Baritone

Audun Iversen

Described by the San Francisco Examiner as having a voice of ‘vocal heft’ and ‘dramatic vigour’, Norwegian bartione Audun Iversen, is a global star of the opera stage.

© Tonje Eliasson

Introduction

Norwegian baritone Audun Iversen won the Queen Sonja International Singing Competition 2007 in Oslo and made the final in the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna, in addition to being the first singer to win the newly founded Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship.

Audun has appeared at some of the most distinguished houses worldwide including Royal Danish Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Theater an der Wien, English National Opera, Opera di Roma and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Concert performances include Carmina Burana with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and l’orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, and Britten’s War Requiem with the New Japan Philharmonic conducted by Daniel Harding.

Recent operatic engagements include Marcello La bohème for his return to San Francisco Opera and the Royal Danish Opera, his Paris Opera debut as Fieramosca Benvenuto Cellini, Albert Werther for Opernhaus Zürich and Olivier Capriccio at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

This season, Audun returns to Oper Frankfurt for the title role Wozzeck; to Opernhaus Zurich and Den Norske Opera for the Count Le nozze di Figaro and to Oper Graz for Alfio/Tonio Pagliacci & Cavalleria rusticana. Furthermore, he will make concert appearances of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 with both the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic.


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  • More info  
    29 Sep 18 MASCAGNI & LEONCAVALLO Cavalleria rusticana & Pagaliacci
    Graz Opera, Austria

    “Ebenfalls beiden Werken seinen Stempel aufdrücken konnte Audun Iversen als Alfio und Tonio. In seiner Auftrittsarie in der Cavalleria verband er virile Kraft mit stimmlicher Schönheit und ließ dann im Prolog zu Pagliacci seinen Bariton weich strömen und legte eine so bestechende Wahrhaftigkeit in die Gestaltung, dass man sich wünschte, der Prolog möge ewig dauern”

    Audun Iversen was also able to impress in both works as Alfio and Tonio. His performance in the ‘Cavalleria’ combined virile power with vocal beauty, whilst the mellifluous baritone singing in the prologue in ‘Pagliacci’ was such a heartfelt portrayal that one wished the prologue lasted forever”

    Isabella Steppan, 1 October 2018, BackTrack

    “… der Norweger Audun Iversen, imponierte mit satter, im oberen Register strahlender Baritonstimme, bereits im Prolog”

    “… the Norwegian Audun Iversen, impressed with a rich baritone voice radiating in the upper register from the outset”

    Die Presse, 1 October 2018

    “Als Alfio/Tonio gefällt Audun Iversen nicht nur stimmlich, sondern auch darstellerisc”

    “As Alfio/Tonio, Audun Iversen pleases not only vocally, but also theatrically”

    Michaela Reichart, Krone, 30 September 2018

    “der norwegische Bariton Audun Iversen steigert sich in dieser Rolle prächtig”

    “the Norwegian baritone Audun Iversen shines magnificently in this role”

    Michael Tschida, Kleinezeitung, 29 September 2018 

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    20 Mar 18 Fieramosca Benvenuto Cellini
    Opera de Paris

    “Outstanding for me was Audun Iversen as slimy intriguing competitor Cellinis… Iversen did an excellent job and gave the unsympathetic Fieramosca an edgy profile.”
    Kaspar Sannemann, Oper Aktuell, 20 March 2018

     

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    28 Nov 17 BERG Wozzeck (title role)
    Den Norske Opera

    “With outstanding performances, Audun Iversen’s Wozzeck in particular, the production is a harrowing exploration of the chaos of human existence.

    Rising out of a magnificent supporting cast, Audun Iversen and Asmik Grigorian shone as Wozzeck and Marie.

    Iversen was frighteningly believable as a man driven further and further into insanity, moving seamlessly between tenderness and bottomless despair. Despite the enormity of Wozzeck’s emotions, Iversen shied away from overplaying the character, instead going for text-driven nuance, his voice underlining the primacy of the word, whether it be a desperate declaration of love or an anguished scream”

    Aksel Tollåli, Bachtrack, 28 November 2017

     

    “…what stands out, first and foremost, is that this a show that digs deeper into the character of Wozzeck than I’ve ever seen before, down into his psyche, because of the stage director’s interesting choices, but also because Audun Iversen is quite simply, an excellent Wozzeck! He solves very well many of the demanding sides of this role vocally, but he also proves to be a wonderful actor who exudes immensely and strongly the mental energy that Wozzeck has to mobilise in order to make the world tangible, which he unfortunately doesn’t succeed particularly well in doing.

