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Gudrún Ólafsdóttir
MEZZOSOPRANO

The Icelandic mezzo-soprano Gudrún Ólafsdóttir studied at the Reykjavík College of Music under Ruth Magnússon, before moving to London, where she completed a Master of Music degree in 2001 and the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2003, studying with Professor Laura Sarti. She then furthered her studies with Alicia Nafé in Madrid and attended master-classes with Teresa Berganza at Teatro Real.

Gudrún has won various prizes for her singing, including The Miriam Licette Scholarship at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Schubert Lieder Prize at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, a Madeline Finden Memorial Trust Award at the Royal Academy of Music, the Kathleen Ferrier Song Prize at the Wigmore Hall, third prize in Concorso Vocale Internazionale di Musica Sacra, Rome, and the Prize for the Best Performer of Joaquín Rodrigo?s Music in the Joaquín Rodrigo Competition 2006 in Madrid.

She has sung Dorabella in Mozart?s Cosí fan tutte and Rosina in Rossini?s Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Opera à la Carte, Arbace in Arne?s Artaxerxes for the Classical Opera Company and at the Guildhall she sang Joacim in Handel's Susanna, Magdelone in Nielsen?s Maskarade and Lazuli in Chabrier's L'étoile. In Iceland she has performed Prince Orlowsky in J. Strauss' Die Fledermaus and Sesto in Mozart?s La Clemenza di Tito.

Gudrún has a special affinity to art songs. She performs regularly in recital, with piano, guitar, chamber ensembles or orchestras. She has offered world premières of new works by composers of different nationalities, who have composed their works especially for her. She has given recitals in Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Luxembourg, the Faroe Islands, Malta, Italy, the U.K., Bulgaria, Belgium and Spain. She has performed with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, the Bach Ensemble, the Ísafold Chamber Orchestra, the orchestra Schola Camerata, Sonor Ensemble, the Symphony Orchestra of La Mancha and the Orchestra of the Province of Madrid in Spain with such conductors as Rumon Gamba, Franck Ollu and Miguel Roa.

Gudrún?s first solo album, which includes the song cycles Frauenliebe und -Leben by Schumann and Haugtussa by Grieg with pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, was released in October 2006 (www.12tonar.is). Other recordings include the oratorio Unto us by John Speight with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, a selection of songs by Sigvaldi Kaldalóns with pianist Jónas Ingimundarson (www.smekkleysa.com) and various recordings for The Icelandic National Radio, The Icelandic National Television, BBC Radio 3, The Spanish National Television and The Spanish National Radio, Radio Clásica.

Her upcoming engagements include George Benjamin?s Upon Silence with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, concerts in Sevilla, Madrid, Zamora, the Netherlands and Iceland, the title role in El Gato con Botas by Montsalvatge for Teatro Real in Madrid, Carmen with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, recordings of new works by Hugi Guðmundsson and Þuríður Jónsdóttir and Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss for Icelandic Opera.

January 2007.

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