Biography

Julia Sporsén was born in Gothenburg, Sweden. The child of two professional opera singers she began her voice and piano studies at a young age.

After reading drama at Gothenburg University, she joined a theatre summer festival in Stockholm for three years, playing principal roles in various plays. Then, concentrating on her singing, she studied three years at the Operastudio67 in Stockholm, where she sang Donna Elvira Don Giovanni, Vitellia La clemenza di Tito, Mimì La bohème and Micaëla Carmen. During this time, she was also a member of the Poulenc-ensemble, performing French music in Sweden and abroad.

After private studies with Susanna Rigacci in Florence, she commenced her postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Joy Mammen and Iain Ledingham, and she graduated from the Royal Academy Opera Course in 2007 where she was awarded a DipRAM. She was also the winner of the Opera Rara Patric Schmidt Bel Canto Prize 2007 and the Flora Nielsen Song Prize 2005. She is also a Samling Scholar.

Roles performed at the RAM include Arminda La Finta Giardiniera, Armida Rinaldo, Iphise in Rameau’s Dardanus with Laurence Cummings, and the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta with Steuart Bedford. Other appearances include Violetta La traviata and Micaëla Carmen for Clonter Opera, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni for Amersham Music Festival and Donna Anna Don Giovanni for English Touring Opera.

Julia is also a keen lieder singer and concerts together with pianist Joseph Middleton include a lunchtime recital in the Royal Opera House Crush Room, a Maisie Lewis/Wigmore Hall recital and recently another appearance in Wigmore Hall in a Spanish themed concert, programmed by Joseph, including Schumann’s Spanishes Liederspiel for four voices. The duo were also finalists in the International Schubert Competition LiedDuo in Germany in 2009.

Other concert engagements include Mozart’s concert aria Bella mia fiamma conducted by Sir Colin Davis, Haydn’s Creation with the Manchester Camerata, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Verdi’s Requiem in Rochester Cathedral.  Julia also sang Tatyana’s Letter scene from Eugene Onegin with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charles Hazlewood in Glastonbury Abbey. She performed a one-woman show for the Liederkreis company; “Dreamlives”, a staged performance of lieder by R. Strauss, Berg and Schönberg, at various venues, including the Leeds Lieder Festival.

At Opera Holland Park in London Julia has sung Micaëla in Carmen, Gilda in Rigoletto and Nedda/Pagliacci and her debut at Opera North was as Tebaldo in Don Carlos in 2009, in a production that has been recorded for Chandos.

Since 2009 Julia has sung a number of roles at the English National Opera, including Katya in Weinberg’s The Passenger, Livia in Glanert’s Caligula, First Squire/Flower Maiden in Wagner’s Parsifal and Julia in Rasch’s The Duchess of Malfi, in collaboration with Punchdrunk Theatre.

Recent engagements include Micaëla in Carmen for the Royal Swedish Opera, the title role in Martinu’s Julietta for English National Opera, Eudora in Donizett’s Belisario in a concert and a recording for Opera Rara under Mark Elder and the soprano soloist in Beethoven Symphony no 9 at the Barbican Hall and Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

In the 2013/2014 season, Julia is singing Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus and Antigone in Julian Anderson’s Thebans, both for English National Opera. In 2014/2015 she will sing Violetta at Folkoperan in Stockholm and Kumudha/A Flowering Tree by John Adams at Gothenburg Opera.