    …He (Audun Iversen) plays very well the desperation and despair of the role, but I think the key thing here, is that he sings so incredibly beautifully. His voice shines in all the critical areas of the music. He truly can make Alban Berg sound like Schubert, which gives you this duality to Wozzeck that becomes so moving and efficient.”

    “…det som står frem er først og fremst en forestilling som graver dypere i Wozzeck-karakteren enn jeg har sett noen gang før, ned i hans psyke, og det skyldes både regissørens interessante valg, men også det at Audun Iversen rett og slett er en sabla god Wozzeck! Han løser veldig godt mange av de krevende sidene ved dette solistpartiet rent vokalt, sanglig, men han står også frem som en fremragende operaskuespiller rett og slett, som utstråler enormt sterkt den mentale energien som Wozzeck må mobilisere for å få verden til å henge på greip, så som han da dessverre ikke lykkes så veldig godt med.

    …Han (Audun Iversen) spiller veldig godt den desperasjonen og fortvilelsen, men jeg tror det som er nøkkelen her er at han synger så utrolig vakkert. Han har denne velklingende stemmen på disse kritiske stedene. Han kan virkelig få Alban Berg til å høres ut som Schubert, sånn at du får denne dobbelte siden ved Wozzeck som blir så veldig gripende og effektivt.”

    Eystein Sandvik, NRK Spillerom, 27 November 2017

     

    “Audun Iversen in the title role delivered a vocally strong performance, his voice is big and warm, and technically Iversen has barely any problems to deal with.

    Audun Iversen i tittelrollen leverte sanglig en sterk prestasjon, hans stemme er stor og varm, og teknisk har Iversen knapt problemer å hanskes med.”

    Espen Selvi, Dagbladet, 26 November 2017

     

    “Audun Iversen’s performance balances perfectly normality and insanity on a knife-edge in the title role.

    Audun Iversen i tittelrollen balanserer perfekt på en blodig knivsegg mellom normalitet og galskap.

    Edvarda Lana, Klassiskmusikk, 26 November 2017

     

    “Wozzeck is an impervious test bench (benchmark) for the biggest baritones, and Audun Iversen, already an excellent Wozzeck in the first round of this production in Frankfurt in 2016, surpasses himself, offering a masterly performance both from a vocal and a dramatic point of view. The voice is warm at the core and full at the top, capable of modulating the voice, from piano to fortissimo, without shouting. The combination of the vocal warmth and impeccable acting makes it a Wozzeck in which the viewer can easily connect and identify with emotionally.

    Wozzeck è un impervio banco di prova per i più grandi baritoni, e Audun Iversen, già ottimo Wozzeck nel primo allestimento di questa produzione a Francoforte nel 2016, supera se stesso, offrendo una performance magistrale sia dal punto di vista vocale che da quello scenico. La voce è calda nei centri e ampia negli acuti, capace di modulazioni sonore importanti, dai piani ai fortissimi, mai urlati. La combinazione del calore vocale e della recitazione impeccabile lo rendono un Wozzeck in cui lo spettatore difficilmente non può identificarsi e connettersi emotivamente.”

    Michele Cascell, Connessi all’Opera, 29 Novemeber 2017

     

    “Audun Iversen sings brilliantly and convinces as a desperate and despairing Wozzeck. The last scene, which ends with his death, is a musical and emotional highlight.

    Audun Iversen synger strålende og overbeviser som en desperat og fortvilet Wozzeck. Siste scene, som ender med at han dør, er et musikalsk og emosjonelt høydepunkt.”

    Scenekunst.no – Hilde Halvorsrød 30/11-17

     

    “I’ve rarely heard the farewell-scene as beautifully performed as Audun Iversen as Wozzeck and Asmik Grigorian as Marie do it.

    (…)

    And what a performance by Iversen and Grigorian. One thing is to deliver such demanding vocal roles, but it’s another to really embody the characters they are portraying.

    Jeg har sjelden hørt denne avskjedsscenen så vakkert framført som Audun Iversen som Wozzeck og Asmik Grigorian som Marie gjør det.

    (…)

    Og for en prestasjon av Iversen og Grigorian. En ting er å framføre så krevende vokale partier, men også å være det de formidler.”

    Klassekampen – Egil Baumann 4/12-17 (paper article)

  • More info  
    14 Jun 17 PUCCINI La Boheme
    San Francisco Opera

    “The strongest work came from tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz as Rodolfo and Norwegian baritone Audun Iversen (who delivered one of the most solidly-sung Marcellos I’ve heard in years).”

