“The recording captures the crystalline yet supple quality of her voice and her direct, communicative way with text.”(The Guardian)
Versatillity, musicianship and a crystalline tone are a few of the qualities that have seen the career of Norwegian-born Mari Eriksmoen blossom over the last decade, fostering close collaborations with a number of key orchestras, conductors and directors and with acclaimed appearances on Europe’s premiere opera, concert and recital stages.
Eriksmoen has excelled as Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande (Opera Vlaanderen, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, Teatro de la Maestranza, Sevilla), Pamina in Simon McBurney’s acclaimed staging of Die Zauberflöte (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Dutch National Opera, Opernhaus Zürich), Marzelline in Fidelio (Opéra Comique), La Fée in Cendrillon (Komische Oper Berlin), Susanna and Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier (Den Norske Opera), and Waldvogel in Daniel Barenboim’s epic Ring Cycles at Teatro alla Scala. Last season, she further expanded her repertoire as Gerda in Abrahamsen’s The Snow Queen at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw under Kent Nagano, as Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare at Festival international d’opéra baroque de Beaune under Ottavio Dantone, and as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding.
Much in demand for the concert stage, Eriksmoen has performed with Berliner Philharmoniker and Ivan Fischer in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Münchner Philharmoniker and Paavo Järvi in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Philharmonia Orchestra and Santtu-Matias Rouvali in Mahler’s Symphony No.2, Oslo Philharmonic and Jukka-Pekka Saraste in Mahler’s Symphony No.8, and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Ed Gardner in Britten’s Les illuminations and Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne, and at the 2022 Salzburger Festspiele with Václav Luks and Collegium 1704 as Isacco in Myslivecek’s rarity Abramo ed Isacco.
In the 2022/23 season, Mari Eriksmoen joins new productions of Don Giovanni at Kilden Performing Arts Centre and Xerxes at Opéra de Rouen, returns to Bergen National Opera as Pamina, and sings the title role of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Ensemble I Gemelli in concert performance at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Victoria Hall, Geneva. On the concert platform, she performs with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig in Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri under Philippe Herreweghe, Orchestre de Paris in Mahler’s Symphony No.2 under Klaus Mäkelä both at Philharmonie de Paris and Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg and both Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Orff’s Carmina Burana under Kazuki Yamada.
Eriksmoen completed her studies in Oslo (Norwegian Academy of Music), Paris (Conservatoire National Superieur) and Copenhagen (Royal Danish Academy of Opera) before being launched immediately into her career in 2010 by an invitation to debut as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos at Theater an der Wien, conducted by Bertrand de Billy. Those performances marked the beginning of a regular presence on the historic Vienna stage, returning across the next decade as Olympia (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Euridice (Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo), Servilia (La clemenza di Tito), Agilea (Handel’s Teseo), and as Susanna, Zerlina and Fiordiligi in the Da Ponte Trilogy conducted by the late Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
A fast-growing discography includes recent releases of Britten and Canteloube with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Ed Gardner (Chandos), Handel and Mozart with Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Jan Willem de Vriend (Challenge Classics), and her “poised, elegant and persuasive” (The Guardian) debut recital disc with pianist Alphonse Cémin (Alpha). She also appears on Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust with Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Daniel Harding (Naxos) and Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with both Akademie für alte Musik Berlin under René Jacobs (harmonia mundi) and Glyndebourne Festival Opera under Robin Ticciati (Opus Arte DVD).
“Mari Eriksmoen offers at every moment the clarity of her voice, her agility, her art of pianissimo and legato … With her red wig, she occupies the stage with conviction and her youthful Romilda effortlessly attracts all hearts to her.”
“Mari Eriksmoen, as Mélisande, was fragile, wondering and beguiling. Her gentle soprano took on force in the love scene, only to become a whisper as she died.”
“After a ringing and forceful Susanna, Mari Eriksmoen attests her versatility with a Zerlina full of calm conviction in her sensitively sung ‘Vedrai carino’. And she also sings Fiordiligi, moving convincingly between registers and acknowledging her final defeat with a touching ‘fa’ di me quell che ti par’.”
“With her complex, ringing soprano, Eriksmoen in particular sings a moving consolation for the bereaved, which Brahms places at the centre [of his Requiem].”
“This new recording [of Britten’s Les illuminations] is highly persuasive. The Norwegian soprano delivers highly animated performances…She attacks ‘Royauté’ and ‘Marine’ with insouciant swagger, while ‘Being Beauteous’ is urgently phrased”
“Soprano Mari Eriksmoen embodies Marzelline with character while maintaining a youthful freshness. Her pure timbre reveals delicate high notes and a delightful vibrato, delivering an interpretation full of nuance, including in the strong opening duet with Jaquino, where her sharp diction and precise rhythm successfully translates her character’s frustrations.”
“Mari Eriksmoen is a delicious Marzelline, her warm, fruity voice unfolds with grace and naturalness in a role to which she gives real depth.”
“Mari Eriksmoen is distinguished by an exquisite musicality, a radiant line of singing endowed with an even ethereal tone”
“she is a star here…The runs in the martial aria from Mitridate are perfectly placed, as they are in Donna Anna’s ‘Non mi dir’. Eriksmoen captures the restlessness of Ilia’s first aria and she sounds suitably vengeful in Alma grande e nobil core…enjoy the top-drawer singing.”
