DÍSELLA LÁRUSDÓTTIR – soprano
During her performances as a National Finalist in the 2007 Metropolitan National Council Auditions, which were chronicled in the nationally released documentary film The Audition, The New York Times described soprano Dísella Làrusdóttir as “reliably breathtaking.” The Times later singled out her performances in the competition as being amongst 2007’s “memorable moments” in opera, during which she “sang meltingly.” She went on to cover the role of Miss Schlesen in the Met’s production of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, a role she covers again at the Met in 2011. She also covers Woglinde in both Götterdämmerung and Das Rheingold at the Met in the 2011-2012 season. In 2012-13 she continued with covers of L’Elisir d’Amore, La Clemenza di Tito and The Ring and debuts as Garsenda in the revival of Francesca da Rimini. She returns to the Met in 13-14 to sing in Rusalka and cover in Elsiir, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Enchanted Island and Cenerentola.
The Iceland native gave her New York recital debut in Merkin Concert Hall, also hailed by The New York Times, claiming she “deployed her high, bright and clear voice with a striking ease and consistency” and praised her “easy grace” and “dramatic power [that was] almost startling.” In March 2011, Ms. Làrusdóttir gave the world-première performance of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis’ La Danza for soprano, flute, viola, harp, and percussion obbligato, for Astral Artists. Recently, she toured Peru and Ecuador as soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas under Dante Anzolini, performed Sibelius’ Luonnotar with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with iPalpiti Orchestra, sang the role of Cunegonde in Candide with New Jersey’s Colonial Symphony, was the featured soloist in the Glière Concerto for Soprano and Orchestra with Symphony in C, appeared with the Symphony Orchestra of Iceland under Markus Poschner, and recorded the role of the Nun in Paul Salerni’s Tony Caruso’s Last Broadcast for Albany Records. She was also featured as soloist with The Haddonfield Symphony (now Symphony in C) in both Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and the world première of The Rim of Love by Andrea Clearfield. The prestigious Icelandic “Griman” Theater Awards nominated Ms. Làrusdóttir as “singer of the year” for her performances of Adina in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, her debut role with the Iceland National Opera in October 2009 – a production so popular it extended its run. She also sang Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and appeared on the Astral Artists’ series in February 2012.
The winner of the Vocal Division of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2007 Albert M. Greenfield Competition, Ms. Làrusdóttir debuted with the Orchestra in January 2008 under Christoph Eschenbach, at its 151st Academy Concert & Ball. She was also a prizewinner in the 2006 Loren L. Zachary Society National Vocal Competition for Young Opera Singers, a winner of Astral Artists’ 2006 National Auditions, the winner of New Jersey’s 2004 National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, and a semi-finalist in Operalia, Plácido Domingo’s World Opera Competition, in Valencia, Spain. Ms. Làrusdóttir has been featured in an orchestral concert with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra under Bernhardur Wilkinson and at Los Angeles’s Wilshire Theater under Frank Fetta, and was presented in recital by Morning Musicales at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music Ballroom. She has appeared as Ännchen in Der Freischütz with New Jersey Concert Opera, as both Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel with Vermont’s Barre Opera Theater, and has performed with Iceland’s Summer Opera. She has also given recitals at Westminster Choir College, as well as in Reykjavík and Stykkishólmur in Iceland.
Ms. Làrusdóttir began studying trumpet at the age of eight with her father, the principal trumpet of the Symphony Orchestra of Iceland. She later completed studies at the British Royal School of Music’s Singing School of Reykjavík. She performs regularly in Iceland, and in December 2004 released a Christmas CD with her two sisters, a recording that made the country’s Top 40 chart after just three weeks in release. The release of her solo classical CD in November 2007 also topped the Icelandic charts in it first weeks in release.