“Charlotte Hellekant offered the greatest acting I have ever witnessed on an opera stage.”
A vocally expressive and compelling stage performer with a repertoire ranging from the baroque to contemporary classics, Charlotte Hellekant is one of Scandinavia’s leading mezzo-sopranos with a career which is equally successful on both the opera stage and concert platform.
Hellekant has made her mark on opera stages on both sides of the Atlantic, most notably at The Metropolitan Opera, Opéra national de Paris and Glyndebourne Festival. Lyric roles include Charlotte (Werther) with Deutsche Oper Berlin and Carmen with Royal Swedish Opera, whilst outstanding Handel interpretations include Ino (Semele) at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées and Cornelia (Giulio Cesare) under Marc Minkowski for Opernhaus Zürich. She appeared as Marguérite in La Fura dels Baus’ spectacular production of La damnation de Faust at Salzburger Festspiele under Sylvain Cambreling and sang the role of Judith in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle in concert at the Bergen Festival under Edward Gardner.
Other highlights include Sasha Waltz & Guests’ beautifully choreographed staging of L’Orfeo under the baton of Pablo Heras-Casado and recent role debuts as Clairon in David Marton’s production of Capriccio at La Monnaie under the baton of Lothar Koenigs and as Charlotte in Höstsonaten for Malmö Opera undert Patrik Ringborg.
Charlotte Hellekant has inspired some of the world’s leading composers to write especially for her. This includes Toshio Hosokawa who created the role of Murasame for her in his acclaimed Matsukaze. Subsequently, Hosokawa wrote his monodrama The Raven for her, which she premiered in concert performances with Ensemble Lucilin in Brussels, Amsterdam and Japan. Hellekant also received particular acclaim for her tour de force performance as Sweden’s schizophrenic King Erik XIV — a role also created for her — in Mikko Heiniö’s eponymous opera and most recently she premiered a new work by Stefano Gervasoni, In die Luft geschrieben, with the Münchner Kammerorchester.
Extending her craft beyond performing, Charlotte Hellekant created a staged version of The Raven which she performed at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg and Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris. She also curated, produced and performed Hedvig Leonora, a celebration of the life of the 17th century Swedish Regent at Drottningholms Slottsteater.
In concert Charlotte Hellekant has collaborated with many notable conductors and orchestras, including Christoph von Dohnányi at the BBC Proms, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel. Performance highlights include Mahler’s Symphony No.8 with the Utah Symphony (Thierry Fischer) and released on the Reference Records label,Berio’s Folksongs and Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (Martin Fröst) and Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España (Xian Zhang). Other recent successes include Lili Boulanger’s rarely performed cantata Faust et Hélène with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (James Gaffigan), Gurrelieder at the Festival de Música de Canarias (Josep Pons) and both Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 and Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with the Orchestre National de France.
“The mezzo-soprano Charlotte Hellekant invested her similarly named character [Charlotte Andergast in Fagerlund’s Höstsonaten] with a degree of pathos and humanity that made her, if not entirely forgiveable, at least fathomable.”
(Opera Mag, Jan 2020)
“The appearance of Charlotte Hellekant was one of the stellar moments on each night, with an interpretation of the Wood Dove full of drama and pathos in equal measure.”
“Swedish soloist Charlotte Hellekant, with a burnished tone very much on the contralto side of mezzo, effortlessly conveyed and projected the weight of Nietzsche’s rather sombre text.”
(The New Zealand Herald, April 2016)
“Charlotte Hellekant in the dual role of Messenger and Hope gives the finest and most distinguished of vocal performances combining depth of expression and a dignified presence.”
(Karin Coper, Opernnetz.de, July 2015)
“Hellekant, an arrestingly versatile mezzo who sings early music, 19th century opera and modern works, sang from memory. Barefoot and displaying ankle bracelets, she brought a Gypsy-like theatrical vitality, a huge voice and fervent attention to word and tone.”