Since her critically acclaimed operatic debut in 2004 in the role ofTurandot at the Malmö Opera, Swedish-American soprano Erika Sunnegårdh has been establishing herself not only as one of the most versatile and exciting sopranos on the world stage, but also earning a reputation for her fearless and emotionally nuanced characterizations and her intelligent and consummate musicianship.
Ms. Sunnegårdh feels particularly at home with the music of Strauss, Beethoven and Puccini, having performed the roles of Kaiserin in Die Frau ohne Schatten at Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Chrysotemis in Elektra at the Grand Teâtre Genève; the title role of Salome at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro Communale di Bologna, Semperoper Dresden, Canadian Opera Company, Welsh National Opera, the Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona, the New International Theatre in Tokyo, and with Florentine Opera in Milwaukee; Leonore in Fidelio at Oper Frankfurt, Staatsoper Hamburg, The Metropolitan Opera, Oper Köln and the Florentine Opera; Tosca at the Oper Frankfurt, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Royal Stockholm Opera, Oper Köln and Nashville Opera; and Turandot with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, The Metropolitan Opera, and in Sweden at the Royal Stockholm Opera, the Malmö Opera and Norrlandsoperan (Berio-ending). Other notable interpretations include Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer at the Oslo Opera, Oper Köln and Atlanta Opera; Jenufa by Janacek and Paulina in the world premiere of Jonas Forssell’s Death and the Maiden in Malmö. Further Wagner includes Helmwige (Aix-en-Provence/Salzburg) and Gerhilde (Met Tour/Japan) in Die Walküre, as well as Isabella in Das Liebesverbot with the Münchener Rundfunk. While not considered part of her core repertoire, she has also given critically acclaimed dramatic portrayals of Verdi’s Lady Macbeth at the Glyndebourne Festival, Abigaille at Teater Hedeland, and Norma at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden.
In concert she has performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, the RAI Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic, Danish Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Malmö Symphony, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Milwaukee Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, and the percussion ensemble Kroumata; singing repertore incuding the Verdi Requiem, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Rossini Stabat Mater,Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as well as opera in concert and newly commissioned works.
Erika has had the pleasure and privilege of working with Marco Armiliato, Giordano Bellincampi, Semyon Bychkov, Paolo Carignani, Riccardo Chailly, Myung Wun Chung, James Conlon, Andreas Delfs, Gustavo Dudamel, Adam Fischer, John Fiore, Hartmut Haenchen, Daniel Harding, Will Humburg, Lothar Koenigs, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Fabio Luisi, Nicola Luisotti, Alan Gilbert, Cornelius Meister, Gianandrea Noseda, Kirill Petrenko, Sir Simon Rattle, Stefan Soltesz, Thomas Søndergaard, Mario Venzago and Steven White.
During her education she attended the Israel Vocal Arts Institute, Tanglewood Music Center, the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies, The International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, as well as the undergraduate program at the Manhattan School of Music; all on scholarship.
In 1999 Erika completed her Master of Arts degree at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College after two profoundly inspiring and healing years there – an experience to which she credits much of her present artistic success.
During her education, Ms. Sunnegårdh was a recipient of the annual Cultural Award of the American Scandinavian Society, for the promotion of Scandinavian Culture in the United States. She also founded In time with Music, a community outreach program which benefited hundreds of public school children in Queens, New York.