Home > Artists > Anne Sofie von Otter

BIOGRAPHY

Internationally acclaimed Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter has long been considered one of the finest singers of her generation. A lengthy and exclusive relationship with Deutsche Grammophon produced a wealth of recordings and numerous awards including an International Record Critics’ Award (recording artist of the year), a Grammy Award (best classical vocal performance) for Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn, and a Diapason d’Or for a recording of Swedish songs with her long-time accompanist, Bengt Forsberg. She collaborated with pop legend Elvis Costello on the disc, For the Stars and in October 2010 released her first recording with the Naïve label, Love Songs, a collaboration with renowned jazz pianist Brad Mehldau. Her 2012 disc, Sogno Barocco - a collection of Italian baroque arias, scenes and duets with Leonardo García-Alarcón and Cappella Mediterranea – was nominated for a Grammy Award and her fourth disc for Naïve, Douce France, is released in November 2013.  

An ever-evolving repertoire has played a key role in sustaining her international reputation as an operatic force. From an initial reputation built on the principle roles of Mozart, Handel and Strauss, recently–added roles include Brangäne, Baba the Turk, Didon and Waltraute.

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REVIEWS

“Von Otter delivers both versions with scrupulous attention to the words and a sultry tone. Every rhetorical device is skilfully explored, every phrase glows, whether blithely (La Calisto), or with suppressed violence (Poppea)... For many listeners, however, von Otter's duets with Sandrine Piau will be the highlight. Stylistically, temperamentally and in terms of timbre, the two voices are a sensational match. Rarely have 'Pur ti miro' or 'Dolcissimi baci' sounded so erotic.” (Anna Picard, BBC Music Magazine, January 2013)

"The mezzos are out in force this autumn - Bartoli, Kozena, Graham, Garanca ...but this programme of 17th century Italian opera from Von Otter is perhaps the most remarkable of the lot. ... Her still plush mezzo entwines ravishingly with Sandrine Piau's brighter soprano, but the most remarkable parts of her "baroque dream" are Rossi's Lament of the Swedish Queen and Provenzale's astonishing parody of it." (The Sunday Times, October 2012)

"What a treat Anne Sofie von Otter proved to be, too. Frequently, Brangäne can descend into a hectoring and boring spinsterish part, but von Otter, in powerful voice, was sympathetic. " (Classical Source, October 2010)

"Von Otter was the focus of the first concert, wringing emotion from each syllable of lyrics that sounded life-changing when she sang them. Mehldau impressed for adjusting touch and timbre for first-half readings of Brahms, Faure and Richard strauss, and bringing out the influence on jazz pianists today of Sibelius's sparse rhythmic pedals." (Financial Times, June 2010)

"Ms. Von Otter's performance was the picture of interpretive subtlety, with carefully calibrated dynamics and coloration and a velvety tone that perfectly suited these graceful world-weary texts." (The New York Times, October 2009)