Born in Oslo to an Italian mother, at the age of fifteen she moved to Rome to study piano and opera singing at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia, where she graduated with honors. At the same time, for many years, she followed a course of study of the “Italian Bel Canto” with the famous soprano Rosina Vedrani La Porta, later perfecting herself in the German Leaders and Opera repertoire with Hans Hotter, Peter Pears and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. After winning important international singing competitions, including in 1985 the first edition of the “Mozart Wettbewerb” in Salzburg, the “Belli” in Spoleto and the “International Competition for Opera and Chamber Song” of Bavarian Radio, he embarked on a rapid and successful international career in concert and theater.
She has been a regular guest of the most important opera houses and festivals in the world.From La Scala Theatre (where with Riccardo Muti she sang continuously from 1986 to 2001 in the roles of Susanna/Nozze di Figaro, Nannetta/Falstaff, Constance/Dialoghi delle Carmelitane, Vannella/Lu Frate Innamorato, Jemmy/Guglielmo Tell, and with other conductors in the roles of Lauretta/ Gianni Schicchi, Adina/Elisir d’Amore, Il Cigno/Zar Saltan, Elena/Cappello di Paglia in Florence), at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, Teatro Carlo Felice in Bologna, La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Regio in Turin, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Teatro Comunale in Genoa, Teatro Comunale in Florence and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Egmont by Beethoven with Chung and Tamerlano by Haendel/ Asteria with Bolton), Teatro Massimo di Palermo, “Rossini Opera Festival” (Guglielmo Tell/ Jemmy, Il Viaggio a Reims/ Corinna and La petite Messe with Gatti, La Scala di Seta, Moise/Anais with Jurowsky) Festival dei due Mondi di Spoleto, Festival di Macerata, Festival di Salisburgo, Festival di Montreux, Festival “Beethoven” in Bonn, Festival “Haendel” in Halle, Festival in Glyndebourne, Staatsoper in Vienna, where he was part of the permanent company, playing among other things the roles of Gilda, Lucia, Manon, Susanna, Zerlina, Pamina, Ilia, Nannetta, (dir. Osawa), Norina, and Adina and Oscar alongside the great Luciano Pavarotti. She has also been a guest at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, Covent Garden in London, L’Orchestra del Concert Gebouw in Amsterdam, Opéra Bastille and Théàtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, Teatro dell’Opera in Geneva, Teatro Real in Madrid, Opera in Hamburg, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich (Don Pasquale/ Norina with R. Abbado), Los Angeles Opera and Metropolitan Opera House in New York…
With the Scaligeri group he has participated in two important tours in Japan, respectively in 1988 and 1995, organized by Tadatsugu Sasaki, founder of the Japan Performing Arts Foundation. In these tours, Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz sang the role of Musetta in the Bohème conducted by Carlos Kleiber, alongside the wonderful Mimì by Mirella Freni, and with Riccardo Muti, as Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff. Also in 1995 she was invited to return to Japan with the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Simyon Bychkow, as a soloist in Mahler’s 2nd and 4th symphonies.
