Mats Almgren


"The outstanding performance comes from Mats Almgren, whose gaunt, hollow-eyed Hagen conveys the sense of being consumed by the character's corrosive malevolence."

Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

"Mats Almgren returns in fine form to sing Hagen – a glowering, intense presence, compelling even when he’s doing nothing at all."

Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk

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Swedish bass Mats Almgren begins the 2017/18 season with appearances at Göteborg Opera as Simone Gianni Schicchi followed by Pimen Boris Godunov. He travels to UK to appear at Grange Park Opera as Friar Laurence in Roméo et Juliette.

Mats has been a soloist at Göteborg Opera since 1998, when he joined the company’s permanent ensemble.  Roles in which he has appeared among others during his tenure include Claggart Billy Budd, Basilio Il Barbiere di Siviglia, König Marke Tristan and Isolde, Timur Turandot, Boris Ismailov Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Hunding Die Walküre, Pimen Boris Godunov, Gremin Eugene Onegin, Grand Inquisitor Don Carlos, Sarastro The Magic Flute, Javert Les Miserables, Ramfis Aida, Arkel Pelléas and Mélisande, Guardiano La Forza del Destino, Gurnemanz Parsifal and Sparafucile Rigoletto.

Recent highlights among his international guest appearances include his highly-lauded performances as Fafner and Hagen in Opera North’s Der Ring des Nibelungen presented on tour in six cycles under the baton of Richard Farnes throughout the UK’s premier venues. Following quickly on this success, Mats appeared in concert at Grange Park Opera in the role of King Marke Tristan und Isolde garnering outstanding reviews.

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Tristan und Isolde, Grange Park Opera

July 2016

The sepulchral Swedish bass Mats Almgren replaced Clive Bayley … as Marke.

Opera Magazine – September 2016, Amanda Holloway

Ring Cycle, Opera North

April - July 2016 the brooding Hagen (Mats Almgren), enlisting the audience as co-conspirators in his plan...

The Arts Desk, Alexandra Coghlan, 4 July 2016

Mats Almgren swapped Fafner’s greedy ambition for Hagen’s, prowling up and down the thin strip of stage with simian ease and matching the double-basses for chalky blackness of tone.

The Arts Desk, Alexandra Coghlan, 4 July 2016

James Creswell and Mats Almgren are menacing giants.

The York Press, Martin Dreyer, 26 April 2016

Mats Almgren’s cavernous bass as Fafner...prove[s] that there is no such thing as a small part.

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Ron Simpson, 12 May 2016

Finally, Mats Almgren who sang Fafner the Dragon in two operas returned in Götterdämmerung in the testing key role of Hagen. This was a great acting performance. As a Dragon he conveyed a fearsome command with a kind of static dignity. As Hagen he acted with every fibre of his body using a range of gesture and facial expression to convey a tortured, unsatisfied, sinister, amoral character lusting after power. With a bass voice to match this was a Hagen hard to beat.

Seen and Heard International, John Leeman, 25 May 2016

Mats Almgren is baleful and brooding both as the murderous Fafner.

What's on Stage, Mark Valencia, 31 May 2016

Mats Almgren as the giant Fafner and an outstandingly sinister and powerful Hagen.

Independent, Anthony Arblaster, 1 June 2016

A more sinister Fafner won’t be found than in Mats Almgren whose rumbling bass and rolling r’s seemed to make the theatre tremble with minimal effort.

The Reviews Hub, 13 June 2016

The giants Fasolt and Fafner were wonderfully contrasted basses ... Mats Almgren softer and darker in tone, but implacable.

Bachtrack, Mark Pullinger, 29 June 2016

Mats Almgren made for a suitably dark Fafner...

Opera Today, Mark Berry, 30 June 2016

Mats Almgren utilised his own rich bass to personify the greedy, malevolent Fafner.

Music OMH, Sam Smith, 28 June 2016

Mats Almgren’s sepulchral presence as Fafner...

Classical Source, Peter Reed, 28 June 2016

Mats Almgren a suitably imposing Fafner.

The Guardian, Martin Kettle, 29 June 2016

Fasolt and Fafner stood implacable, Opera North’s clear equivalent of The Management. Gray-suited with red ties and handkerchiefs (one of which was used to denote giant’s blood later in the music-drama), they made a great, convincing pair; their doltish, thuggish, greed-driven rivalry towards the end of the piece was eminently convincing. Both excellent vocally ... they were magnificent.

Seen and Heard International, Colin Clarke, 30 June 2016

Mats Almgren a marvellously cavernous dragon-in-waiting as Fafner.

The Critic's Circle, Robert Thicknesse, 30 June 2016

Mats Almgren took his unique vocal darkness to new depths as a surprisingly sympathetic Fafner..

Classical Source, Peter Reed, 1 July 2016

Outstanding here are James Creswell’s and Mats Almgren’s mafioso giants.

Express, Clare Colvin, 3 July 2016

Swedish bass Mats Almgren was again in saturnine voice, this time as Hagen, Alberich's son, bent on regaining the ring for the nibelungs.

Bachtrack, Mark Pullinger, 3 July 2016

It would also be hard to imagine a finer Fafner than Mats Almgren, whose dying monologue made us genuinely feel for this once proud, fallen giant.

Music OMH, Sam Smith, 1 July 2016

Mats Almgren proved a properly stentorian Fafner.

Opera Today, Mark Berry, 5 July 2016

Mats Almgren’s Hagen had hints of Kurt Rydl and was gruff, baleful and oozed a quiet menace... he performed with such conviction that I found it impossible to take my eyes off him when he was on stage, whether singing or not.

Seen and Heard International, Jim Pritchard, 4 July 2016

Mats Almgren’s Hagen was at its best when he took a back seat and let his wickedness take its course...his voice’s volume was astonishing as was his implacable hatred.

Classical Source, Peter Reed, 3 July 2016

Mats Almgren’s Hagen was malice personified in voice and looks...

The Guardian, Martin Kettle, 4 July 2016

Mats Almgren (Fafner on opening night) was a terrific Hagen: his Watch (“Hier sitzt ich zur Wacht”) was dramatic...

Opera Today, Colin Clarke, 4 July 2016

Mats Almgren was an outstanding Hagen. At first it felt as if his dark, gravelly voice that was so well suited to playing Fafner might not be quite as appropriate for the son of Alberich, but any doubts were soon dispelled as he delivered the most storming performance. Even though he remained on stage for considerable periods when he sang nothing, he never once broke character, and it is hard to picture any portrayal embodying Hagen’s malevolence to such an all-consuming degree.

Music OMH, Sam Smith, 7 July 2016

Mats Almgren appeared first as the giant Fafner, and then a superbly cunning and sinister Hagen. (He was a remarkable genial Daland in the 2015 Dutchman – clearly a very talented singing actor.)

Opera Now July/August 2016, Anthony Albaster

Mats Almgren’s bass was more cavernous than ever from within the dragon’s lair, a fearful sound…

Opera Magazine July 2016, Martin Dreyer

Left alone, Almgren’s deep cackles on the heels of low brass snarls were the epitome of evil.

Opera Magazine July 2016, Martin Dreyer

Mats Almgren's thundering, cavernous Fafner and Hagen...

Opera Now October 2016, Robert Thicknesse

The Göteborg Opera, Idomeneo

September 2016

Mats of Sweden's best operatic basses!

Operalogg, Mogens H Anderson

Götterdämmerung, Teatro Massimo Palermo

February 2016

The Swedish bass, Mats Almgren (Hagen) is tall, of commanding appearance, not someone you would want to meet on a dark night. His appearances in the audience are unpredictable and frequently not lit. Now you see him; now you don’t. But you always hear the chilling command of Almgen’s voice

Jack Buckley, Seen and Heard International, 7 February 2016

Swedish bass Mats Almgren created a rough, brutal Hagen...

Michael Milenski, Opera Today, 7 February

Mats Almgren was excellent as the treacherous Hagen.

Sara Patera, Opera Magazine, June 2016

The Flying Dutchman, Opera North

June 2015

Mats Almgren’s glowering Daland is exceptional; watching his eyes glaze over as he looks at the jewels which the Dutchman has given him inevitably recalls his turn as Fafner. Seeing him break out into a smile at the opera’s close is a surprise. A real pleasure too when you’ve a bass who can sing so musically and accurately, even at full volume.

Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk (28 June 2015)

The awesome power of the bass Mats Almgren as Daland, smiling broadly as he bargains away his daughter in exchange for the Dutchman’s treasure, is simply unforgettable.

