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 2016 – 2017 season will see Ms. Švēde 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.
During the 2015 – 2016 season, Ms. Švēde made her role and house debut in the title role of Carmen at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, as well as her role and house debut as Olga in a concert performance of Yevgeny Onegin at North Carolina Opera. As a second year Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, Ms. Švēde appeared as Lena in the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte. Concert appearances included her debut with the San Francisco Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 as well as an Adler Gala Concert with the San Francisco Opera orchestra.
Additional operatic highlights include her professional debut at San Francisco Opera as Flora in La Traviata, Tisbe in Rossini’s La Cenerentola with San Francisco Opera, 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 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 ManhattanSchool 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.