Initially trained as a biologist, Kristinn Sigmundsson taught for a few years before becoming a singer, studying first at the Reykjavik Academy of Singing and then at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria. He began his career performing principally in his native Iceland, before going on to join the Hessische Staatstheater in Wiesbaden.
As one of the world’s most sought after basses, Kristinn Sigmundsson regularly sings at the world’s greatest opera houses: The MET, The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, L’Opéra National de Paris, where he has very nearly sung his entire repertoire; Vienna State Opera, Munich State Opera and the Semperoper Dresden. His broad repertoire extends from Don Basilio over Zaccaria to Gurnemanz.
Some of his career highlights include, but are not limited to: Baron Ochs at the Maggio Musicale Florence; Il Commendatore in Munich, Berlin and New York; Baron Ochs and Vodnik in Rusalka at the MET; Gurnemanz in Cologne and Florence; King Heinrich in Madrid; Hunding at the MET, in Naples, Venice and Cologne; Landgraf in Geneva and Amsterdam; Méphistophélès, King Marke, Sparafucile, Il Commendatore, Sarastro and Baron Ochs in San Francisco; Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor) in Munich, as well as Sarastro in Houston and Chile.
Among some of Kristinn Sigmundsson’s past engagements were: Der fliegende Holländer (Daland) at the San Francisco Opera, the Opéra du Rhin Strasbourg and the Ravinia Festival, at which he also sang Don Giovanni (Commendatore) and Nozze di Figaro (Bartolo); Das Rheingold (Fasolt) at the Houston Grand Opera; Philip II in Don Carlo in Iceland (the first time the whole opera was performed there); Louis XIV in The Ghosts of Versailles (Grammy-winning recording of 2017), Basilio in The Barber of Seville and Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro at the Los Angeles Opera; Die Walküre (excerpts, Hunding and Wotan) with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Jaap van Zweden; Fidelio (Rocco) at the Caramoor Summer Music Festival with Pablo Heras-Casado; La Damnation de Faust (Mephistopheles) at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago with Carlos Kalmar; Il Commendatore with the Budapest Festival Orchestra at the Edinburgh International Festival; Sarastro in Torino; King Mark in Lisbon, as well as Guillaume Tell (Melchtal) and Don Carlos (Le grand Inquisiteur) in Hamburg. In concert, he sang Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Mahler’s 8th Symphony at the Cincinnati May Festival as well as Stabat Mater and Der fliegende Holländer (concert version), with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Rai, all with James Conlon as conductor.
In the 2018/19 season, Kristinn Sigmundsson will reprise his role as Daland in Der fliegende Holländer at the Houston Grand Opera and perform Dansker in Oslo, which will mark the very first time Benjamin Britten’s opera Billy Budd has come to Norway.
Kristinn Sigmundsson’s concert repertoire is extensive, as is his international concert experience. He has worked with many of the world’s best known conductors: James Conlon, Jaap van Zweden, Pablo Heras-Casado, James Levine, Riccardo Muti, Sir Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Sir Charles Mackerras, Christoph von Dohnányi, Jeffrey Tate, Christoph Eschenbach, Ivor Bolton and Marc Minkowski.
He has been featured on a number of recordings, including: The Ghosts of Versailles with James Conlon, Don Giovanni (Il Commendatore) and Die Zauberflöte (Sarastro) with Arnold Östman for DECCA; Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten for Deutsche Grammophon. With Frans Brueggen, for Phillips, he has recorded both the Johannespassion and the Matthäuspassion; Schumann’s Faustszenen for Harmonia Mundi with Philippe Herreweghe, as well as Rocco with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis.