Sonja DuToit Tengblad

Praised by The Boston Globe for her “crystalline tone and graceful musicality”, recent highlights for soprano Sonja DuToit Tengblad include Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans devicta Holofernis barbarie (Abra and Ozias), Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (La Fortuna, Giunone; Grammy-nominated recording with Linn Records) and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (First Lady) with Boston Baroque; appearances with the Handel and Haydn Society in Bach’s St. John Passion and Purcell’s Fairy Queen; Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with the Boston Philharmonic, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, ; Porpora’s Calcante ed Achille with A Far Cry, Handel’s Acis and Galatea with the Blue Hill Bach Festival (Galatea); appearances with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and Minnesota’s Oratory Bach; Knussen’s Symphony No. 2 for high soprano with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and her Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center debuts, both with the New York City Chamber Orchestra. She was awarded 2nd place in the 2014 American Prize competition’s art song and oratorio division.

A champion of new music, Ms. Tengblad curated Modern Dickinson (with Seattle Opera regular Eric Neuville, tenor, and the Austin Chamber Music Festival’s artistic director Michelle Schumann, piano), a program featuring all 21st century settings of Emily Dickinson’s poetry that was named the #3 Best Arts Event in Austin, Texas 2015 and nominated for four Austin Critic’s Table Awards. She has appeared with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project on three occasions (two premieres), and in 2015 premiered Shirish Korde’s Questions for the Moon with members of the Silk Road Ensemble. A highlight for Ms. Tengblad was appearing in a concert celebrating the 80th birthday of composer Dominic Argento (in attendance) for which the Minnesota Star Tribune reported her to have given “the most affective performance of the evening”. This season includes performances with Beat Song – her recital project with percussionist Jonathan Hess – featuring world premieres by Matthew Peterson (ASCAP Nissim Prize winner, 2013) and Emmy award-winning composer Kareem Roustom.

Ms. Tengblad performs with the Grammy-winning ensemble Conspirare out of Austin, Texas; and Boston’s Blue Heron and the Lorelei Ensemble which enjoyed their debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2017. Upcoming highlights include Caccini’s Alcina with the Boston Early Music Festival, Handel’s Messiah with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (Drusilla, Fortuna) and Handel’s Jeptha (Angel) with Boston Baroque, Monteverdi’s Dido and Aeneas (2nd Woman) with the Handel and Haydn Society, national tours of Considering Matthew Shepard with Conspirare, as well as Debussy and Puccini with the Lorelei Ensemble and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

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Current & Upcoming Performances

21
February
2019
8:00 pm
Debussy Nocturnes; Puccini's Soir Angelica
Lorelei Ensemble with the Boston Symphony Orchestra
Boston, MA
Symphony Hall
22
February
2019
8:00 pm
Debussy Nocturnes
Lorelei Ensemble with the Boston Symphony Orchestra
Boston, MA
Symphony Hall
23
February
2019
8:00 pm
Debussy Nocturnes; Puccini's Soir Angelica
Lorelei Ensemble with the Boston Symphony Orchestra
Boston, MA
Symphony Hall
27
February
2019
7:30 pm
National ACDA Conference
Lorelei Ensemble
Kansas City, MO
TBD
1
March
2019
7:30 pm
National ACDA Conference
Lorelei Ensemble
Appleton, WI
Lawrence University
9
March
2019
8:00 pm
Handel's Jeptha
Angel
Boston Baroque
Boston, MA
Jordan Hall
10
March
2019
3:00 pm
Handel's Jeptha
Angel
Boston Baroque
Boston, MA
Jordan Hall
29
March
2019
7:00 pm
Purcell's Dido and Aeneas
2nd Woman
Handel and Haydn Society
Boston, MA
Jordan Hall
30
March
2019
7:00 pm
Purcell's Dido and Aeneas
2nd Woman
Handel and Haydn Society
New York, NY
Metropolitan Musuem of Art's Temple of Dendur
31
March
2019
3:00 pm
Purcell's Dido and Aeneas
2nd Woman
Handel and Haydn Society
Boston, MA
Jordan Hall

Past Performances

10
February
2019
The Lost Music of Canterbury
Blue Heron
New York, NY
Corpus Christi Church
9
February
2019
The Lost Music of Canterbury
Blue Heron
Cambridge, MA
First Church Cambridge, Congregational
15
December
2018
Handel's Messiah
Soloist
Rhode Island Philharmonic
Providence, RI
The VETS
27
November
2018
Caccini's Alcina
Soloist and Ensemble
Boston Early Music Festival
New York, NY
Gilder Lehrman Hall, The Morgan Library & Museum

From the New York Times 

  • ” … Sonja DuToit Tengblad stood out in a raft of rapidly shifting characterizations.”

