Soprano sings with college choral society

During a special concert at Queens College on Saturday, May 19, alumnus and Metropolitan Opera soprano Erika Sunnegårdh joined the Queens College Choral Society on stage.
Sunnegårdh, who is originally from Sweden, graduated from the Aaron Copland School of Music in 1999 with a degree in vocal performance. Most recently, she has been making a name for herself as a performer with the Metropolitan Opera, where she has 18 months of contracts. Sunnegårdh had what has been called her breakthrough performance last spring when she performed in Beethoven’s “Fidelio” as Leonore when Karita Mattila was ill. She also performed the title role in “Turandot,” which recently ended.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” said Sunnegårdh, who came to the United States when she was 19.
The first orchestra job that Sunnegårdh ever had was with the Choral Society in 1999. She said that she will be singing with Professor Joel Mandelbaum in the fall and he had asked if she’d be interested in singing with the Choral Society.
“It’s just so much fun to come back to a place that feels like home. I owe so much to the school and faculty, and though much has happened since I graduated, I feel deeply connected to the place,” Sunnegårdh said. “I also want to contribute anything I can in terms of raising the profile of the school, and if I can add a little inspiration to the students who are plugging away at their educations the way I did, then I want to do what I can.”
During the recent concert, which also featured the Queens College Chorus and Orchestra, excerpts were performed from “Cavalleria Rusticana,” “Nabucco,” “Turandot,” “Prince Igor” and “Carmen.”
Looking to the advancement of her career, Sunnegårdh said that she is looking forward to learning and exploring new roles,” while also traveling more and studying with new people. She also said that she is hoping to be able to come back to Queens College and do some teaching.