Julia Sporsén

Soprano

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

Hugo Shirley, Opera

"Julia Sporsén’s gorgeously sung Donna Anna."

The Independent

"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 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.

Julia has sung roles including Katya in Weinberg’s The Passenger, the title role in Martinu’s Julietta and Rosalinde Die Fledermaus for English National Opera, where she also created two roles in world premieres: Julia in Torsten Rasch’s new opera The Duchess of Malfi, and Antigone in Julian Anderson’s Thebans for English National Opera. She also created Regan in the world premiere of Promised End by Alexander Goehr for English Touring Opera.

Julia enjoys a close relationship with Opera Holland Park, where she has sung Katya Kabanova, Micaela, Gilda and Nedda to critical acclaim. Other notable appearances include Tebaldo Don Carlos for Opera North (also recorded for Chandos Records), Kumudha in John Adams’s opera A Flowering Tree, Pamina and Micaela for Göteborg Opera, Micaela for the Royal Swedish Opera and Violetta for Folkoperan in Stockholm.

Recent and future highlights include a return to Scottish Opera as Pat Nixon Nixon in China and Fleana in Zingari, Fox Gold-Spur The Cunning Little Vixen with Opera Holland Park, Young Girl in Schoenberg’s Moses and Aaron at the George Enescu Festival in Budapest, Ingeborg in Elfrida Andrés opera Fritiofs saga, and Waltraute in Die Walküre at Gothenburg Opera, and a return to Folkoparen in Stockholm for Isolde Tristan and Isolde.

Last season, she took up the position of Artist in Residence at Kulturhuset Spira in Jönköping, returned to Gothenburg Opera to sing the role of Elsalill in Herr Arnes Penningar, and joined Kymi Sinfonietta for a programme of Wagner and Wesendonck.

In 2022/23, Julia returns to Folkoperan Stockholm to sing the title role in Norma.

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

Bellini Norma (Title role)

Folkoperan Stockholm (September 2022)

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

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

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

Isolde (Tristan und Isolde)

Folkoperan (October 2020)

Julia Sporsén is sensational - it’s hard to believe that this is her first real Wagner role.

Bo Löfvendahl, Svenska Dagbladet

Julia Sporsén, who easily would have been able to match a full-scale orchestra, makes a very strong role debut as Isolde. The brilliance of her high notes is well complemented by Jesper Säll's shadier tenor.

Axel Englund, Expressen

Julia Sporsén is a minor sensation as Isolde, with a large and strong presence both vocally and theatrically. With her dramatically Gothic charisma, she responds best to Tunström's rich and symbolist imagination.

Camilla Lundberg, SVT

Julia Sporsén's dramatic soprano is magnificent ... with character and presence.

Claes Wahlin, Aftonbladet

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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