Opera Scotland

Sigurd Björling Suggest updates

Born Stockholm, 2 November 1907.

Died Helsingborg, 8 April 1983.

Swedish baritone.

Sigurd Björling studied privately 1928-30 with Louis Condé, then from 1933-4 at Stockholm Conservatory and 1934-6 at the Royal Opera School under Torsten Lennartson.

His debut in Stockholm as Billy Jackrabbit (La fanciulla del West) came in 1934. He was encouraged by Leo Blech (an exile from Nazi Germany) to study Wagner, which was subsequently the mainstay of his career, starting with Kurwenal and Telramund before moving on to Amfortas and Wotan.

His debut at San Francisco in 1950 was as Kurwenal, Amfortas and Jochanaan. His 1951 appearances at Covent Garden (Kurwenal, Amfortas and Wotan) were partnering Kirsten Flagstad, and he returned to London in 1960 to sing Amfortas again. He performed at Bayreuth in 1951 and made guest appearances at Vienna, Berlin, Paris and Milan. He was at the New York Met 1952-3, but his career remained based at the Stockholm company throughout. At his home house he sang a range of roles by a number of other composers.

Roles in Scotland

Count Monterone
Rigoletto 1959
Wotan father of the Valkyries and Volsungs
Valkyrie 1959

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