Latvian mezzo-soprano Zanda Švēde is beginning her fifth season with the ensemble at Oper Frankfurt. Her roles this season include Clairon in Capriccio, Nenila in Tchaikovsky's The Enchantress, and the title role of Handel's Orlando. Later in the season, Zanda will perform the roles Forester's wife and Owl in The Cunning Little Vixen and reprise the role of Suzuki in Madama Butterfly.
In previous seasons at Oper Frankfurt, Zanda has performed Herodias in Salome, the title role of Barrie Kosky's Carmen in two revivals, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Zenobia in Radamisto, Sonyetka in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos and the title role of Serse.
Zanda has sung Carmen, her signature role, with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Seattle Opera, her native Latvian National Opera and most recently with Pittsburgh Opera, earning stellar reviews.
Zanda continues to expand her alto repertoire on the concert stage. She has performed Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with Sinfonietta Riga, Brahms' Alto Rhapsodie at Tiroler Festspiele Erl, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the San Francisco Symphony.
Celebrating a long and fruitful relationship with San Francisco Opera since joining the Merola Opera Program in 2013, Zanda became an Adler Fellow in Season 2014-15 and remained for two more seasons. She appeared on the main stage as Flora in La traviata, Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Lena in the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Rychtarka in Jenůfa, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Maid in The Makropoulos Case, and Handmaiden/The Flower in the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber.
Other principal guest highlights in the US include Zanda's debut at Palm Beach Opera as Suzuki and Olga in Eugene Onegin at Opera Idaho. She made her house debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Maddalena in Rigoletto and Grimgerde in Die Walküre. Zanda studied at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music in Rīga.