Geoffrey Mogridge, Opera Britannia (29 June 2015)

Mats Almgren was a strangely sympathetic Daland with a rich deep bass, in spite of the fact that he sells off his daughter Senta to the treasure-laden Dutchman with no argument, a fine example of the commercially-minded worldly man to contrast with the unearthly man in black that Senta enthusiastically falls for anyway.

Richard Wilcocks, bachtrack (28 June 2015)

Mats Almgren as Daland ... this is another powerful performance, combining stage presence with true Wagnerian delivery.

Huddersfield Examiner (30 June 2015)

Mats Almgrem brings a covetous gleam to the role of Daland that makes you believe he would barter his daughter to the first undead mariner to wash up on the beach.

Alfred Hickling, The Guardian (1 July 2015)

Strong support came from Swedish-born Mats Almgren as Senta’s father, Daland.

Derbyshire Times (13 July 2015)

Mats Almgren, who had been a powerful and chilling Hagen in Götterdämmerung, was a genial and benign Dalan –an unusual but plausible interpretation. He is a remarkable singing actor.

Anthony Arblaster, Opera Now (September 2015)

Götterdämmerung, Opera North

June 2014

A notable characterisation of the evening was that by Mats Almgren who, having been killed as the dragon in Die Walküre, rose again as Hagen. Lean, bald and darkly dressed with a lowering gaze he exuded menace. His splendid bass voice resonated throughout the hall, dominating as the driving force behind most that is to go wrong in the drama.

John Leeman, Seen And Heard

The outstanding performance comes from Mats Almgren, whose gaunt, hollow-eyed Hagen conveys the sense of being consumed by the character's corrosive malevolence.

Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

Mats Almgren sang Fafner in 2013, and returns in fine form to sing Hagen – a glowering, intense presence, compelling even when he’s doing nothing at all.

Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk

...but did not exude as much murderous nastiness as the Hagen of Swedish bass Mats Almgren (Fafner in Opera North’s Siegfried last year), who captured the audience’s attention even when he was not employing his rich voice, an embodiment of evil.

Richard Wilcocks, Bachtrack

The Swedish bass Mats Almgren as the arch-villain Hagen likewise delivers a performance that I feel lucky to have experienced – but for different reasons. Almgren sang Fafner in last year’s Siegfried and was an unforgettably menacing Hunding in an Opera North 25th anniversary gala performance of Act I of Die Walküre twelve years ago. The shaven-headed and saturnine Almgren projects pure manipulative evil, moving his lips into just the hint of a smirk only at the downfall of each of his enemies. His dark, sonorous bass seems to emanate from the depths of Nibelheim; it is a huge voice, but precisely focused. The Act I monologue “Hagen’s watch” oozed with hatred and gloating.

Geoffrey Mogridge, Opera Britannia

Mats Almgren, last year’s Fafner, brought a terrifying touch of the Sparafuciles to his hang-dog Hagen.

Martin Dreyer, Opera

Turandot, Gothenburg Opera

January 2013

Mats Almgren’s Timur was also tremendously moving; Mr Almgren’s mellow bass was a perfect fit to his blind but dignified character.

Niklas Smith, Seen and Heard International

Mats Almgren’s Operatic Repertoire


Fidelio (Rocco)


Carmen (Zuniga)


Billy Budd (Claggart)


Lulu (Der Tierbändiger; Rodrigo der Athlet)


Pelleas et Melisande (Arkel)


Love and other demons (Don Toribio)


Die Zauberflöte (Sarastro)
Le nozze di Figaro (Doctor Bartolo)


Boris Godunov (Pimen)


Turandot (Timur)


Il barbiere di Siviglia (Don Basilio)


Beschreibung eines Kampfes (Vater; Vorsteher)


Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Boris Timofeyevich Izmailov)


Salome (Erster Nazarener)


Aida (Ramfis)
Don Carlos (Il Grande Inquisitore)
Gustavo III (Dehorn)
Il trovatore (Ferrando)
La forza del destino (Padre Guardiano)
Rigoletto (Sparafucile)


Der fliegende Holländer (Daland)
Tannhäuser (Reinmar von Zweter)
Tristan und Isolde (König Marke)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Pogner)
Das Rheingold (Fafner)
Die Walküre (Hunding)
Siegried (Fafner)
Die Götterdämmerung (Hagen)
Parsifal (Gurnemanz)

Mats Almgren's Concert Repertoire


Missa Solemnis









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