The Scene


Kristinn Sigmundsson

Kristinn Sigmundsson


Lauded for his portrayal of Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier that he “dealt in revelations,” the Financial Times further praises Icelandic bass Kristinn Sigmundsson, “His tone dark and his dynamic range broad, he exuded raw power, crusty lust and comic bravado, all reinforced by a trace of gravitas.”

In the 2015-16 season, he joins the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for Hunding in excerpts of Die Walküre and sings Melchthal in Guillaume Tell and the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos at the Staatsoper Hamburg, Rocco in Fidelio at the Caramoor International Music Festival, and Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Íslenska óperan. In addition, his summer performances include returns to the Cincinnati May Festival for the final season of Music Director James Conlon, in which he will sing Dvořák’s Stabat Mater and the Grant Park Music Festival for Méphistophélès in La damnation de Faust. Future seasons include performances at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Staatsoper Hamburg, and with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Last season, he joined Los Angeles Opera for its trilogy of Beaumarchais operas as he sang Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Louis XVI in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, and Doctor Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro. He also sang King Philip in Don Carlo with Íslenska óperan and returned to both the Ravinia Festival as Daland in Der fliegende Holländer and the Cincinnati May Festival for Haydn’s Creation.

As one of the world’s most sought after basses, Mr. Sigmundsson has sung nearly his entire repertoire with the Opéra National de Paris. His performances at the Metropolitan Opera include Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Hundig in Die Walküre, Rocco in Fidelio, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, and Vodnik in Rusalka. He has sung leading roles regularly with the Staatsoper Wien, Bayerische Staatsoper, and Semperoper Dresden, where his most recent performances include Méphistophélès in La damnation de Faust. Other recent engagements include Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni in Munich, Berlin and New York; Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, König Heinrich in Lohengrin and Pogner in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Berlin; Creonte in Medea in Salzburg; Gurnemanz in Parisifal in Cologne and Florence; Zaccaria in Nabucco in Copenhagen, King Heinrich in Lohengin in Madrid San Fancisco, Los Angeles, and with the Bayerische Staatsoper both in Munich and on tour to Japan; King Marke in Tristan und Isolde in Santiago, Dallas, and Berlin; Hunding in Die Walküre in Naples, Venice and Köln; Landgraf in Tannhäuser in Geneva, Amsterdam, and Tokyo; Méphistophélès in La damnation de Faust, König Marke in Tristan und Isolde, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, and Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier in San Francisco and Florence; König Heinrich in Lohengrin and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor in Munich; Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Naples, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte in Houston, San Francisco, Toulouse, and Santiago; and Walter in concert performances of Luisa Miller in Cincinnati.

His concert performances include collaborations with many of the world’s leading conductors including James Levine, Riccardo Muti, James Conlon, Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Charles Mackerras, Christoph von Dohnányi, Jeffrey Tate, Christoph Eschenbach, Ivor Bolton, and Marc Minkowski. He recently joined the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra on tour at Avery Fisher Hall for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and sang Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with the Hamburger Symphoniker, Schumann’s Geburtstag at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and Dvořák’s Requiem with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale. Among his discography are commercial recordings of Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte with Arnold Östman (Decca) and Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten (Deutsche Grammophon). With Frans Brueggen he has recorded both Bach’s St. John Passion and the St. Matthew Passion (Phillips). He has recorded Schumann’s Faustszenen with Philippe Herreweghe (Harmonia Mundi) and Fidelio with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis.

In the early part of his career he performed principally in his native Iceland before joining the Hessische Staatstheater in Wiesbaden. His initial training was as a biologist and he taught for a few years before becoming a singer, studying first at the Reykjavik Academy of Singing and then at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria.

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