Zanda Švēde


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Latvian mezzo-soprano, Zanda Švēde begins her second season with the ensemble at Oper Frankfurt where roles this season include Zenobia Radamisto, Sonyetka Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, the title role Carmen and Forester's wife / Owl Cunning Little Vixen. In her native Lativa, she performs Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with Sinfonietta Riga and travels to USA to bring further performances of her Carmen to Pittsburgh Opera. In the UK she joins Royal Scottish National Orchestra for performances of Verdi Requiem conducted by Thomas Søndergård.

Last season at Oper Frankfurt she made her house debut as Dryade Ariadne auf Naxos and also sang title roles of Xerxes and Barrie Kosky’s Carmen. To end the season she gave further performances of Carmen in Paul Curren’s production at Seattle Opera.

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.

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Seattle Opera, Carmen

May 2019

Švēde, who was the lead on the day I saw 'Carmen,' almost vibrates in her intensity, her honeyed mezzo-soprano lithely moving back and forth between alluring and penetrative.

The UW Daily, Blake Peterson, May 2019

Zanda Švēde had the darkness in the slower reaches and a satisfying ping on top to give Carmen her full musical due...

Opera Magazine, Theodore Deacon, October 2019

Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Carmen

April 2016

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., 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

December 2016

...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)


Carmen (title)


Lucia di Lammermoor (Alisa)


Serse (title)

Giulio Cesare (Cornelia)*


Jenůfa (Rychtárka)


Cleopatre (title)


Die Zauberflöte (Dame)


Madama Butterfly (Suzuki)


La Cenerentola (Tisbe)


Samson et Dalila (Dalila)*


Ariadne auf Naxos (Dryade)


Eugene Onegin (Olga)

Queen of Spades (Polina)


Rigoletto (Maddalena)

Luisa Miller (Federica)


Die Walküre (Grimgerde)

Roles in preparation are marked *

Zanda Švēde's Concert Repertoire


Weihnachts Oratorium

Matthaus Passion


Symphony 9




Symphony No.2

Symphony No.3






Stabat Mater



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