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Sigurd Bjorling (1907 - 1983)


Before his voice had developed fully, Sigurd Björling played the violin in a cinema orchestra in Stockholm. He studied singing initially with Louis Condé and then at the Royal Stockholm Conservatory with Torsten Lennartsson and John Forsell (who also taught his namesake, the tenor Jussi Björling, to whom Sigurd was not related); he studied also with the conductor Leo Blech. Björling made his operatic stage debut in 1936 as Alfio / Cavalleria rusticana with the Royal Opera Stockholm, soon afterwards joining this company and remaining with it for over thirty years. Among the first performances in which he participated were Natanael Berg’s Judith (1936) and Gunnar de Frumerie’s Singoalla (1941); and he created the roles of Balstrode and Mathis in the first Swedish productions of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes (1948) and Paul Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler (1950).

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