Oddur Jónsson, baritone, is one of the most significant vocal talents to have emerged from Iceland in a generation. He recently received the 2018 Singer of the Year award at the Icelandic Music Awards for his performance as Michael in Kaspar Holten’s production of Brothers, a new acclaimed opera by Daníel Bjarnason.
Oddur made his professional operatic debut as Rodrigo in Verdi’s Don Carlo with the Icelandic Opera, for which he was named Most Promising Artist at the Icelandic Music Awards in 2014. Roles at the Icelandic Opera have included the title role in Don Giovanni, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Ned Keene in Peter Grimes, Peter in Hänsel und Gretel and Barone Douphol in La traviata. Oddur has also been heard as Wolfram in Tannhäuser (Theather Chemnitz), Schaunard in La Bohème (Reisopera, Netherlands), Oreste in Gluck’s Iphigènie en Tauride and Prince Yeletsky in Pique Dame (Opernbühne Bad Aibling). Additional roles include Conte Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Kaiser Overall in Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis.
A versatile artist, Oddur is also an avid recitalist and concert performer. He made his Paris debut in 2015, singing in a choreographed performance of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde by John Neumeier along with the Paris Opera Ballet at the Palais Garnier. Oddur has performed at the Schubertiada Festival in Vilabertran, Spain, at the Britten-Pears Festival in Aldeburgh 2018 and at the 2018 Oxford Lieder Festival. He has sung Die Winterreise and Schwanengesang by F. Schubert, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen by G. Mahler, Liederkreis, Op. 39 by Schumann and Liebeslieder-Walzer by J. Brahms and Poulenc’s Le bal masque (Artisk Filharmoni Sinfonietta, Tim Weiss). His oratorio repertoire includes J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Stuttgart Cathedral, Christian Weiherer), St. John’s Passion (Auditorium di Milano and Duomo di Milano, Ruben Jais), St. Matthew’s Passion (Philharmonie Gasteig, München, Hansjörg Albrecht), B-minor Mass, and various cantatas, including the bass solo cantatas, Ich habe genug, BWV 82, and Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen, BWV 56. Oddur has also been heard as a soloist in Händel’s Messiah and Solomon, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, and Puccini’s Messa di gloria.
Oddur is the winner of various awards and prizes. In 2014, he received the prize for the best Lied and Oratorio Performer and the Schubert Prize in the Francesc Viñas Competition in Barcelona. In 2013, he won first prize in the International Brahms Competition in Pörtschach, Austria, third prize in the International Schubert Lied-Duo Competition in Dortmund, Germany and third prize in Concorso Musica Sacra in Rome, Italy. He was a finalist in International Vocal Lied-Duo Competition ’S-Hertogenbosch, the International Mozart Competition, and the Belvedere Competition.
Oddur is a graduate of the Mozarteum Universtiy Salzburg, where he studied with Prof. Andreas Macco and Prof. Martha Sharp. He completed his studies in 2014 with distinction and was awarded the Lilli Lehmann Medal from the Mozarteum International Foundation. Oddur received a scholarship and the Audience Prize from the Walter and Charlotte Hamel Foundation in Hannover, and a scholarship from the Gianna-Szell Foundation in Salzburg. He has been a participant of a number of prestigious training programs, including the Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme, the Oxford Lieder Festival Mastercourse led by Wolfgang Holzmair, and the Schubert Residency with Matthias Goerne and Markus Hinterhäuser at the Aix-en-Provence Festival.