From the Boston Globe

  • “Sonja Tengblad sang with crystalline tone and graceful musicality.”
  •  Yet the most thoughtful singing came from Sonja DuToit Tengblad, who caressed her words throughout. She was a bright, radiant Abra and then firm and dignified as the Judean governor Ozias.” (from Boston Baroque’s October 2015 performance of Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans, Jordan Hall)

From L’Opéra – Revue québécoise d’art lyrique (Montreal)

  • but the soprano Sonja DuToit Tengblad distinguished herself by a purity of timbre, a perfection in singing, and an angelic presence on stage that enthralled more than one in the audience.”

From The Hub Review 

  • “The lumious Sonja DuToit Tengblad, who by now has emerged as something of a local vocal star, likewise dazzled in a sweet (if not highly individualized) reading of Scarlatti’s Christmas Cantata …” (from the Handel and Haydn Society’s 2014 performance, Jordan Hall)
  • “And then there was the stunning Sonja DuToit Tengblad, whose secure, gleaming soprano all but riveted the audience.”

From the Minnesota Star Tribune

  • “Sonja DuToit Tengblad gave the most affective performance of the evening.” (from Dominic Argento’s 80th Birthday Celebration Concert)

 

From the Boston Classical Review

  • “Sonja DuToit Tengblad proved an ideal advocate [for Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915] in her debut with the Landmarks Orchestra, the soprano delivered a stirring rendition of the score. Her voice had a touch of warmth and grace.” (from the Boston Landmarks 2017 performance of Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915
  • “Friday’s performance featured one of Boston’s best singers, Sonja DuToit Tengblad.” (from the Boston Philharmonic’s Mahler 2 performance, April 2017)
  • “Tengblad’s bell-like voice easily projected through the large hall over flutist Rolfe’s soft-edged obbligato in the lively, charming aria “Ich folge dir gleichfalls mit freudigen Schritten.”  If shouting “Brava!” were allowed during a Passion, Tengblad would likely have garnered a few for the unerring phrasing, floating high notes, and touching expression of her performance (with two mellow flutes obbligati) in the post-Crucifixion aria “Zerflisse, mein Herze, in Fluten der Zähren.” (from the Handel and Haydn Society’s February 2016 performance of Bach’s St. John Passion, Symphony Hall)
  • “The standout among the soloists Saturday night was soprano Sonja Tengblad, who teamed up with percussionist Jonathan Hess for Tan Dun’s “Silk Road” (1989) … Tengblad’s is a multi-textured, crystalline-toned voice especially suited for avant-garde music.  Her singing was clear and expressive across the piece’s range of clarion pointillisms, vocal slides, whispers, and hisses.” (from BeatSong 2013 performance)
  • “Unfortunately, lights in the hall were too low to follow the text during the performance, but soprano Sonja Tengblad’s clear diction helped remedy that. Tengblad’s extraordinarily pure tone, with moderate vibrato, was consistent across her wide range, from stratospheric soft high notes to strong low ones, and made a fine timbral match with the orchestra’s prominent woodwinds, especially flutes and horns. Tengblad’s performance strove for no big effects, but instead subtly declaimed the texts and helped weave the work’s dark atmosphere. (The piece contained few explicit musical images, except when scurrying strings announced the arrival of Trakl’s “Rats.”) The soprano negotiated Knussen’s disjunct vocal line with the kind of pinpoint intonation and consistency of tone that made it, too, seem perfectly natural. At the piece’s end, her flute-like voice gave way to the sound of an actual flute, playing all by itself.” (from the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s 2013 performance of Knussen’s Symphony No. 2 for soprano and orchestra)
  • “That fellow Cupid gets around, warming up even the most icebound places on Earth, as depicted in the “Frost Scene” from Dryden’s and Purcell’s King Arthur. Soprano Tengblad as the god was animated and bell-toned as she summoned the wintry spirit Cold Genius from under the frozen ground.” (from the Handel and Haydn Society’s 2013 performance of Purcell’s King Arthur, Sanders Theater)

From the Boston Musical Intellegencer

  •  “The evening’s absolute standout was Tengblad who navigated the soprano role of Knussen’s Symphony No. 2 (1971) with gentle poise even in the highest reaches of her voice.” (from the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s 2013 performance of Knussen’s Symphony No. 2 for soprano and orchestra)