Maria Sanner, contralto
Opera and concert singer
Maria works internationally as a contralto singer in concerts and opera, in a repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary music.
After her soloist diploma studies at the Royal College of music in Stockholm 2004, she freelanced mainly as a concert singer for a few years. A production of Mozart's the magic flute in Dalhalla, Sweden, in 2009, where Maria sang the part of the 3rd Lady, made her realise how much she loves also working with opera. This inspired her to also take a masters degree at the University College of Opera in Stockholm (2010-12) in order to fully include also the opera stage in her work field.
Before finishing her studies, she got the title role in Handel’s Giulio Cesare at Folkoperan 2012. This was followed by another title role at the Drottningholm Court Theatre: Il Giasone by Cavalli, which was her exam production from the school.
Maria made her debut at the Royal Opera of Stockholm, as Elizabetha in Dracula 2017 and comes back spring -22 in "Short Stories" (Taro by T Helander and Min tur nu by M Lithell Flyg).
Her recent opera parts include Handel's Giulio Cesare (title role) with Opera North in Leeds 2019, Argenore (title role) by Vilhelmina von Bayreuth at Confidencen, Stockholm in -21, Orfeo in Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice at Confidencen, summers -17 and -18 (conducted and staged by Arnold Östman).
2018 she performed at Malmö Opera in Var är du Proserpin? as Pluto and on the concert stage she was a soloist for example with the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir at the Stockholm Concert Hall in "Journal" by Vivier. Spring -19 and -22 she sang the part of Eva in Comedy on a bridge by Martiù at Malmö Opera.
She has also recently appeared for example at Folkoperan in Stockholm in the critically acclaimed performance "Ligetiland” (in Ligeti’s piece ”Aventures” - semi staged), in concerts at Poznan Baroque Festival (with the ensemble Kore in music by Händel, Vivaldi, Scarlatti and Pergolesi) and at Opera Rara in Krakow (with Arte dei Suonatori in J.A Hasse’s serenata Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra).
Within the opera repertoire Maria's earlier performances include the world premiere of Carl Unander-Scharin’s opera The Elephant Man at Norrlandsoperan, a continued collaboration with this composer in the performance ”Sing the body electric” which was performed in Stockholm, Sweden, and in Cape Town, South Africa, (this performance featured interactive, electronic instruments, which the singers controlled with their choreographed body movements – see a video example from another, similar performance called Extended Opera down to the right on this page) she also sang the part of Clizia in Ristori’s opera Calandro at the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, Germany, and in two productions of newly written operas at the International Vadstena Academy; 2003 in Byrgitta by Carl Unander-Scharin and 2004 in Planet Opus Opera by Staffan Lundén Welden.
Maria has a long experience as a concert singer and with an extensive repertoire. She is especially well aquainted with the oratorio repertoire, but also songs with orchestra, lieder and chamber music.
She sang with conductors such as Eric Ericson, Arnold Östman, Alan Gilbert, Roy Goodman, Josep Pons, Martin Gester, Alexis Kossenko, Olof Boman, Manfred Honeck and Paul Goodwin and with baroque ensembles such as Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), Kore (Poland), Rebaroque and Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble (Sweden), and the percussion ensemble Kroumata.
Among the many scholarships Maria have been awarded to enable her studies are the Swedish Arts Grants Comittee (working scholarship for studies of baroque music), the Royal Music Academy (several scholarships including Christina Nilsson), the Drottningholm Court Theater's Friends Foundation, the Stockholm Freemasons, the Helge Ax:son Johnsson Foundation, the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and several others.
From "Il Giasone" at Drottningholm Court Theatre
Photos: Mats Bäcker (Photos have been cropped)
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