“with a sublime mezzo soprano, full of nuances, she captivated everyone with her phrasing and musicality“
Mezzo-soprano Solgerd Isalv was born in Råneå, Sweden. After early training as a violinist and violist she went on to study solo voice at the Academy of Music and Drama at the University of Göteborg with Marianne Schell and Prof. Eva Nässén, finishing with a Master’s Degree in Music Performance.
Solgerd Isalv has received numerous grants during her studies and early career, which include the prestigous Swedish Wagner Scholarship, as well as scholarships from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.
She has taken part in Masterclasses with teachers including Helena Döse, Håkan Hagenård, Matti Hirvonen, Marianne Häggander, Anna Larsson, Neil Mackie, Thomas Quasthoff and Birgitta Svendén. In 2013 she was one of few young singers accepted to the Wagner Academy in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, where she studied with Dunja Vejzovic. Since 2013 Solgerd Isalv works closely with the vocal coach Sami Kustaloglu.
As a freelance mezzo-soprano Solgerd Isalv signed her first professional contracts with Skånska Operan and Göteborgs Operan. Soon after she successfully presented her German debut, performing the title role in the Rape of Lucretia at the Kammeroper Schloß Rheinsberg. This led to her first German guest engagement at the Theater in Gera/Altenburg. She also sang Lucretia in the same production at the Miskolci Nemzetközi Operafesztivál in Hungry.
For the seasons 2014/15 and 2015/16 Solgerd Isalv was a member of the Nuremberg Young Artists Programme and then continued as a member of the fest-ensemble. At the State Theatre Nuremberg she sang important parts as Charlotte in die Soldaten, Wellgunde, Zweite Norn, Zweite Dame, Hänsel und Cherubino as well as Orlofsky, Giovanna, The Innkeeper and Feodor in Boris Godunov and Mercedes. She also covered Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri and Carmen.
Praised by critics for her stage presence and acting ability, Solgerd Isalv is working in Germany on a freelance basis since the season 17/18 and has also worked in several Scandinavian opera houses such as GöteborgsOperan, Norrlandsoperan, Vaasan Ooppera and Wermland Opera. For her performance of Cherubino at State Theatre Nuremberg she was nominated as the best upcoming female singer of the year in the magazine Opernwelt.
August 2020 Solgerd Isalv joined the fest-ensemble at State Theatre Darmstadt and is taking active part in creating art under restricted circumstances.
She has worked with several well established directors and conductors such as Olof Boman, Marcus Bosch, Sam Brown, Mariame Clement, Daniel Cohen, Leo Hussain, Pavel Kogan, Peter Konwitschny, Cecilia Rydinger-Alin, Georg Schmiedleitner, Laura Scozzi and Sergei Smbatyan.
Her unusually flexible voice and wide knowledge of music allow Solgerd Isalv to move effortlessly between baroque, romantic and contemporary repertoire. In demand as a performer of contemporary music she has sung several world premieres, such as the opera Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis) (S.Peiffer, Hamburg, 2011), the rock opera KULT (O. Salo, Swedish Radio Theatre, 2013) and several church pieces and song cycles. She has also toured in Germany successfully with the early music ensemble EGG, performing a program of renaissance and baroque music by female composers, with the title “Donne che spaccano”
As a recitalist she is known for exciting, sometimes surprising programmes, preferably with literary connections. Already as a student she made a point of including contemporary music in her recitals. She was already then a frequent guest in different chamber music series in Sweden. Together with the pianist Jonas Olsson she has formed an art song duo.
Solgerd Isalv is one of the founders of the initiative Oper+, a network of freelance musicians, offering a platform for diverse outreaching projects in the Nuremberg region. During the first LockDown in spring 2020 she founded the Corona Survival Package #CultureContinued” which published 54 videos, organised 3 live concerts and included many german and international artists.
Her wide ranging concert repertoire includes Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Bernstein’s Symphony No1, Brahm’s Alto Rhapsody, Elgar‘s Sea Pictures, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Rückertlieder, Ravel‘s Shéhérazade, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder as well as music by Haydn, Nystroem, Rangström and Weill. Her wide sacred repertoire includes works by J.S.Bach as well as later composers; she recently sang Mendelssohn’s St. Paul in a performance with Pavel Kogan and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, for example. She also sang the Swedish premiere of “Message from the Soul” written and conducted by A. Wurtz.