Zanda Švēde

Mezzo-Soprano

Biography

Praised by The Independent for her “movie-star looks” and “chocolatey mezzo-soprano,” Latvian mezzo-soprano Zanda Švēde recently finished her final year as an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera. The 2017 – 2018 season sees Ms. Švēde’s debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Maddalena in Rigoletto, conducted by Marco Armiliato, and Grimgerde in the David Pountney production of Die Walküre. Ms. Švēde also makes her house debut at Atlanta Opera singing the title role in Carmen conducted by Arthur Fagen, and returns to Lyric Opera of Kansas City to sing Maddalena in Rigoletto.

The 2016 – 2017 season saw Ms. Švēde’s return to the stage of San Francisco Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Maddalena in Rigoletto, the Maid in The Makropulos Case, and Handmaiden/The Flower in the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber. Additional engagements include her debut at Palm Beach Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and covering Olga in Yevgeny Onegin at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Operatic highlights include her role and house debut in the title role of Carmen at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and her house debut as Olga in a concert performance of Yevgeny Onegin at North Carolina Opera. At San Francisco Opera she has sung Flora in La Traviata, Lena in the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, and Tisbe in Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Additional highlights include María in Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires, Endimione in Cavalli’s La Calisto, and the title role in Massenet’s Cléopâtre.

On the concert stage Ms. Švēde made her debut with the San Francisco Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and has sung Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Liszt’s Missa Coronationalis, Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium, Haydn’s Mass in the time of War, and Mozart’s Missa de Requiem.

Ms. Švēde studied at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music in Riga, Latvia, the Manhattan School of Music Summer Voice Festival in New York, Scuola Italia in Italy, the Tyrolean Opera Program in Austria, and is an alumna of the 2013 Merola Opera Program.

Reviews

“The evening’s most unforgettable showing was mezzo-soprano Zanda Svede’s resplendent account of “O ma lyre immortelle” from Gounod’s “Sapho” – full throated, luxuriantly phrased and capped by a glorious and impeccably placed final high note.”

Joshua Kosman

SF Gate

“Zanda Švēde did not disappoint. With movie-star looks (intensified by Alison Hanks’ bold make-up design) and a luscious, chocolatey mezzo-soprano, Zanda sort of threw you off balance every time she opened her mouth. It is probably not idle to predict she could become one of the Carmens over the next few years: She has the voice, the musical verve and a winning, controlled approach to movement that augur great things.”

Paul Horsley

The Independent Insider

More Reviews

“The evening’s most unforgettable showing was mezzo-soprano Zanda Svede’s resplendent account of “O ma lyre immortelle” from Gounod’s “Sapho” – full throated, luxuriantly phrased and capped by a glorious and impeccably placed final high note.”

SF Gate – Joshua Kosman 

“Zanda Švēde did not disappoint. With movie-star looks (intensified by Alison Hanks’ bold make-up design) and a luscious, chocolatey mezzo-soprano, Zanda sort of threw you off balance every time she opened her mouth. It is probably not idle to predict she could become one of the Carmens over the next few years: She has the voice, the musical verve and a winning, controlled approach to movement that augur great things.”

The Independent Insider – Paul Horsley 

“Zanda Švēde as Carmen did not disappoint. That voice—that bottomless voice! It’s a heavy mezzo with luxurious layers and some surprising color up top. It somehow resonates alternately in the depths of her chest, then her head—and still manages to project. Her first two arias also proved a wide range, and that she was embedding sensuality to spare into her Carmen.”

KCMetropolis,org – Sarah Tyrrell 

“Zanda Švēde, in her Lyric Opera debut, played the gypsy with convincing flair. Her luscious voice was fruity, full and varied. Each aria was given a different color, from the flirtatious “Habanera” to the fateful “Card Aria.””

The Kansas City Star – Libby Hanssen 

“The other blockbuster contribution came from Zanda Svede, a promising Latvian mezzo-soprano with plenty of vocal agility and an extraordinary chest register that just gets stronger the lower it goes.”

SF Gate – Joshua Kosman 

“Zanda Svede was the sparkling, deep-voiced Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, and the Latvian mezzo was restrained both in projecting her big voice and tastefully comic acting … and then came the big moment.”

SF Classical Voice – Janos Gereben 

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