Guja Sandholt

Artistic director

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Icelandic singer Guja Sandholt lives in Utrecht and Reykjavík and performs regularly in the Netherlands, Iceland and internationally. She is also the Artistic Director of a new opera/music theatre festival in Iceland, Óperudagar,  which was chosen Music Festival of the Year 2018 at the Icelandic Music Awards after the 2nd edition in 2018.

Recently, Guja portrayed Julia Child in Lee Hoiby's Bon Appétit! in Reykjavík; Popova in William Walton's The Bear at the Cycle Art and Music Festival in Iceland and Sweden and participated as a resident artist in the Nieuwe Stemmen project at the Operadagen Rotterdam. She appeared as the alto 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 immensely and has e.g sung the solo parts of the Weihnachtsoratorium, Messiah, Duruflé's and Mozart's Requiem, Beethoven's Mass in C, Dvorak's and Pärt's Stabat Mater and Vivaldi's Gloria. 

Among her upcoming projects are David Lang's The Little Match Girl Passion in Iceland; Beethoven's Fidelio (Leonore) in Iceland and Estonia in 2021 and Die Walküre (Rossweisse) at Reykjavík Art Festival in 2022.

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. She currently studies with Stephanie Doll in Düsseldorf. 

Among her other operatic roles are Dido (Dido and Aeneas, Purcell); Nerone and Ottavia (L'incoronazione di Poppea, Monteverdi); Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice, Gluck); Volpino (Lo speziale, Haydn), Flosshilde (Das Rheingold-Wagner) and Zweite Norn (Götterdämmerung-Wagner). Together with Heleen Vegter, pianist, Guja regularly gives song recitals.

Guja has attended masterclasses/private lessons with teachers such as Malcolm Martineau, Sarah Walker, Roger Vignoles, Tom Krause, Wolfgang Holzmair and Angelika Kirschlager. In recent years, she has been granted generous support from the Artist's Salary Fund in Iceland to pursue various new projects..

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.