The Icelandic baritone, coming to Australia for Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s Opera Gala, reveals his guilty pleasures.

1. Your three favourite operas?

Verdi’s Falstaff

Puccini’s Tosca

Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman

2. Three favourite basses/baritones?

Piero Cappuccilli

Hans Hotter

Robert Merrill

Olafur Sigurdarson Icelandic baritone Olafur Sigurdarson. Photo © Karl Petersson

3. Three favourite sopranos (or mezzo-sopranos)?

Camilla Nylund

Emma Bell

Christa Ludwig

4. Your most memorable musical experience as an audience member?

Hearing Stéphane Grappelli live at the Reykjavik Arts Festival in 1988.

5. If you weren’ t an opera singer what would you be?

Probably quite well off.

6. Three underrated composers?




The trailer to Saarländischen Staatstheater’s 2014 production of  The Flying Dutchman.

7. Your most embarrassing moment on stage?

Feeling a bit under the weather, I once fell a sleep in my dressing room the middle of a performance, in a leading role. Woke up hearing my cue repeated, louder each time.

8. Your least favourite opera?

Lully’s Pha ë ton

9. The last book you just couldn’t put down?

Independent Peopleby Halldor Laxness

10. Three operas you like but never get to see?

Wolf-Ferrari’s I gioielli della Madonna

Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re

Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West

11. Three singers of the past you would like to work with?

Jon Vickers