    George Heymont, The Huffington Post, 3 July 2017

     

    “A notable highlight came in Act 3, set near the snow-sprinkled gloom of a Parisian city gate. The consumptive Mimi (Erika Grimaldi), in distress about a fraying relationship with her jealous lover, Rodolfo (Arturo Chacón-Cruz), has come to seek out the counsel of a friend. Marcello (Audun Iversen), only too familiar with the ravages of sexual possessiveness, lends a sympathetic ear.

    Clasped together in a firm but chaste embrace, Grimaldi and Iversen spun out their duet in terms at once soaring and tenderly intimate. It was all achingly real, set off by the evocatively austere scene by production designer David Farley and bluish predawn lighting by Michael James Clark.”

    Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice, 13 June 2017

     

    “Norwegian lyric baritone Audun Iversen impressed as the painter Marcello, whose on-again, off-again relationship with Musetta tortures the character through most of the opera.”

    William Burnett, Opera Warhorses, 12 June 2017

     

    “Baritone Audun Iversen provided vocal heft and dramatic vigor as the painter Marcello, one of Rodolfo’s roommates. Iversen was as compelling in his attempt to offer support to his friend Rodolfo’s relationship worries as he was in displaying his own amorous feelings and frustrations concerning his love Musetta.”

    James Ambroff-Tahan, The San Francisco Examiner, 11 June 2017

     

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    06 Apr 17 MASSENET Werther
    Zurich Opera

    “Das wird umso deutlicher, als auch die übrigen Figuren ideal besetzt sind: Da ist Albert (Audun Iversen), der Gatte mit dem vertrauenerweckenden Bariton, der aber stahlhart wird, sobald er merkt, wie viel Werther seiner Charlotte bedeutet.”

    “…What becomes even clearer, is that the other characters also are ideally casted: There is Albert (Audun Iversen), the husband with the trustworthy baritone, that becomes stone-cold as soon as he sees how much Werther means to his Charlotte.”

    Susanne Kubler, Tages Anzeiger, 6 April 2017

     

    “Die bürgerliche Sphäre von Charlotte (sensationell: Anna Stéphany) und ihrem Mann Albert (fabelhaft: Audun Iversen) wird hingegen einseitig als trostloser Alltag diffamiert.”

    “The bourgeois sphere of Charlotte (sensational: Anna Stéphany) and her husband Albert (fabulous: Audun Iversen) is, in comparison defamed as a bleak everyday life.”

    Werner M. Grimmel, Schwaebische, 4 April 2017

     

    “….Audun Iversen played an unbending and painfully conservative Albert, Charlotte’s husband-by-decree. Alongside his errant wife, he was as strong as to make us uncomfortable, and he showed a equally tight command of his vocal work.”

    Sarah Batschelet, Bachtrack, 3 April 2017

     

    “Herausragend auch Audun Iversen, welcher mit seinem herrlich ausgeglichen timbrierten, sonoren Bariton einem die Rolle des Albert auf sympathische Art und Weise näher brachte.”

    “Outstanding (was) also Audun Iversen, who with his wonderfully even timbre and sonorus baritone brought you closer to the sympathetic side of the role of Albert.”

    Kasper Sannemann, Oper Aktuell, 2 April 2017

     

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    23 Oct 16 PUCCINI La bohème - Marcello
    Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen

    “…Man forstår godt, at voldsomt velsyngende Audun Iversens Marcello falder for hende,…”

    “…One understands well that extremely well-sung Audun Iversen’s Marcello falls for her,….”
    Søren Kassebeer, Berlingske, 24 October 2016

     

    “…, og som Musettas egentlige kærlighed, kunstmaleren Marcello, er Audun Iversen virkelig glimrende.”

    “…, and as Musetta’s real love, the painter Marcello, Audun Iversen is truly brilliant.”
    Thomas Michelsen, Politiken, 24 October 2016 

     

    “Audun Iversen gjorde Marcello med praktful baryton och stor trovärdighet.”

    “Audun Iversen performed Marcello with a magnificent baritone and great credibility.”
    Lars-Erik Larsson, Skånska Dagbladet, 25 October 2016 

     

    “…og Puccinis musik får ligeledes den smukkeste kraft frem i den norske baryton Audun Iversen som Marcello.”

