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Biography

Working experience

Gustav Johansson is a Swedish bass (b. 1995) from Stockholm. He graduated from the Royal Danish Opera Academy with a Masters degree in June 2021 portraying the roles of Masetto and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni by Mozart. 

His professional debut took place in the fall of 2021 at Østerbro Teater’s praised Stille Slag by Louise Alenius, followed by his debut at The Royal Danish Theatre’s The Nose by Dimitrij Shostakovich. Furthermore Gustav during the spring of 2022 wrote, produced and performed in the show Fredmans Kærlighed, based on the Swedish troubadour Carl Michael Bellman’s songs. During the summer of 2022 he went on tour with the Norwegian ensemble Insimul Sinfonietta with Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies. During the same summer he also participated in Vadstena-Akademien’s production of Breaking the Waves by Missy Mazzoli. He alssang in "Musik i Sommarkväll" together with conductor Gabriella Teychenné and Norrköpings Symphonic Orchestra in De Geerhallen in Norrköping.

 

The fall of 2022 he was the artistic director of the festival Liederfest22 with focus on songs for voice and piano with concerts and masterclasses all over Nordvest in Copenhagen. The same winter he debuted as soloist with Søholm Opera as he joined their tour of Amahl and the night visitors by Giancarlo Menotti. The spring of 2023 he returned to The Royal Danish Theatre in Orfeus by Claudio Monteverdi. After that he returned to Vadstena-Akademien and Andefabriken by Daniel Nelson. The fall of 2023 he made his debut at Malmö Opera as he sang the bass solo in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem together with Skånes Dansteater and Malmö Opera Chorus. Gustav is since the fall of 2023 engaged at the Malmö Opera Chorus.

 

Gustav has received big scholarships from the Freemasons of Stockholm; Frimurarnas stiftelse Jubelårsfonden S:t Johanneslogen S:t Erik 2023; Vadstena-Akademiens vänförening 2023; Den Bøhmske Fond 2022, Anders Sandrews stiftelse 2020 and Helge Ax-sons fond 2018. Projects of which he has been in charge has received financial support from Augustinus fonden, William Demant fonden, Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens fond, Copenhagen Municipality, Korsangernes fællesråd and Knud Højgaards fond.

 

Studies

He started singing as a child in the boy's choir of the Stockholm Cathedral, and started taking private lessons at age 15 with voice teacher Joachim Bergdahl. He is since 2016 living in Copenhagen where he 2019 received his Bachelor grade from the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Marianne Rørholm, and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, with Prof. Petteri Salomaa. Previous studies were made at Vadstena Folkhögskola with Anders Düring, and Södra Latins Gymnasium with Ove Pettersson.


He has taken part of masterclasses with renowned singers and artists such as Prof. Em. Dorothy Irving, Torbjörn Liljeqvist, Helmut Deutsch, Bo Skovhus, Konrad Jarnot, Kristian Attila, Randi Stene, Michael Eliasen and Neville Dove

Other teachers and musicians that Gustav studied and/or worked with includes Susanna Eken, Neil Semer, Mads Høck, Nils Spangenberg, Ebbe Knudsen, Natascha Metherell, Palle Knudsen, Bjarte Engeset, Ylva Kihlberg, David Björkman, David Kempster, Ann Crosset, Monica Thomasson, Erik Karlberg, Thomas Darelius, Jakob Lorentzen, Filip Hamber, Joakim Bergdahl, and Markus Lehtonen.


Gustav made his first performance in an opera as Collatinus in Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia at the Helsinki Music Centre (Finland) in November 2018 while studying at The Sibelius Academy. In the season of  2020/2021 he was supposed to sing the roles of 2nd Graalsritter in Parsifal by Richard Wagner and A man with a cornet case, from Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, at the Royal Danish Opera House, but both of these shows were canceled due to the corona pandemic. Other experience from Royal Danish Opera House includes covering the parts of Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte) and En Vægter (Maskarade).

During his studies he also studied roles as Prince Gremin from Eugen Onegin by Tchaikovsky and excerpts from Cosi fan Tutte as Don Alfonso, Don Giovanni as Leporello and Osmin from Die Entführung aus dem Serail by Mozart. From Gounod he studied excerpts of Mefistofeles from Faust and Frère Laurent from Romeo et Juliette. By Britten he has also done parts of Bottom from a Midsummer Nights Dream and Dansker from Billy Budd. By Verdi he was part of a performance of the third act of La Traviata as the Doctor Grenvil.

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Reviews

Andefabriken - 21/7-2023

Vadstena-Akademien 

 

”Sångarna går helhjärtat in för sina vokalt ofta tacksamma roller, och man kan glädja sig åt två fina unga sopraner, Minna Tägil och Rebecca Wallroth, som Alice och Lily, liksom åt Gustav Johanssons klangfulla bas…”

“Nämnas extra bör också Gustav Johansson, en riktig stumfilmspolis med mäktig bas.”

 

Musik i sommarkväll med Norrköpings Symfoniorkester - 26/8-2022

De Geerhallen, Norrköping 

”Med Mozarts ’Trollflöjten’ bjuds vi på Gustav Johanssons varma, milda basröst och därpå duetten mellan Masetto och Zerlina från Don Giovanni. Paret utrycker hela operans gäckande och skojfriska karaktär i ett kort utdrag”…

…”Med känsla och tydlig diktion artikulerar han den brutala om än romantiserade historien om de svarta bomullsplockarnas hårda liv medan Mississippi obekymrat rinner vidare genom rasism och fattigdom. Avslutningsvis Rossinis ”Italienskan i Alger” Nu flödar den sceniska och lite burleska humorn mellan Huledal och Johansson. Det är balanserat och samsjunget, känns spontant och muntert.”

 

Eight Songs for a Mad King - 13/8-2022

Spritten, Aalborg Operafestival

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

”første halvdel af aftenens avantgarde program var en uropførelse af Connor McLeans Swallowing my teeth, der starter som en spinkel stemme på balkonen, med uendeligt lange toner, afsluttet med en tekst-bid som først kommer frem når Gustav Johannson ikke kan holde tonen længere. Kort sagt på det tidspunkt hvor han ikke længere har noget luft tilbage, men alligevel formår at støde ordene ud. Og det er ingen tilfældighed at det er den svenske bas der synger partiet, for netop disse evner er grunden til at Connor McLeans værk er tilegnet Gustav Johannson. Og med den smukkeste efterklang i Sprittens Brænderitårn, Bliver McLeans værk - om tidspunktet hvor man er halvvågen, og desperat forsøger at slippe ud af et mareridt - leveret af Gustav Johansson som aftenens første store præstation i Aalborg Operafestivals midnats arrangement.”…

…“Gustav Johanssons evne til at fange sit publikum er en gave, for det er ikke alle beskåret at kunne synge over fem oktaver - og stadig have fuld fokus på sine tilhørere, hvad enten man synger sjælfuldt fra en balkon eller synger mens man smadrer den violin man lige har stjålet fra violinisten.

Eight Songs for a Mad King i Brænderitårnet på Spritten er hverken smukt, behageligt eller genkendeligt. Værket er til gengæld foruroligende smertefuldt og beundringsværdigt præcist udført avantgarde. Forud for sin tid. Eviggyldig i sine ord.”

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Den svenskfødte, herboende bassanger Gustav Johansson, brændte totalt igennem som gale og glatraget Kong George III, der i mange år sad låst inde i tårnet på slottet Windsor. Rollen kræver det utroligste af sin sanger - ikke blot rent stemmemæssigt, men også en total beherskelse af gestik og mimik - for at kunne fremstille det totale vanvid i den gales sind og fremtræden.”

  • Nordjyske

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Den svenske bassanger Gustav Johansson udførte rollen, som var den skabt til ham. Både vanviddet og de mere beherskede øjeblikke lyste ud af hans øjne, han havde en gudsbenådet mimik og koreografi, og hans ekstatiske energi og imponerende udholdenhed var forrygende. Brænderitårnets rå interiør og et flot lysdesign leverede en genial scene for galskaben. På programmet var også herboende Connor McLeans solostykke ’Swallowing my teeth’ hvor også Gustav Johansson udfoldede sig fantastisk.”

 

Breaking the Waves - 22/7-2022

Vadstena-Akademien, Vadstena

”Alla sånginsatser håller hög nivå. Starkt intryck gjorde den mänskliga Dodo (Ebba Lejonclou) och den onde prästen (Gustav Johansson)

 

Rape of Lucretia - 17/11-2018

Musiikkitalo, Helsingfors 

”den äkta mannen Collatinus tolkades mjukt av Gustav Johansson”

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Repertoire

Performed staged roles

L. Alenius: Stille Slag - Bass

D. Argento: Postcard from Morocco - A man with a cornet case

C.M. Bellman/Gustav Johansson: Fredmans kærlighed - Fredman

B. Britten: The Rape of Lucretia - Collatinus

D. Cimarosa: Frihetens kvinnor - Don Rocco

P. Maxwell Davies: Eight Songs for a Mad King - George III

M. Mazzoli: Breaking the Waves - Councilman

G. Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors - Balthazar

C. Monteverdi: L'Orfeo - Plutone (Cover)

C. Monteverdi: L'Orfeo - Caronte (Cover)

C. Monteverdi: L'Orfeo - Caronte/Plutone/Uno Spirito

W.A. Mozart: Don Giovanni - Commendatore/Masetto

W.A. Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro - Bartolo

W.A. Mozart: The Magic Flute - Sarastro (Cover)

D. Nelson: Andefabriken - Konstapeln

C. Nielsen: Maskarade - En Vægter (Cover)

I. Nørholm: The Garden Wall - The Brother

G. Puccini: La Fanciulla del West - Billy Jackrabbit

D. Shostakovich: The Nose - Footman/2nd Son/Kovaljovs 1st acquaintance 

R. Strauss: Salome - Zweiter Soldat

P. Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin - Prince Gremin

G. Verdi: Giovanna D'Arco - Talbot

M. Vestergaard: Titanic - a Murder Mystery — the Ghost of Edgar Allan Poe

G. Wennerberg: Gluntarne - Glunten

Concert

T. Albinoni: Magnificat in G minor

J.S. Bach: St Matthew's Passion (Jesus)

J.S. Bach: St John's Passion

J.S. Bach: Cantata 140 Wachet auf

J.S. Bach: Cantata 211 Coffee Cantata

J.S. Bach/R. Keiser: St Marcus' Passion

F. Biber: Requiem in A

G. Fauré: Requiem

G.F. Händel: The Messiah

W.A. Mozart: Requiem

J. Pachelbel: Was gott tut das ist Wohlgetan

H. Rosenberg: Den heliga natten (The Holy Night) - Herodes

H. Schütz: Musikalisches Exequien

 

Gustav has also performed a wide range of art songs in German, Swedish, Danish, English and French.

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