The orchestras with which the soprano Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz has collaborated are numerous and worthy of the highest consideration: Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, Accademia di S.Cecilia, Berliner Philharmoniker (Requiem by Brahms, 2° by Mendelssohn and Requiem for Mignon by Schumann with C.Abbado ), Wiener Philharmoniker (Mozart’s Messa in Do-min with Solti and Requiem by Brahms and Mozart with C.Abbado and Gergiev), I Filarmonici della Scala (Mozart’s Requiem with Muti in the year Mozartiano, 1991 and as a soloist in the concert conducted by Muti alongside Freni and Ramey for the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the reopening of the Teatro alla Scala. ), Dresden’s Staatskapelle (9th by Beethoven, Strauss’ Lieder and Mozart’s Requiem for the commemoration of the fallen of the 2nd World War in Dresden with Sinopoli), Munchener Philharmoniker (Salve Regina di Pergolesi with Abbado and Clarières dans le Ciel della Boulanger with Marcello Viotti), Bayerischer Rundfunk orchestrer (8th Mahler with Colin Davis), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (4th Mahler with Sinopoli, “La Boheme” in concert form with Mariss Jansons), Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester (4th by Mahler, Sieben Fruhe Lieder by Berg and Atlantide by De Falla with Aldo Ceccato, alongside Teresa Berganza) New York Philharmonker (Le Martyr de Saint Sébastien/ Debussy with Kurt Masur), Chicago Symphony Orchestra (La Creazione di Haydn con Solti), San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (Requiem di Brahms con Blomstedt), Boston Symphony Orchestra (L’enfant et le sortilege con Osawa), Orchestre de Paris (2nd by Mahler with Bychkow)
An incomplete list of the productions covered reveals how Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz has sung, practically, under the direction of almost all the greats on the podium in recent years: Boris Gudonov with Claudio Abbado, La Clemenza di Tito with Muti, Die Frau Ohne Schatten and Falstaff with Solti, all in Salzburg, Un Ballo in Maschera/ Oscar with Pappano, and Tourandot/ Liù with Daniele Gatti in Chicago, London and Bologna, Die Zauberflöte with Janowsky, Falstaff with Osawa, Idomeneo/Ilia with Colin Davis, Gulliaume Tell with Muti and Chailly, still remembering the tours of La Scala in Japan where, as already mentioned, he sang under the baton of Carlos Kleiber, Lorin Maazel and Riccardo Muti.
Recent engagements include Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan in New York, Der Zauberflote and the Falstaff at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Haendel’s Tamerlano with The English concert, conductor Trewor Pinnock in Halle, Paris and London in a staging by Jonathan Miller and Haendel’s Serse with William Christie and “Les Artes Florissants” in Paris, Lyon and London, Don Giovanni in Rome with the duo Gelmetti-Proietti, Don Giovanni in Naples with Ferro-Martone, Haensel and Gretel with Mark Elder in Chicago, La Boheme/Mimì, at the Glyndebourne festival, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (New Year’s concert with Manfred Honeck), Mozat’s Requiem with Temirkanov as closing concert of the old auditorium of the Accademia di S. Paolo in Rome.Cecilia, Brahms’ Requeim in Bologna with M° Gatti, Mahler’s 4° and A. Berg’s Cantata “Der Wein” at the RAI in Turin conducted by Jeffrey Tate, at the Megaron in Athens as Liù in the Tourandot and in Caracalla/ Rome, at the Oslo Opera as Micaela in Carmen.
Between 2005 -2010 she sang directed by M° Gatti, in Turin in the Cappello di Paglia di Firenze/ Elena (conductor Bruno Campanella), in Paris in the Requiem by Brahms with the Orchestre National de France directed by M° Masur, in Bologna as Gilda nel Rigoletto alongside Leo Nucci (conductor Daniele Gatti) and as Gilda on tour in Korea. She has been in Oslo and Bari as Norina in Don Pasquale, and has performed in concerts both with orchestra and in Liederabend including in Germany, Norway, Sweden, France, Austria, and at the Salzburg Festivals, Ravello, MITO (Liederabend with Silvia Cappellini Sinopoli), in Pisa (with the St. Petersburg Orchestra under the direction of M° Temirkanov), in Brighton, at the Bergen Festival, in Spain (singing Strauss’ Vier Lezte Lieder with M° Ceccato), and Rome at the Roman Philharmonic. In 2005 he recorded a full cycle of Lieder Live for the BBC in London.
With the RAI symphony orchestra of Turin, in 2006 she inaugurated the new auditorium with Mahler’s 2nd symphony under the direction of Frubeck de Burgos, and for the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, patron saint of the State Police, she was invited to participate as the only soloist in the concert of the Police band live on the first channel of the national TV. She was Despina in Genoa and Naples, Cilla in Paisiello’s Socrate Immaginario under the direction of Roberto De Simone in Naples, Elicia in Rossini’s Mosè in Sassari, Zerlina in Cagliari and Naples, Norina in Catania, Venere nell’Ascanio in Alba/ Mozart, Donna Anna and Sofie at the Oslo/ Norway Opera and Valencienne at the Los Angeles Opera.
Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz has collaborated with the greatest directors of our time, including De Simone, Ronconi, Strehler, Pizzi, Saint Just, Proietti, Martone, Miller, Ugo de Hana, Graham Viick, Goetz Friedrich, Richard Johnes, David Mc Vickar, Loft Mansouri and many others
Winner of many awards, including in 2003 the coveted MINERVA prize for music and in 2006 the VERDI prize for her extraordinary international artistic career.
In 2004 she was awarded by His Majesty Harald V, King of Norway, with the Knight of the Order of Sankt Olav, and in 2007 she was awarded the Order of Commander of the Italian Republic for her outstanding artistic achievements in the international field.
Since 2006 Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz has been a lecturer in singing at the University of Stavanger in Norway, and since 2010 she has been regularly invited as a guest professor at the Nanjing University of Arts in China. She holds numerous masterclasses of singing in major Italian and European institutions, including the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia, the Conservatory “Arrigo Boito” in Parma, “Teatro Lirico Sperimentale” in Spoleto and the Accademia Filarmonica Romana, with which she has started a stable collaboration. In these years of teaching he has graduated many young singers who have embarked on brilliant international careers. His students are regular guests in the opera houses of Oslo, Copenhagen Theatre, Bergen Festival, Salzburg Festival, Baden Baden Festival, Wiener Staatsoper, Semperoper of Dresden, Berlin Theatre, San Carlo of Naples, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Opera House of Rome, Massimo of Palermo, just to mention some of them….
She has recorded more than 20 CDs with various record companies including PHILIPS, BMG, EMI and DECCA. His Leider di Grieg album won the prestigious “Grieg Prize” of the Grieg Academy of Norway, and his recording of the “Requiem di Brahms” with director Herbert Bomstedt (Decca) won the GRAMMY AWARD.
Discography and DVD
G.B. Pergolesi, Vannella/Lo frate ‘nnamorato, dir. R. Muti – Ricordi, – ( anche inVHS e DVD) – W.A. Mozart, Messa in do minore, dir. G. Solti – DECCA – Grieg, Lieder con pianoforte, pianista Håvard Gimse – VNP – Duetti di Schuman, Brahms,Fauré,Massenet… con Monica Bacelli – mezzo sopr.,pianista Irwin Gage – VNP – Pergolesi, Stabat Mater, BMG Classics – Paisiello: L’Osteria di Marechiaro (registrazione LIVE dal San Carlo, Napoli) – Verdi, Nannetta/Falstaff, dir.G.Solti – DECCA – Brahms, Ein deutsches Requiem, dir. H. Blomsted – DECCA – Beethoven, Marzelline/Fidelio, dir.C.Davis – BMG Classics – Mahler, VIII Sinfonia (Mater Gloriosa), dir.C.Davis – BMG Classics – Verdi, Tebaldo/ Don Carlo, dir. B. Haitink- PHILIPS – Mozart, Pamina/ Zauberfloete , dir. Halasc- Naxos – Rossini, Anai/Moise et Pharaon, dir. W. Jurowsky – ROF – Debussy, Le Martyr de Saint Sebastien, dir. K. Masur – NYPO – Weinacht, canti di Natale- BMG Classics – Canti di Natale – KKV – “Miracoli Italiani” – KKV – “Ave Maria “, tre CD di canti da camera su testo religioso dei piu grandi compositori del 1800-1900, pianista, Gian Franco Plenizio – ” La Nave Va ” / Federico Fellini, colonna sonora del film. Musiche di G.F.Plenizio – Haendel, Asteria/ Tamerlano, the English Concert, – dir. Trevor Pinnock – Haendel, Romilda/ Serse, Les Arts Flosissants, – dir. William Cristie EMI/VIRGIN