Guja Sandholt

Artistic director


Icelandic soprano Guja Sandholt lives in Utrecht and Reykjavík and performs regularly in the Netherlands, Iceland and internationally. She enjoys a busy schedule as a soloist and ensemble singer. Since 2016, she has been the the Artistic Director of a new opera/music theatre festival in Iceland, Óperudagar, which was chosen the Music Festival of the Year in 2018. In 2019, the festival will take place in Reykjavík at the end of October.

Recently, Guja portrayed the 8 different roles of Judith Weir's short opera for 1 solo singer, King Harald's Saga at the prestigious Reykholtshátíð and Reykjavík Cultural Night. She sometimes also sings the role of Julia Child in Lee Hoiby's Bon Appétit! at music festivals. In 2015, she produced and sang one the role of Popova in William Walton's The Bear at the Cycle Art and Music Festival in Iceland and participated as a resident artist in the Nieuwe Stemmen project at the Operadagen Rotterdam. She appeared as a soloist in the Matthew Passion with Gelders Orkest as well as in a staged version of the Coffee Cantata by Bach at Over het IJ-Festival and the Bach Bubbles at the Grachtenfestival in Amsterdam. Guja enjoys the oratorio repertoire immensly and has e.g sung the solo parts of the Weihnachtsoratorium, Messiah, Duruflé's Requiem, Beethoven's Mass in C, Dvorak's and Pärt's Stabat Mater and Vivaldi's Gloria. 

Recently, Guja went as a Fellow of the Wagner Scholarship Foundation to Bayreuth to enjoy their annual Fellow program.

Together with Heleen Vegter pianist, Guja regularly gives Lied recitals.

Prior to moving to the Netherlands to study with Jón Þorsteinsson, she studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. In the Netherlands, she studied with Charlotte Margiono and Jón Thorsteinsson for a few years. She currently studies with Stephanie Doll in Düsseldorf.

Among her other operatic roles are Nerone and Ottavia (L'incoronazione di Poppea, Monteverdi); Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice, Gluck); Volpino (Lo speziale, Haydn) and Zweite Norn (Götterdämmerung-Wagner). 

Guja has attended masterclasses/private lessons with teachers such as Malcolm Martineau, Sarah Walker, Roger Vignoles, Tom Krause, Wolfgang Holzmair and Angelika Kirschlager.

An experienced ensemble singer, Guja has a part time job with the Dutch Radio Choir.

In 2011-2012, she worked as a secretary to Arvo Pärt and his family in connection with the newly founded IAPC in Estonia.