Artist Of The Week: Malin Byström Takes on the Complexities Of ‘Salome’ At The Royal Opera House

By Francisco Salazar

Salome is widely considered one of the most challenging roles in the soprano repertoire. It’s not only a vocal tour de force but a chance to showcase a soprano’s dramatic force. This week, Swedish soprano Malin Byström returns to the Royal Opera House making her house role debut as Strauss’ “Salome” after stunning critics and audiences in the role at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam,

When Byström debuted the role in June critics were ecstatic noting, “she created an intensely captivating Salome” and “she hurls herself at the part with kamikaze zeal.” Royal Opera audiences are in for a treat as Byström continues to develop her interpretation in David McVicar’s acclaimed 2008 production.

For years, Byström has been a diverse artist taking on roles from a number of composers including Verdi, Puccini, Strauss, Janacek, and Mozart. Recent triumphs include singing both of Donna Elvira and Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni” at the Metropolitan Opera and the title role of Jenůfa at the San Francisco Opera.

Byström has also sung Desdemona in “Otello,” Mathilde in Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell,” and Elettra in “Idomeneo.” Other important roles include the title role in “Thaïs” at the Göteborg Opera and at Palau de les Arts in Valencia and Contessa in “Le Nozze di Figaro” in Aix-en-Provence and at Grand Théâtre de Genève.

She recently performed as Hélène in “Les vêpres siciliennes” at Grand Théâtre de Genève, Hanna Glawary in “Die lustige Witwe” and Musetta in “La Bohème.”

Those not present in London will also get a chance to see the Swedish artist in her homeland singing her first “Fedora” and “Die Rosenkavalier.”

CDs and DVDS

For those not familiar with Bystrom’s voice, there are numerous releases that showcase the soprano’s voice. The soprano has two recordings of “Guillaume Tell” both with Sir Antonio Pappano. One recording is on CD while the other one is DVD from the Royal Opera House. The soprano also has two recordings of “Don Giovanni,” both in the role of Donna Anna.


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