Julia Sporsén

Soprano

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. She is the 2023 winner of the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet's Opera Prize for her recent bold portrayal in the title role of Norma at Folkoperan Stockholm.

In 2009 Julia made her debut at English National Opera, soon becoming an ENO Harewood Artist. Her many roles with the company have included Katya in Weinberg’s The Passenger, Livia in Glanert’s Caligula, Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), and the title role in Martinu’s Julietta. She has also created two roles in world premieres: Julia in Torsten Rasch’s The Duchess of Malfi and Antigone in Julian Anderson’s The Thebans. The directors she has worked with there include David Pountney, Christopher Alden, Richard Jones and Pierre Audi. Julia also enjoys a close relationship with Opera Holland Park, where roles have included the title role of Kat’a Kabanova, Micaëla, Gilda (Rigoletto) and Nedda (Pagliacci), all to critical acclaim.

In 2012 she made her debut at the Royal Swedish Opera singing Micaëla (Carmen). Appearances in her native Sweden also include Violetta (La Traviata) for Folksoperan in Stockholm as well as the roles of Kumudha in John Adams’s A Flowering Tree, Micaëla, Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and Elsalill in Gösta Nyström’s Herr Arne Penningar, at Göteborg Opera.

Notable concert engagements include appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, London Mozart Players, Göteborg Symfoniker and Göteborg Wind Orchestra. She has given recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Joseph Middleton and has also toured with a one-woman show “Dreamlives” for the Liederkreis company: a staged performance of lieder by R. Strauss, Berg and Schönberg, with performances around the United Kingdom including the Leeds Lieder Festival. In 2021/22, she took up the position of Artist
in Residence at Kulturhuset Spira in Jönköping.

Julia has worked with conductors including Sir Colin Davis, Joana Carneiro, Edward Gardner, Karen Kamensek, Sian Edwards, Mark Wigglesworth, Stuart Stratford and Santtu-Matias Rouvali.

The daughter of two opera singers, Julia read drama at Gothenburg University, followed by three years at the Operastudio67 in Stockholm. She studied privately with Susanna Rigacci in Florence, followed by postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Joy Mammen and Iain Ledingham, where she graduated with the highest award, DipRAM. She has since been elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM). She was also the winner of the Opera Rara Patric Schmidt Bel Canto Prize and the Flora Nielsen Song Prize.

Recent highlights include a return to Scottish Opera as Pat Nixon (Nixon in China) and Fleana in Zingari, Elsalill in Herr Arnes Penningar at Göteborg Opera, 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 Folkoperan in Stockholm for Isolde (Tristan and Isolde).

Last season, Julia returned to Folkoperan Stockholm to sing the title role in Norma and Judith (Bluebeard's Castle), and this season she sings the role of Paulina Salas (Death and the Maiden) at Malmö Opera and sings Verdi Requiem with the Jönköping Sinfonietta.