    “…and Puccini’s music equally brings out the most beautiful power in the Norwegian baritone Audun Iversen as Marcello.”
    Bettina Nielsen, Magasinet KBH, 23 Oct 2016 

     

    “…mørk, fyldig baryton sprudler Audun Iversen som den kække kunstnerfyr og kvinnebedårer Marcello”

    “…dark, full-bodied baritone Audun Iversen shines as the cocky artist and womanizer Marcello”
    Christine Christiansen, Jyllands-Posten, 25 October 2016

  • More info  
    06 Jul 16 BERG Wozzeck
    Frankfurt Opera

    “All the soloists… gave a magnificent performance… Audun Iversen gave an impressive Frankfurt Title role debut.”
    Bettina Boyens, Musik Heute, 27 June 2016 

    “Audun Iversen was impressive in the title role as a hopelessly driven, big uncouth child, who doesn’t understand himself.”
    Dr. Josef Becker, Bild Frankfurt

    “As Wozzeck, the Norwegian baritone Audun Iversen gave in his role debut a wonderful portrait of the layers of this character’s psyche. Vocally he managed to express Wozzeck’s feelings in an abundance of facets, his helplessness towards the Hauptmann and Doktor, his crazy visions which in the beginning inhibited him, then subsequently openly erupted aggression against Marie and his confusing despair that eventually drowns him in the water.”
    Christoph Wurzel, Bachtrack, 28 June 2016

    “The Norwegian baritone Audun Iversen, tall and stocky, also vocally does everything, without forcing and by using considerable vocal warmth and sonority….”
    Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich, Frankfurter Rundschau, 27 June 2016

    “The Norwegian baritone Audun Iversen gives a dramatically and musically impressive Wozzeck…”
    Stefana Sabin, Fautkultur.de 

    “The power centre of the staging is, scenically and vocally, the burly, beefy Wozzeck of Audun Iversen. The body betrays how he feels: constantly in motion, constantly in waiting position, always anxious between attack and defence. Vocally he is mostly holding his big baritone back, clearly troubled, with plenty of room for outbreaks.”
    Bernd Zegowitz, Die Rheinpfalz

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    24 Apr 15 VERDI La traviata
    Den Norske Opera, Oslo

    “Audun Iversen har sin rolledebut som Germont, Alfredos far. Har gir ikke bare scenisk vekt og autoritet til skikkelsen, men fyller rollen overdådig praktfullt vokalt.”

    “Audun Iversen makes his role debut as Germont, Alfredo’s father. He doesn’t only give dramatic weight and authority to the character, but also fills the role with lavish and wonderful vocals.”
    Dagbladet, 27 April 2015

    “De sterkeste sanglige øyeblikkene oppsto likevel i dialogene mellom Violetta og Alfredos far, Audun Iversen, som med stor stemmeprakt også spente over et rikt følelsesregister.”

    “The strongest and most musical moments took place in the dialogues between Violetta and Alfredo’s father, [sung by] Audun Iversen, who with vocal splendour also covered an abundant range of emotions.”
    Aftenposten, 25 April 2015

    “Vi må ta hatten av for barytonen Audun Iversen som her synger i rollen som Giorgio Germont, faren, og som har sin scenedebut i denne rollen på Bjørvika. På grunn av sykdom har han hatt et prøveopphold på hele to uker i forkant av premieren. Men dette merket vi ikke noe til, han var i det hele tatt strålende både som sanger og som sceneskikkelse.”

    “Hats off to the baritone Audun Iversen who here sings the part of Giorgio Germont, the father, and has his stage debut in the role at the National Opera. Due to illness he had a break in rehearsals for up to two weeks leading up to the premiere. But this was unnoticeable, he was simply magnificent both as a singer and character.”
    Kulturspeilet, 25 of April 2015

    “Vocally, the standout was Audun Iversen’s Germont. His voice is remarkably secure, and he sang the long Act II duet with Violetta with heartbreaking sincerity. He managed to find a more manipulative side for ‘Di Provenza il mar’ and the power with which he hurled out the high B flat at the end of Act II scene 1 was breathtaking.”
    Aksel Tollåli, Bachtrack, 28 April 2015 http://bachtrack.com/review-traviata-gurbaca-florian-norwegian-national-opera-oslo-april-2015

    “Den eneste som kunne bære sin rolle var Audun Iversen som Germont, faren som tvinger Violetta til å overgi Alfredo for hans families ære. Iversens stemme er av tilstrekkelig kraftig kaliber for å kunne musisere med Verdis musikk. For å kunne leke med musikken må han også ha en jevnhet og en beherskelse av hele registeret og i alle dynamikker. Legg dessuten til at hadde sterk nok musikalsk vilje for å kunne lede dirigenten til noen musikalske poeng som går på utforming av tid.”

