Berit Norbakken is one of Scandinavia’s leading sopranos. With outstanding versatility, she masters a repertoire ranging from Renaissance to contemporary, including folk music.
She appears regularly in performances of oratorios, passions, and masses, and continues her work with leading ensembles, orchestras and conductors in major concert halls all over the world. Norbakken has also sung opera with great success, most recently in a new staged production of Bach’s St John Passion directed by Calixto Bieito at Theatro Arriaga in Bilbao.
After studies in Tromsø/Norway, Karlsruhe/Germany and graduating from the Norwegian Academy of Music, she won the 2006 INTRO-classical competition, the prestigious launch programme sponsored by Concerts Norway. This led to, among other things, a close collaboration with Bjarte Eike and Barokksolistene. Their recording ‘The Image of Melancholy’ received brilliant reviews in Norway and abroad. She collaborates closely with conductor Juanjo Mena, with whom she regularly appears in concert, lately in Bach’s Matthewpassion at the May Festival Cincinnati. For her recording with the BBC Philharmonic of Arriaga’s vocal music, she has received glowing reviews internationally.
In November 2019 she performed the world premiere of Kaia Saariaho’s Quatre Instants – (sinfonietta version) with the Arctic Philharmonic Sinfonietta and Tim Weiss. She appeared in Sydney Opera House together with Anima Eterna Brugge, in Beethoven Symphony no 9, conducted by Jos van Immerseel, in Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall in Grieg’s Peer Gynt with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra led by Mikhael Pletnev and in several programs touring in Europe.
Other parts include Marzelline (Beethoven/Fidelio), Rosina (Rossini/Il Barbiere de Sevilla) Balkis (Haydn/L’Incontro Improvviso), Aci (Händel/Aci, Galatea e Polifemo), Adonis (Scarlatti/Il Giardino di Amore), Abel (Scarlatti/ Il Primo Omicidio), first soprano in Mozart/Great Mass in C Minor, Mozart/Exsultate, jubilate, Haydn/Schöpfung und Jahreszeiten.
Since 2015 she has been a research fellow at the The Norwegian Artistic Research Programme. During her project she has worked closely with the Swedish composer Karin Rehnqvist.
Upcoming engagements includes a Mozart-program with Lorenzo Coppola, Bach St Matthew Passion with Daniel Reuss, Britten Les Illumination with Sebastian Tewinkel, Ligeti Mysteries of the Macabre at Trondheim Chamber Music Festival, Gluck Orfeo (Amore) with Carlos Mena, Arriaga Hermine & Médée with Juanjo Mena and Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem with Nicholas Fink.