Mezzo-soprano Solgerd Isalv was born in Råneå, Sweden. After early training as a violinist and violist she went on to study solo voice at the Academy of Music and Drama at the University of Göteborg with Marianne Schell and Prof. Eva Nässén, finishing with a Master’s Degree in Music Performance.
Solgerd Isalv has received numerous grants during her studies and early career, which include the prestigous Swedish Wagner Scholarship, as well as scholarships from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.
She has taken part in Masterclasses with teachers including Helena Döse, Håkan Hagenård, Matti Hirvonen, Marianne Häggander, Anna Larsson, Neil Mackie, Thomas Quasthoff and Birgitta Svendén. In 2013 she was one of few young singers accepted to the Wagner Academy in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, where she studied with Dunja Vejzovic. Since 2013 Solgerd Isalv works closely with the vocal coach Sami Kustaloglu.
As a freelance mezzo-soprano Solgerd Isalv signed her first professional contracts with Skånska Operan and Göteborgs Operan. Soon after she successfully presented her German debut, performing the title role in The Rape of Lucretia at the Kammeroper Schloß Rheinsberg (E.Solén/M.Oldag). This led to her first German guest engagement at the Theater in Gera/Altenburg. She also sang Lucretia in the same production at the Miskolci Nemzetközi Operafesztivál in Hungry.
For the seasons 2014/15 and 2015/16 Solgerd Isalv was a member of the Nuremberg Young Artists Programme and then continued as a member of the fest-ensemble. Since 2017/18 Solgerd Isalv is working on a freelance basis while residing in Germany. This season has seen her at the NorrlandsOperan singing Siébel in Gounod’s Faust (E.Solén/E.Melbye), and in the spring of 2018 she will be performing roles in Peter Konwitschny productions of Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten (M.Bosch) and Boris Godunov by Mussorgski (L.Hussain) at the opera houses in Nuremberg and Gothenburg.
Praised by critics for her stage presence and acting ability, Solgerd Isalv was nominated as the best female upcoming singer of the year in the magazine Opernwelt for her performance of Cherubino at State Theatre Nuremberg (P.Tilling/M.Clément).
Her unusually flexible voice and wide knowledge of music allow Solgerd Isalv to move effortlessly between baroque, romantic and contemporary repertoire. In demand as a performer of contemporary music she has sung four world premieres, such as the opera Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis) (S.Peiffer, Hamburg, 2011) (F.Pätzold/M.Darbyshire) and the rock opera KULT (O. Salo, Swedish Radio Theatre, 2013) (J.Nydesjö/M.Wennersten). She has also toured in Germany successfully with the early music ensemble EGG, performing a programme of renaissance and baroque music by female composers, with the title “Donne che spaccano”.
As a recitalist she is known for exciting, sometimes surprising programmes, preferably with literary connections. Already as a student she made a point of including contemporary music in her recitals. She was already then a frequent guest in different chamber music series in Sweden, in which she has, to date, premiered three song cycles, one of which was written for her. Together with the pianist Jonas Olsson she has formed an art song duo.
Her wide ranging concert repertoire includes Ravel‘s Shéhérazade (C.Rydinger-Ahlin), Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder (I.Schilffarth) and Rückertlieder, Elgar‘s Sea Pictures (L.Karlsson), Brahm’s Alto Rhapsody as well as songs by Bernstein, Nystroem and Weill. Her wide sacred repertoire includes works by J.S.Bach as well as later composers; she recently sang Mendelssohn’s St. Paul in a performance with Pavel Kogan and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, for example. She also sang the Swedish premiere of “Message from the Soul” written and conducted by A. Wurtz.