The 2020 Birgit Nilsson Stipendium is awarded to 30 year old Swedish Mezzo-Soprano, Emma Sventelius who receives 200.000 SEK on August 7 in Västra Karup, Skåne, when she will perform in recital as a part of the celebrations for this year’s Birgit Nilsson Days, hosted by the Birgit Nilsson Museum.
Like Birgit Nilsson herself, this year’s Scholarship recipient could claim “I sang before I could walk; I even sang in my dreams”. Emma Sventelius was singing in her local church choir in Skåne at the age of three and announced to her family that she would be an opera singer aged fourteen.
She studied singing at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, made her German debut in 2017 as Suzuki in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf and Duisburg and during the 2018-2019 season sang Carmen at Malmö Opera and Orlando at the Royal Opera in Stockholm. She is currently engaged in the opera ensemble at Theater Bonn in Germany where, this season, she sings several roles including Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Kate in Madame Butterfly and Russian Nanny in Death in Venice. Emma also sings in performances of the Mozart Requiem with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven Symphony No.9 with Beethoven Orchester Bonn and Bach’s Weinachtsoratorium with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra. In addition to opera and oratorio, Emma has a strong interest in new music and is actively involved in premiering new works both at home and abroad.