Finnish-Swedish mezzo-soprano Erica Back has been praised for her “round, beautifully shining and effortlessly ringing voice” (Helsingin Sanomat) and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after singers of her generation in her native Finland.
Recent operatic highlights from the 2017/18 season include the world premiere of Olli Kortekangas opera Veljeni vartija (Serafina Suomi) for Tampere Opera, a production of Händel’s Alcina (Ruggiero) for Vaasa Baroque and Mozart’s Così fan tutte (Dorabella) at the Finnish National Opera (FNO). The season will be crowned with Gounod’s Faust (Siebel) at the Savonlinna Opera Festival. In 2016, she made her debut at the FNO as the Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. This was followed by two further appearances at the FNO in 2016, as Cherubino in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Prince Orlofsky in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. In the summer seasons of 2015 and 2016, Erica appeared at the theatre Confidencen in Stockholm as Dorabella in Così fan tutte.
She has worked with conductors such as Michael Güttler, Louis Langrée, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Alfred Eschwé, Kristiina Poska, Ainars Rubikis, Aapo Häkkinen, Arnold Östman, Christoph Altstaedt, Tomas Djupsjöbacka and Klaus Mäkelä.
Erica is also an active performer of oratorio, chamber music and lied. She has performed the alto part in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and St. Matthew’s Passion, Händel’s Dixit Dominus and Resphigi’s Lauda per la Natività del Signore, among others. Erica’s chamber music repertoire ranges from Baroque to new music. The art song genre in particular lies close to Erica’s heart. Since Autumn 2015, she has regularly collaborated with Australian pianist Aura Go, with whom she finds the exploration of new art song repertoire richly rewarding and inspiring.
Erica has demonstrated her firm grasp of different genres in several national and international competitions. In 2014, she was awarded shared first prize in the Kangasniemi Singing Competition in Finland. Erica's special aptitude for lied interpretation saw her receive the second prize and a special lied recital prize at the 2015 International Sibelius singing competition in Järvenpää, Finland. In 2016, she was awarded shared second prize at the national singing competition in Lappeenranta. In 2017, Erica was awarded tenor Caj Ehrstedt's prize for classical singers under thirty. In the same year, she also received a grant and concert prize at the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg.
In spring 2016, Erica graduated from her opera studies (Master of Music) at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki under the guidance of mezzo-soprano Monica Groop. Her studies included performing the role of Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Frida Kahlo in Frida y Diego (premiere performance), Marchesa Melibea in Il viaggio a Reims and L’enfant in L’enfant et les sortilèges.
Before pursuing her Master studies, Erica achieved her Bachelor degree from the University of Music in Piteå, Sweden, under the guidance of Synnöve Dellqvist and Emma Rönnlund. She currently studies privately for German soprano Christiane Iven and has also attended master classes given by Peter Mattei, Julia Hamari, Soile Isokoski and Mikko Franck among others.
In addition, she has studied at the Framnäs Folk College (Piteå, Sweden) and Conservatory of Kokkola, Finland. Erica also has a background in playing the French horn.
Click here if you want to listen to the Finnish contemporary opera Veljeni vartija by Olli Kortekangas (2018) in which Erica Back sings at 50:30 | 1:17:26 | 1:26:45 - 1:34:37 (duetto + small arioso) | 1:42:44 (short entrance) | 1:49:08 | 2:05:34 - 02:09:21 (Giving birth scene)
Ging heut’ morgen übers Feld
Ein Traum op. 48
Aho Frida y Diego - Frida Kahlo
Bach Messe in h-moll
Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor - Alisa
Gounod Faust - Siebel
Händel Dixit Dominus
HämeenniemiLux et tenebrae
Heggie Dead Man Walking - Jade Boucher
Händel Alcina - Ruggiero
Kortekangas Veljeni vartija - Serafina Suomi
Mozart Die Zauberflöte – 2nd Dame
Mozart Così fan tutte - Dorabella
Mozart Le nozze di Figaro - Cherubino
Offenbach Orpheus in der Unterwelt - Cupido
Ravel L’enfant et les sortilèges - L'enfant
Rossini Il viaggio a Reims - Marchesa Melibea
Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle
Respighi Lauda per la Natività del Signore
Sandström Elisa och fantasin - Elisa
Strauss Die Fledermaus - Orlofsky