piteå Chamber Orchestra, Brigitta in Die tote Stadt (Korngold) at Wermland Opera, Ulrica in Ballo di Maschera at Folkoperan in Stockholm and Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia at GöteborgsOperan, The Grand Mother and The Lappish Woman in NorrlandsOperan’s production of The Snow Queen, a family opera based on Andersen’s popular fairytale, La Cieca in La Gioconda by Ponchielli and Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra.

Ulrika Tenstam was highly praised for her interpretation as Grafin Geschwitz in Lulu during the Festival Amazonas de Ópera de Manaosin 2012. During season of 2011/12 she sang Herodias in Gothenburg Opera’s production of Richard Strauss’ opera Salome. The season before, Ulrika appeared as Baba in The Rake’s Progress at the same stage.

At the end of the 2009/10 season Ulrika was in Lillehammer, Oslo in Norway and performed the role of Mamsell Ulrica Arfvidsson in Maskeradbalen. Ulrika met with great success in 2009 as Minister of Culture of the first performance of Österling opera Näsflöjten at the Vadstena Academy. With an extensive concert tour in France and Japan Ulrika sang Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Barbara Hendricks and the Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble and Frau von Luber in Weill’s Silver Lake at Folkoperan 2010.

Her colourful voice ranges from darkest black to a glittering height. This in combination with her dramatic acting and her sensitivity makes her a very striking opera artist. The readers of Dagens Nyheter voted her to the Kasper award in 1991 for her performance as Dalilah and Orfeo.

Her career covers the whole mezzo repertoire ranging from Gluck, Mozart, Rossini and Offenbach (Clytemnesyre in Iphegenie an Aulide, Ramiro in La Finta giardiniera, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Sevilla, Melibea in Il viaggio a Reims, Helene in La belle Helene and Nicklausse in Les contes d’Hoffmann) to Bizet, Richard Strauss, Verdi and Wagner (Carmen in Carmen, Die Amme in Die Frau ohne Schatten and Herodias in Salome, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera and Amneris and Magdalene in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg). It is her dramatic roles that have given her the highest acclaim.
Ms Tenstam has appeared with renowned conductors as Arnold Östman, Siegfrid Köhler, Franz Welzer Möst, Neeme Järvi, Sixten Ehrling, Pier Giorgio Morandi, Olaf Henzholdand Antonio Papanov.
She is often engaged to do concert solos like; Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem, all of Bach’s Oratorium and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and his 8th Symphony.

Ulrika Tenstam’s versatility has even landed her theatrical acting parts as well as roles in experimental productions like Birgitta Egerbladh’s Mitt hjärta brister at Folkoperan in Stockholm. With the Hong Kong Dance Company she did a choreographed alto part of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde which included both dancing and singing. Her part as Carmen at Göteborgsoperan was also fully choreographed. In one of her latest performances at Folkoperan, Zarah (about Zarah Leander’s time in Germany), she gained praise by the critics for her vocal performance as well as for her speaking part.
Ulrika’s flexible voice has been a great advantage to her when it comes to modern atonal music, where vocal technique, control and strength are essential; in Macbeth by J Sandström, Zarah by A Nilsson and Alban Berg’s Lulu.

Ulrika’s fondness of chamber music has made her perform in a number of concerts in the lieder tradition, as well as other chamber music like Respighi’s Il Tramonto. She has performed abroad with Melibea in Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims at the Prague opera house, in Brussels she did Magdalene in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Gräfin Geschwitz in Lulu at Teatro Amazonas Manaus, Rita in the Handmaid’s tale at the Royal Danish Opera, she was alto soloist in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in Hong Kong as well as in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in France and Japan with Barbra Hendricks and the Drottningholm Baroque ensemble.
The role of Julie in Showboat (fall 2008) marked her debut in the field of musicales.


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