Svenden, Birgitta, Swedish mezzo-soprano; b. Porjus, March 20, 1950. She was educated at the Royal Opera School in Stockholm. After appearing at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, she sang a minor role in the Ring cycle at the Bayreuth Festival in 1983. In 1986 she was chosen to create the role of Queen Christina in the premiere of Gefor’s Christina in Stockholm. She sang Erda at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. in 1988. Following an engagement as Wagner’s Magdalena in Seattle in 1989, she made her debut at London’s Covent Garden as Erda in 1990. She portrayed Octavian at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 1993. In 1994 she sang at the Bayreuth Festival, where she returned in 1996. In 1995 she was made a Royal Court Singer by the King of Sweden.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire