Julia Sporsén

Soprano

"Julia Sporsén was a terrific Nedda, feisty, fiery, vocally secure and dramatically impressive."

Hugo Shirley, Opera

"Julia Sporsén has a thrillingly powerful voice – a core of steel wrapped in a casing of velvet."

Warwick Thompson Metro

"Julietta is sung by the sexy, charismatic, pretty-voiced Julia Sporsén, a complete stage animal ... who deserves to go far."

Andrew Clark, The Financial Times

"But the biggest plaudits must go to Peter Hoare and Julia Sporsén as the bewitched, bothered, and bewildered lovers, both acting as brilliantly as they sing."

Michael Church, The Independent

"Her Violetta is magnificent and human, bewildering and crystal clear. It is a singer’s breakthrough that will be difficult to forget."

Björn Wiman, Dagens Nyheter

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Swedish soprano Julia Sporsén is the 2023 recipient of Svenska Dagbladet’s Operapris, which was awarded to her after her success as the title role in Norma at Folkoperan in 2022. She is known for the intensity with which she portrays her characters. Her performances have been described as “fiery” (Opera Magazine), “searing” (The Sunday Times), and “almost unbearably moving” (The Spectator), and she is praised for her virtuosic and expressive singing as well as her stage presence and captivating acting skills. She performed Berlioz’s ‘Le spectre de la rose’ and Lehar’s ‘Meine lippen, sie küssen so heiss’ at the 2023 Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm.

Last season, Julia returned to Folkoperan Stockholm to sing the title role in Norma and Judith Bluebeard's Castle. This season she sings the role of Paulina Salas Death and the Maiden at Malmö Opera and sings Verdi Requiem with the Jönköping Sinfonietta, a new work by Maria Lithell Flyg at the Västerås Konserthus, performances with RUSK Chamber Music at Schumann Hall in Finland, and a programme of Rangström, Stenhammar and Sibelius with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Recent highlights include a return to Scottish Opera as Pat Nixon Nixon in China, Elsalill in Herr Arnes Penningar at Göteborg Opera, Ingeborg in Elfrida Andrés opera Fritiofs saga, and Waltraute in Die Walküre at Gothenburg Opera, and Isolde Tristan and Isolde at the Folkoperan in Stockholm.

Notable concert engagements include appearances with the Göteborg Symfoniker and Göteborg Wind Orchestra, and touring around the United Kingdom a one-woman show called “Dreamlives” for the Liederkreis company: a staged performance of lieder by R. Strauss, Berg and Schönberg. In 2021/22, she took up the position of Artist in Residence at Kulturhuset Spira in Jönköping.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Chausson Poeme de l'amour et de la mer, Jönköpings Sinfonietta

Kulturhuset Spira (February 2023)

“Poeme de l'amour et de la mer", a shimmeringly beautiful work consisting of two longer movements of song and a short instrumental interlude. The piece seems written for a singer like Julia who is in command of her singing and knows how to use simple means to create dramatic nerve in the performance (which is completely free from the staged approach from last season).

Rikard Flyckt, Jönköpings-Posten

Bellini Norma (Title role)

Folkoperan Stockholm (September 2022)

It is one of those shows about which you will say afterwards: I was there. "I was there when Julia Sporsén did "Norma" at Folkoperan"… Julia Sporsén and Ann-Kristin Jones' duets are so insanely expressive and emotional together… something that many will call her definitive breakthrough on a Swedish opera stage… Every fiber of her body convinces. To dwell on her being a dramatic coloratura would be pointless. Sporsén is past show singing. She means what she sings. It's like she just opens her mouth and the music is there. You forget that it is difficult. Of course, it is terribly difficult. But she just is. Norma. And I was there.

Gunilla Brodrej, Expressen

The fairy-tale soprano Julia Sporsén is an obvious center of power in the title role with the aria "Casta diva", where Norma asks the moon goddess for peace. The design comes superbly close to her anguish, how she is torn between being left by partner and mother, scorned yet despairing - not to say completely furious… with beautiful duets between…Adalgisa and the deceived Norma, where Jones and Sporsén swarm together in the name of sisterhood.

Johanna Paulsson, Dagens Nyheter

Julia Sporsén as Norma has a forlorn presence with graceful coloratura. The "Casta diva" aria - in Tuvalisa Rangström's translation "Chaste moon" - becomes a test of strength embedded in melancholy. With the raised orchestra and Ellen Ruge's lights, it becomes like a synesthetic effect where the music is the silvering moonlight.

Loretto Villalobos, Svenska Dagbladet

Stubø and set designer Magdalena Åberg have created a stage space and a direction that allows the two female leads Ann-Kristin Jones and Julia Sporsén to shine as Bellini's lyrical music turns into both a dirty Norén drama and a timeless tragedy that makes you forget the sometimes mannered nature of opera conventions. Musical drama at its best.

Björn Wiman, Dagens Nyheter

Tebogo Monnakgotlas Den försvunna, Kulturhuset Spira

Jönköping Sinfonietta, (May 2022)

The movements are also composed both for and in close collaboration with the soloist Julia Sporsén - a soprano who goes from clarity to clarity and who in parallel is an artist in residence here. As such, she has also had the opportunity, together with Kulturhuset Spira's artistic team, to explore how to deepen the classical concert format on stage.
… Sporsén is at the same time a brave and modern soprano. With her mobility and superb voice control, she breathed new life into an ancient repertoire. Under the heading "The girl in the forest", she brought together songs by Ture Rangström and music by the 150th anniversary Hugo Alfvén into an imaginatively choreographed "song ballet". With astonishment and some obsession, she approached nationally romantic music by two mildly German-friendly composers, safely passed to the world of fairy tales in John Bauer's country itself under the sympathetic guidance of Australian conductor Matthew Wood.

Johanna Paulsson, Dagens Nyheter

Gösta Nystroem Herr Arnes Penningar (Elsalill)

Gothenburg Opera (February 2022)

Among the singers, it is the foster sisters couple Julia Sporsén and Sofie Asplund who shine through; both brilliant.

Camilla Lundberg, SVT Kulturnyheterna

Soprano Julia Sporsén’s voice is both convincing and impressive, because the music with its varying whims seems difficult to sing, to say the least. Particularly strong is her aria in the beginning of the second act, when the dead foster sister reappears to force Elsalill to exact revenge for the murders and reveal the culprits.

Britt Nordberg, alba.nu

Sporsén convinces with elegiac intensity in her soprano.

Lennart Bromander, Aftonbladet

[Sporsén] shines like a storm lantern in the dark

Martin Nyström, Dagens Nyheter

At the center of the drama is the close relationship between the girl Elsalill and her foster sister, very impressively portrayed by the two sopranos Julia Sporsén and Sofie Asplund.

Magnus Haglund, Göteborgs-Posten

Julia Sporsén has impressed as both Isolde and Violetta, and here she makes her next big tragic role interesting with sincerity and depth.

Gunilla Brodrej, Expressen

There are absolutely wonderful singing contributions, not least from Julia Sporsén as Elsalill and Sofie Asplund as her (nameless) foster sister: two clear sopranos - one tougher, darker, more dangerous and one that is shimmering, spooky light.

Bo Löfvendahl, Svenska Dagbladet

Julia Sporsén as Elsalill, the only one who survives the atrocities of the Scottish mercenaries in Solberga vicarage, is well cut out for the role with her lyrically-dramatic soprano.

Sören Tranberg, Tidskriften Opera

Tebogo Monnakgotlas Den försvunna and Schubert Lieder, Jönköping Sinfonietta

Kulturhuset Spira (February 2022)

It is brilliant and moving, and Sporsén finds an exact expression in both singing and acting… "Erlkönig" will be a pure dramatic highlight this evening.

Richard Flyckt, Jönköpings-posten

Ravel's Sheherazade & Ariadne arias, Jönköping Sinfonietta

Kulturhuset Spira (November 2021)

Julia Sporsén as artist in residence is a stroke of luck. She is an absolutely brilliant soprano who is able to take charge of the music regardless of whether it is dramatic with Strauss or painfully beautiful and delicate with Ravel. The main piece of the evening, despite the short playing time, is of course the Monnakgotla / Karam collaboration. This time Julia Sporsén sings from a child's perspective. It is an incredibly beautiful text, both painful and hopeful.

Richard Flyckt, Jönköpings-posten

Gösta Nystroem Herr Arnes Penningar (Elsalill)

Gothenburg Opera (February 2022)

Among the singers, it is the foster sisters couple Julia Sporsén and Sofie Asplund who shine through; both brilliant.

Camilla Lundberg, SVT Kulturnyheterna

Soprano Julia Sporsén’s voice is both convincing and impressive, because the music with its varying whims seems difficult to sing, to say the least. Particularly strong is her aria in the beginning of the second act, when the dead foster sister reappears to force Elsalill to exact revenge for the murders and reveal the culprits.