    “The only one who could carry his role was Audun Iversen as Germont, the father who forces Violetta to give up Alfredo to save his family’s honour. Iversen’s voice is of a sufficient strong calibre to be able to “make music” with Verdi’s music. To be able to play with the music also requires an evenness and control of the whole range and of all dynamics. Add to that that he also had strong enough musical willpower to lead the conductor to some musical points when it came to shaping the tempi.”
    Magnus Andersson, Klassekampen, 4 May 2015

    “authority was embodied in the figure of Norwegian baritone Audun Iversen as Germont père, making a real impression in this role.”
    Opera Now July/August 2015

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    09 Oct 14 R. STRAUSS Capriccio
    Chicago Lyric Opera

    “Nearly all of Scandinavia was represented with Norwegian baritone Audun Iversen having a fine Lyric debut as the nervous poet Olivier”
    Chicago Sun Times, 7 October 2014 

    “Lyric has surrounded its starry soprano with a top-drawer supporting cast. Audun Iversen made a most impressive company debut as Olivier. The Norwegian baritone displayed a warm and flexible voice and deftly balanced the comedy with sincerity, looking like a bespectacled scholar yet ardent in making his impassioned, awkward moves on the Countess.”
    Chicago Classical Review, 7 October 2014 

    “As her two suitors, William Burden and Audun Iversen make an eloquent argument for the supremacy of their respective disciplines. Iversen is a real discovery and his juicy lyric baritone made the best possible case for Olivier’s poetry—even though Strauss makes clear where his bias lies.”
    Jason T. McVicker, GB Opera Magazine, 9 October 2014 

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    21 Aug 14 VERDI Il Trovatore
    Opera Hedeland, Denmark

    “Audun Iversen som Greve Luna kan lägga ännu en storartad rolltolkning till sina övriga med mycket klangrik baryton och myndig aktion.”

    “Audun Iversen as Count Luna can add yet another brilliant role interpretation to his others, with a very sonorous baritone and authorative action.”
    Skånskan.se (Swedish online newspaper for South-Sweden)

    “Norske Audun Iversen er ligeledes overlegen med sin kraft- og udtryksfulde barytonstemme, særligt i soloen “Il balen del suo sorriso”. Hans forelskede hersker synes også mere kompleks end de andre karakterer.”

    “Norwegian Audun Iversen is in the same way superb with his powerful and expressive baritone voice, especially in the aria “Il balen del suo sorriso”. His in-love authority figure also seems more complex than the other characters.”
    Magasinet KBH (Danish online magazine for Copenhagen)

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    17 Jan 14 MASSENET Manon
    Royal Opera House Covent Garden

    “led by Audun Iversen’s dramatically dynamic and punchily sung Lescaut”
    The Stage, January 2014 

    “Audun Iversen’s Lescaut was fittingly rumbustious, swaggering arrogantly and singing with vigour and vitality”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 22 January 2014 

    “Audun Iversen gave strength and presence as Lescaut, Manon’s cousin.”
    David Karlin, Bachtrack, 15 January 2014 

Repertoire

OPERATIC REPERTOIRE

BEETHOVEN (Symphony No. 9)

BERLIOZ
Benvenuto Cellini (Fieramosca)

BENJAMIN
Written on Skin (The Protector)

BERG
Wozzeck (title role)

BIZET
The Pearl Fishers (Zurga)

DONIZETTI

Lucia di Lammermoor (Enrico) *

GLUCK
Alceste (Hercule)

LEONCAVALLO
Pagliacci (Silvio, Tonio)

MASCAGNI
Cavalleria Rusticana (Alfio)

MASSENET
Manon (Lescaut)
Werther (Albert)

MONTEVERDI
Il Ritorno d’ulisse in Patria (Eumete)

MOZART
Cosi fan tutte (Guglielmo)
Don Giovanni (title role)
Le nozze di Figaro (Conte Almaviva)
The Magic Flute (Papageno)

PUCCINI
La bohème(Marcello, Schaunard)
Madama Butterfly (Sharpless)

STRAUSS
Capriccio (Olivier)

TCHAIKOVSKY
Eugene Onegin (title role)
Pique Dame (Yeletsky)

VERDI
Don Carlo (Rodrigo)*
Il Trovatore (Conte di Luna)
La Traviata (Germont)