"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are" Anais Nin

Heavenly Voices 2 – Anne Sofie von Otter

Anne Sofie von Otter


mezzo soprano

Von Otter was born in Stockholm, Sweden. Her father was the diplomat Göran von Otter and she grew up in Bonn, London and Stockholm. After studying in Stockholm and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, she was engaged by the Basel Opera, where she made her operatic début in 1983 as Alcina in Haydn’s Orlando paladino. She made her Royal Opera House, Covent Garden début in 1985 and her La Scala debut in 1987. Her Metropolitan Opera début was in 1988 as Cherubino

Erlkönig (Schubert)

She has had notable success in roles of Mozart, Handel, and Monteverdi. In recitals, she excels in the music of Mahler, Brahms, Grieg, Wolf and Sibelius. In 2001 she released an album with Elvis Costello, for which she won an Edison Award. Among the conductors she has worked with repeatedly are William Christie, Marc Minkowski, Claudio Abbado, John Eliot Gardiner, and Myung-Whun Chung. Most of her recitals and many of her recordings have been collaborations with Swedish pianist Bengt Forsberg. In 2003 Von Otter was awarded a Rolf Schock Prize in the musical arts category.


Marietta’s song

In 2007, she released a highly-praised album of music written by composers imprisoned in the Nazi “model” ghetto of Theresienstadt concentration camp (also known as Terezin) prior to their transportation to the death camp of Auschwitz. She has explained that the material has special personal meaning for her as her father, a Swedish diplomat, had attempted during the war to spread information that he had received about the Nazi death camps.

She is married to Benny Fredriksson, an actor and theatre director, and has two children.

Purcell – Dido’s lament

Scherza infida – Ariodante

Ann Sophie von Otter Official Web Site:



Lieder and songs

  • Johannes Brahms Lieder with Bengt Forsberg (1991) Deutsche Grammophon
  • Grieg Songs with Bengt Forsberg (1993) Deutsche Grammophon
  • Speak Low: Songs by Kurt Weill conducted by John Eliot Gardiner (1995) Deutsche Grammophon
  • Frauenliebe und –leben by Schumann with Bengt Forsberg (1996) Deutsche Grammophon
  • Schubert: Lieder, with Bengt Forsberg (1997) Deutsche Grammophon
  • Des Knaben Wunderhorn (with Thomas Quasthoff) by Mahler conducted by Claudio Abbado (1999) Deutsche Grammophon
  • Mahler: Kindertotenlieder, conducted by Pierre Boulez (2005) Deutsche Grammophon
  • Chaminade Lieder and other works with Bengt Forsberg (2002) Deutsche Grammophon
  • Berlioz: Mélodies and Les nuits d’ete, with Cord Garben (piano) and conducted by James Levine


  • Orphée et Eurydice by Gluck conducted by John Eliot Gardiner(1989) EMI
  • Hänsel und Gretel by Humperdinck conducted by Jeffrey Tate(1989/1990) EMI
  • Idomeneo by Mozart conducted by John Eliot Gardiner (1991) Deutsche Grammophon
  • Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss conducted by Bernard Haitink (1991) EMI Classics
  • Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart conducted by James Levine (1992) Deutsche Grammophon
  • La Clemenza di Tito by Mozart conducted by John Eliot Gardiner (1993) Deutsche Grammophon
  • Agrippina by Handel conducted by John Eliot Gardiner (1997) Philips
  • Werther by Massenet conducted by Kent Nagano (1997) Elektra
  • Ariodante by Handel conducted by Marc Minkowski (1999) Archiv
  • Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli (2002)
  • Hercules by Handel conducted by Marc Minkowski(2002) Archiv
  • Giulio Cesare by Handel conducted by Marc Minkowski (2003) Archiv
  • Carmen by Bizet conducted by Philppe Jordan (2003) BBC/Pro Arte
  • Serse by Handel conducted by William Christie (2004) Virgin Classics

Other music

  • “Bach: St. Matthew’s Passion” Chicago Symphony, Sir Georg Solti; Kiri Te Kanawa, Anne Sofie von Otter, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Tom Krause, Hans Peter Blochwitz, Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus
  • For The Stars, a collection of rock and pop songs (by the likes of Brian Wilson and Lennon/McCartney), with Elvis Costello
  • Handel: Messiah, with Arleen Auger, Michael Chance, Howard Crook and John Tomlinson, with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert
  • Handel: Messiah, with Sylvia McNair, Michael Chance, Jerry Hadley and Robert Lloyd, with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner
  • Beethoven: Symphony no. 9, with Luba Orgonasova, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Gilles Cachemaille, the Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique, conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner
  • Mahler: Symphony no. 3, conducted by Pierre Boulez
  • Berlioz: The Damnation of Faust, with Bryn Terfel, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung
  • Theresienstadt, with Bengt Forsberg and others
  • Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius, with Alastair Miles and David Rendall, conducted by Sir Colin Davis
  • I Let the Music Speak – Songs of Abba including “Money, Money, Money” and “The Winner Takes It All”.

La Ivolution -Heavenly Voices Series

Source: Anne Sofie von Otter – Wikipedia


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