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Photo: Daniel Lilleeng


Berit Norbakken (former Berit Solset) is one of Scandinavia’s leading sopranos. Her versatility and flexibility of voice have allowed her to master a repertoire ranging from Baroque 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’s Great Mass in C Minor, Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate, Haydn’s Schöpfung and 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. Her research work was finalised fall 2019 and the viva voce will take place during spring 2020.


Upcoming engagements include several concerts with Lorenzo Coppola, Brittens Les Iluminationes in Bad Brückenau, a CD recording of Saariaho’s Quatre Instants, Handel’s La Resurrezione with Ottavio Dantone, Arragia’s Hermine & Médée with Juanjo Mena, Handel’s Orlando (Dorinda) in Versailles with Orchester Nord and Bach’s Cantata 80 Ein Feste Burg with Phillip Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale Gent and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.


2020/2021 season (Representation: Management Germany and other countries)

Please only use this authorized biography. No modifications or abridgments will be allowed without the written approval of ORFEO artist management


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