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Erik Saedén (Bass-Baritone)

Born: September 3, 1924 - Vänersborg, Sweden
Died: November 3, 2009 - Sweden

The Swedish bass-baritone, Erik Saedén, went through very thorough musical training. First he studied at the Royal Music Academy and at the Royal Opera School of Stockholm. Among his teachers were Arne Sunnegaardh, Martin Öhman and W. Freund. He received higher cantor and organist degree at the Royal College of Music in 1946, and degree in vocal teaching 1952. Already during his studies he acquired himself a name as conductor, organist and a Lieder singer. In 1944 he became a member of the Engelbrekt church choir in Stockholm.

In 1952 Erik Saedén accepted an engagement at the Royal Opera of Stockholm and remained a member since then until 1981. Among his glorious roles ranked the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, Beckmesser in Meistersingern, Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Scarpia in Tosca, Jochanaan in Salome by R. Strauss, Golo in Pelléas et Mélisande, Pimen im Boris Godunov and the title role in Alban Bergs Wozzeck, which he created in 1957 in Stockholm for Sweden, likewise in 1961 Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress by Igor Stravinsky. His stage repertoire covered 115 roles. He sang in November 1952 at the Stockholm Opera in the premiere of the opera Gilgamesch by Ture Rangström, in October 1956 in Porträttet by Hilding Rosenberg, in May 1959 at the same house in the premiere of the opera Aniara by Karl-Birger Blomdahl the role of Mimaroben, in 1968 in der centenary and premiere of the opera Drottningen av Golconda by Berwald, in 1970 in the premiere of Hus med dubbel ingang by Hilding Rosenberg, in 1978 in Le Grand Macabre by Ligeti, in May 1968 in Drömmen om Thérèse by L.J. Werle (at the opening of the Rotunda Teater in Stockholm), in September 1968 at the Deutschen Oper in Berlin in the premiere of the opera Ulisse by Luigi Dallapiccola.

Erik Saedén had big successes at the Festival in the Baroque Theatre of Schloß Drottningholm, where he could be heard as Orlando in Orlando furioso by George Frideric Handel and as Dulcamara in Elisir d'amore. In 1958 he appeared at the Festival of Bayreuth as Kurwenal in Tristan, as Heerrufer in Lohengrin and as Donner in Rheingold. In 1959 and 1974 he made guest appearances at the Edinburgh Festival, in 1960 and 1981 at the Covent Garden Opera in London, in 1967 in Montreal. In 1989 he could be heard at the Festival of Savonlinna as Vater Henrik in the opera Singoalla by G. de Frumerie.

Erik Saedén was one of the most versatile and trendsetting singers in Sweden with wide and varied repertoire. He was highly estimated also as an oratorio and Lieder singer. In the traditional yearly performancies of J.S. Bach's Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) in the Engelbrektskyrkan in Stockholm he normally sang a very moving Christ, but for the recording of this Passion under the baton of Eric Ericson (1963) he sang the arias instead. In February 1993 he sang at the Rotunda Teater in Stockholm in the premiere of the opera Amorina by Lars Runsten.

From 1957 to 1962 Erik Saedén was also Cantor at Oscar Church. In 1965 he became a member of the Stockholm Music Academy, and in 1966 Swedish Hofsänger (court singer by special appointement). From 1957 to 1983 he was singing teacher at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm. In 1974 he received the medal of Litteris et artibus. At the same time he worked as a teacher the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm.

Recordings: Complete rendition of the operetta Die lustige Witwe on Decca; HMV-Records (Sarastro in complete Zauberflöte, Soundtrack of the famous film by Ingmar Bergman), Swedish Society Discofil (Barfotasången by A. Petterson), Caprice (Singoalla by Gunnar de Frumerie), Melodram (Rheingold, Bayreuth 1958); Virgin-Video (Leporello in Don Giovanni), Philips-Video (Nozze di Figaro from Drottningholm).

Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (June 2004); Liner notes to the album 'Father David and his Bach - J.S. Bach: St Matthew Passion' conducted by David Åhlén (Caprice); Göran Tegnér (January 2008); Swedish Wikipedia (November 2009)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2004); Willem van Erk (June 2006); Yoël L. Arbeitman (November 2009)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




David Åhlén


BWV 244 [sung in Swedish]

Eric Ericson


BWV 244 [sung in Swedish]

Links to other Sites

Erik Saedén Biography (The Arts: Fine Art, Contemporary Art & Music)

Erik Saedén (Opera Solisterna) [Swedish]
Erik Saedén (Wikipedia) [Swedish]

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Last update: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 02:02