South African soprano Johanni van Oostrum recently made a strong impression at the Bavarian State Opera when she jumped in as Elsa in Lohengrin on short notice.
Having been hailed for her exceptional expressive abilities, she is in demand as interpreter of leading roles by Strauss, Wagner, Janáček and Mozart. She has performed under conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Ivor Bolton, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Bertrand de Billy, Asher Fisch, Lothar Koenigs, Massimo Zanetti, Henrik Nánási, Antonello Manacorda, Oksana Lyniv and Gianluca Marciano and worked with directors such as Harry Kupfer, Barrie Kosky, Andreas Homoki, Tobias Kratzer, Francois Girard, Florentine Klepper and Vera Nemirova.
2020 kicks off with Johanni joining Jonas Kaufmann’s “Mein Wien” Concert tour in Nürenberg, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Luzerne.
In celebration of the Beethoven 250 year, Johanni will perform Beethoven’s „Ah! Perfido“ with the Staatskapelle Weimar, and will make her debut as Leonore in Beethoven´s Fidelio both at Cape Town Opera and at Garsington Opera.
She returns to the Hessische Staatstheater in Wiesbaden as Ellen Orford in Britten´s Peter Grimes, Chrysothemis in Elektra and Marschallin in Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. She will appear at the Maifestspiele as Chrysothemis in Elektra. In Hamburg she will debut with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester singing Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass lead by Alan Gilbert.
Last season featured three major role debuts: the title role in a new production of Richard Strauss’ Salome at Oper Graz, Marietta in Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt with Opéra de Limoges, and Agathe in Weber’s Der Freischütz with Insula Orchestra under Laurence Equilbey. Music critic, Jonathan Sutherland, wrote in Operawire that Johanni’s portrayal of Salome “confirmed Van Oostrum in the forefront of current day Strausssopranos." Her first Agathe in Weber’s Der Freischütz, was received with enthousiasm at Théâtre de Caen, Aix-en-Provence, the BOZAR in Brussels, Theater an der Wien, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, The Barbican in London, and at Opéra de Rouen Normandie and will be released on DVD soon.
The Marschallin in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier has become one of Johanni’s signature roles, a role she has sung at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, the Royal Swedish Opera, Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, at the Komische Oper Berlin, Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, and the Estonian National Opera.
Previous engagements included Senta in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer at the Quebec Opera Festival, Cape Town Opera, Theater Bonn and Theater und Orchester Heidelberg, Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Minnesota Opera and Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden (released in 2019 on CD by Deutsche Grammophon), the Bayerische Staatsoper, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan and Komische Oper Berlin, Chrysothemis in Richard Strauss’ Elektra at Staatstheater Braunschweig and Theater Bonn, Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Hessische Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Theater Bonn and the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, Grete in Schreker’s Der Ferne Klang at Oper Graz, the title role in Janáček’s Katja Kabanova at Konzert Theater Bern, Hessische Staatstheater Wiesbaden and Janacek Festival in Brno, Judith in Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek’s Holofernes at Theater Bonn.
As a concert soloist she has performed on numerous occasions with the Staatskapelle Weimar, interpreting Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and orchestral songs by Strauss on the occasion of the Richard Strauss 150th Anniversary Celebration Concert in Weimar. She also performed Strauss’ Four Last Songs at the Al Bustan Festival in Beirut and with the Staatskapelle Weimar in Bayreuth.
Born in South Africa, Ms. Van Oostrum is a graduate of the University of Pretoria. She received vocal training from Dr. Mimi Coertse and was a member of the Black Tie Opera. She received first prizes at the Erna Spoorenberg Dutch Vocal Competition and the Ruth Lopin Nash Award from the Oratorio Society of New York at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She was awarded the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Best Female Performance in an Opera for her performance at Cape Town Opera as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer. In 2019 her high school alma mater honoured her with an Achievements in Performing Arts Award.