“Norwegian soprano Mari Eriksmoen presents a recital of arias by Handel and Mozart…and the focus, after all, is Mari Eriksmoen’s voice, it is superb. The natural grace of the light, agile and confident soprano, the cultivated declamation and fresh liveliness, but also the often moving empathy of her singing show an artist who fully convinces with a stylistically confident musicality.”
“Mari Eriksmoen as Servilia presented a fresh, sweet sound”
“With her precise and clear timbre, soprano Mari Eriksmoen firmly establishes her ability with this music. With great sensitivity and very flexible phrasing, her voice builds in “Ah no lasciarmi, no” at the mention of the departure of her lover and she finishes the aria beautifully at the top of her range. In “Ridente la calma”, she brings a more voluptuous tone, complementing the caressing bass.”
“Mari Eriksmoen (Servilia) exudes a youthful timbre, which assures linden beauty of the only catchy tune of the evening.”
“Equally impressive is Mari Eriksmoen as Servilia. Technically perhaps the cleanest voice of the evening, excellently supported especially at the top of the range, and artistically at the highest level, Eriksmoen puts an explicit exclamation mark after her name! In her aria ‘S’altro che lacrime,’ the Norwegian soprano sings so emphatically that crying does not help, but the audience was close to tears at this gorgeous vocal performance.”
“The Norwegian soprano Mari Eriksmoen brings a pure, clean sound and playful character to Susanna.”
“Soprano Eriksmoen is the heart and lifeblood of Waiting. Her voice is radiant; her performance, breathtaking.”
“Mari Eriksmoen and [her Tamino] made a wonderful princely couple, both looking and sounding beautiful…Eriksmoen was just as clear, just as unforced and showed how Mozart can tug at the heartstring”
“Mari Eriksmoen is a Pamina who combines grace with determination, a pure voice but with strength, and a dancer’s elegance”
“Mari Eriksmoen is a delicate, sensitive Pamina”
“The most magnificent in the cast was the Mélisande of Mari Eriksmoen, a lyrical soprano who sings with perfect clarity. With her lithe silhouette and Scandinavian looks, she fully embodies the fascinating heroine, at once fragile and extremely determined”
“The big star in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande is Mari Eriksmoen. The Norwegian soprano impresses from the opening scene right up to her deathbed”
“Soprano Mari Eriksmoen is a clear-voiced Mélisande and perfectly portrays the exceptional nature of this almost extra-terrestrial character”
“Mari Eriksmoen dominates the cast with an almost perfect Mélisande in her debut performance”
“In the role of Mélisande, the Norwegian soprano Mari Eriksmoen makes a resoundingly impressive debut at Opera Vlaanderen: her French diction was faultless, her voice like crystal, and she embodies the hypnotising fragility of this heroine to perfection.”
“A delicate, diaphanous beauty and Scandinavian blonde, the radiant Norwegian soprano Mari Eriksmoen succeeds in her debut as Mélisande”
“Mari Eriksmoen has the agile freshness of Hanne [Haydn’s The Seasons], a pure voice sometimes reminiscent of a Gundula Janowitz.”
“Mari Eriksmoen’s lip-biting Zerlina left no doubt as to her being an ideal first choice in her highly-charged, kittenish reading…Vocally sailing through the part, this Zerlina whet one’s appetite for greater challenges to come.”
“Zerlina is the focus of the cast. Mari Eriksmoen sings the role with her clear, flexible and wonderfully coloured soprano”
“The performance is led by Mari Eriskmoen as a charming Zerlina”
“Mari Eriksmoen, with her bright and agile soprano, is an ideal Zerlina”
“Mari Eriskmoen was especially successful in creating a thoroughly strong character in Zerlina”
“Mari Eriksmoen is a suitably fearless Blonde.”
“Radiating an abundance of melodious sound and filling the theatre is Mari Eriksmoen as La Fée, with her magically mellifluous coloratura”
“[As La Fée], Mari Eriskmoen produces the most alluring, shimmering coloratura; pure magic.”
“Rising soprano Mari Eriksmoen has chosen her repertoire for this disc well…Her selection of nine songs by Hugo Wolf emphasises a sense of mischief, and the recording captures well the crystalline yet supple quality of her voice and her direct, communicative way with text. Her Strauss selection includes three of the Ophelia Songs, which she makes sound at once confiding and otherworldly…Eriksmoen is even more persuasive in her native Norwegian. Five songs by Grieg find her relishing each word – A Bird’s Song sounds especially posied and elegant.”
“Mari Eriksmoen was a Blonde to rival that of Lucia Popp in the old Josef Krips recording, the stage presence a continual source of vitality and the beauty of tone endlessly beguiling.”
“Mari Eriksmoen [gave a] beautifully-sung live-wire performance as Blonde.”
“Mari Eriksmoen has a clear, agile soprano and light vibrato with which she spun fine pianos and gave a credible depiction of the caring, boisterous and naïve girl.”
“The Norwegian soprano Mari Eriksmoen was lively and vocally excellent as Rosina.”