Britt Nordberg, alba.nu

Sporsén convinces with elegiac intensity in her soprano.

Lennart Bromander, Aftonbladet

[Sporsén] shines like a storm lantern in the dark

Martin Nyström, Dagens Nyheter

At the center of the drama is the close relationship between the girl Elsalill and her foster sister, very impressively portrayed by the two sopranos Julia Sporsén and Sofie Asplund.

Magnus Haglund, Göteborgs-Posten

Julia Sporsén has impressed as both Isolde and Violetta, and here she makes her next big tragic role interesting with sincerity and depth.

Gunilla Brodrej, Expressen

There are absolutely wonderful singing contributions, not least from Julia Sporsén as Elsalill and Sofie Asplund as her (nameless) foster sister: two clear sopranos - one tougher, darker, more dangerous and one that is shimmering, spooky light.

Bo Löfvendahl, Svenska Dagbladet

Ravel's Sheherazade & Ariadne arias, Kulturhuset Spira, Jönköping Sinfonietta

(November 2021)

Julia Sporsén as artist in residence is a stroke of luck. She is an absolutely brilliant soprano who is able to take charge of the music regardless of whether it is dramatic with Strauss or painfully beautiful and delicate with Ravel. The main piece of the evening, despite the short playing time, is of course the Monnakgotla / Karam collaboration. This time Julia Sporsén sings from a child's perspective. It is an incredibly beautiful text, both painful and hopeful.

Richard Flyckt, Jönköpings-posten

Ravel's Sheherazade & Ariadne arias, Kulturhuset Spira, Jönköping Sinfonietta

(November 2021)

Julia Sporsén as an artist in residence is a stroke of luck. She is an absolutely brilliant soprano who is able to create charge in the music, regardless of whether it is drama with Strauss or painfully beautiful with Ravel.

Jönköpings-Posten

Kulturhuset Spira – recital as an Artist in Residence

(August 2021)

"Dich, teure Halle" from Wagner's "Tannhäuser" is a perfect party starter in itself, which is further highlighted here by the fact that Julia Sporsén not only sings it with both power and finesse but also steps onto the stage with a coat and suitcase and begins by tearing off her face mask …Wagner's "Wesendoncklieder" were even more dramatised which added a much-needed nerve to the romantic songs … During these six charged minutes [in Den Försvunna], Julia Sporsén does the piece full justice with intensity, presence and brilliant singing

Rikard Flyckt, Jönköpings-Posten

Julia Sporsén’s Opera Repertoire

John Adams

A Flowering Tree (Kumudha)

Julian Anderson

The Thebans (Antigone)

Bizet

Carmen (Micaela)

Britten

Peter Grimes (Ellen Orford) extracts
The Rape of Lucretia (Female chorus) extracts

Cilea

Adriana Lecouvreur (title role) extracts

Donizetti

L’Elisir d’Amore (Adina, Giannetta)

Detlev Glanert

Caligula (Livia)

Alexander Goehr

Promised End (Regan)

Handel

Rinaldo (Armida) extracts

Janáček

Jenufa (Jenufa, Jano)

Martinů

Julietta (Julietta)

Menotti

The Consul (Magda) extracts

Mozart

La clemenza di Tito (Vitellia) extracts
Don Giovanni (Donna Anna, Donna Elvira)
La Finta Giardiniera (Arminda)
Le nozze di Figaro (Countess, Susanna) extracts
Die Zauberflöte (First Lady)

Poulenc

La voix humaine (Elle)

Puccini

La bohème (Mimì, Musetta)

Rameau

Dardanus (Iphise)

Torsten Rasch

The Duchess of Malfi (Julia)

Smetana

The Bartered Bride (Mařenka) extracts

Strauss (J.)

Die Fledermaus (Rosalinde)

Tchaikovsky

Iolanta (Iolanta)

Verdi

Don Carlos (Tebaldo)
La traviata (Violetta)
Rigoletto (Gilda)

Wagner

Parsifal (First Squire, Flower Maiden)

Weinberg

The Passenger (Katya)

Julia Sporsén’s Concert Repertoire

Brahms

Requiem

Beethoven

Mass in C

Elgar

The Kingdom

Gounod

St Cecilia Mass

Haydn

The Creation
Stabat Mater

Handel

Jephtha (Iphis)

Mendelssohn

Psalm 42

Mozart

Requiem
Bella mia fiamma (concert aria)

Pergolesi

Stabat Mater

Rutter

Psalmfest

Saint-Saens

Requiem

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