Scandinavia is a cradle of good voices. They have a singing culture that we can only dream of. No wonder, then, that many world-famous singers come from there. Nicolai Gedda is one of them. The Swede born on July 11, 1925 spent the first nine years of his life in Leipzig, where his Russian father was appointed cantor of the Russian Orthodox Church. From childhood he was fluent in Swedish, Russian and German, to which he added a lot more languages later in life.
Gedda was an exceptionally musical and intelligent singer with a healthy technique, which allowed him to have a very long singing career. I myself heard him for the first time when he was well over seventy, but his voice was still young and fresh.
His repertoire included, apart from the heroic roles, basically everything: opera, operetta, oratorios, songs, old and modern. Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, but also Massenet and Puccini, Bernstein and Barber. The latter composed the role of Anatol (Vanessa) especially for him.
Below: Nicolai Gedda sings ‘Outside this house the world has changed’ from Barber’s Vanessa
In 2010, it was fifty years since Gedda made his first recording for EMI, and to celebrate this, 11 CDs were compiled with anything and everything from his rich repertoire. An absolute must for anyone who loves the art of singing.
Below: Nicolai Gedda and Maria Callas in ‘Vogliatemi Bene’ from Madama Butterfly
Bach, Gluck, Mozart, Adam, Puccini, Beethoven, Borodin, Berlioz, Bizet en nog veel meer
Here is a small selection of his many capabilities: