Latvian mezzo, Zanda Švēde joins the ensemble at Oper Frankfurt this season and makes her house debut as Dryade Ariadne auf Naxos; later in the season she sings the title roles of Xerxes and Barrie Kosky’s Carmen. She travels to Seattle Opera to sing further performances of Carmen in Paul Curren’s production before the end of the 2018-19 season.
Celebrating a long and fruitful relationship with San Francisco Opera since joining its summer Merola Opera Program in 2013, Zanda became an Adler Fellow in Season 2014-15 and remained for three seasons, appearing on the main stage as Flora La Traviata, Tisbe La Cenerentola, Lena in the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women, Alisa Lucia di Lammermoor, Rychtarka Jenufa, Third Lady Die Zauberflöte, Suzuki Madama Butterfly, Maddalena Rigoletto, Maid The Makropulos Case, and Handmaiden/The Flower in the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber.
Other principal guest highlights in the US include Zanda’s debut at Palm Beach Opera as Suzuki, and Olga Eugene Onegin at Opera Idaho. She went on to cover Olga at Lyric Opera of Chicago and sang it in concert at North Carolina Opera. Other roles in Chicago at Lyric Opera include Grimgerde Die Walkure and Maddalena Rigoletto. She made her role and house debut in the title role Carmen at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, winning exceptional reviews.
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Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Carmen
Zanda Švēde as Carmen did not disappoint. That voice—that bottomless voice! It’s a heavy mezzo with luxurious layers and some surprising color up top. It somehow resonates alternately in the depths of her chest, then her head—and still manages to project. Her first two arias also proved a wide range, and that she was embedding sensuality to spare into her Carmen.
KCMetropolis.org, Sarah Tyrrell, 24 April 2016
With movie-star looks... and a luscious, chocolatey mezzo-soprano, Zanda sort of threw you off balance every time she opened her mouth. It is probably not idle to predict she could become one of the Carmens over the next few years: She has the voice, the musical verve and a winning, controlled approach to movement that augur great things.
The Independent, Paul Horsley, 30 April 2016
Zanda Švēde, in her Lyric Opera debut, played the gypsy with convincing flair. Her luscious voice was fruity, full and varied. Each aria was given a different color, from the flirtatious “Habanera” to the fateful “Card Aria.”
The Kansas City Star, Libby Hanssen, 24 April 2016
San Francisco Opera, Gala Concert
...the finale of Jules Massenet’s Cléopâtre, the exceptional mezzo Zanda Švede embracing the fatal kiss of the viper with a superb vocal and dramatic performance.
San Francisco Classical Voice, Janos Gereben, 5 December 2016
And no recap of the program would be complete without hailing the dark glamour of the final duet of death from Massenet’s “Cléopâtre” as expertly delivered by mezzo-soprano Zanda Svede and bass-baritone Matthew Stump.
San Francisco Chronicle, 3 December 2016
Zanda Švēde's Opera Repertoire
Les Troyans (Anna)
Lucia di Lammermoor (Alisa)
Giulio Cesare (Cornelia)*
Die Zauberflöte (Dame)
Madama Butterfly (Suzuki)
La Cenerentola (Tisbe)
Samson et Dalila (Dalila)*
Ariadne auf Naxos (Dryade)
Eugene Onegin (Olga)
Queen of Spades (Polina)
Luisa Miller (Federica)
Die Walküre (Grimgerde)
Roles in preparation are marked *
Zanda Švēde's Concert Repertoire