A native of Helsinki, Finland, Marian Sjölander started her musical training at the age of five playing violin and piano. She spent her childhood in the midst of theatrical life, as her mother was a professional singer. Her formal education started in 1988 at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto majoring in voice and piano studies followed by vocal performance studies at the University of Toronto. In 1997 she received her diploma in Operatic Performance graduating with honors and distinction. Further studies took her to the Steans Institute for Young Artists in Chicago, U.S.A. on full scholarship, also to the Britten Pears School in England. She has also sung in masterclasses with Christoph Eschenbach, Peter Schreier, Christa Ludwig, Elizabeth Söderström, Birgit Nilsson, Elly Ameling, Dame Joan Sutherland ands Richard Bonynge. In 1998 she completed a year of training in the Ensemble Studio of the Canadian Opera Company.
Miss Sjölander made her debut in year 200 with the Finnish National Opera in the role of Musetta in La Bohème to critical acclaim. She also performed the role of Pamina in August Everdinh's version of Die Zauberflöte with the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland. Marian recently made her North American debut with the Canadian Opera Company Touring Ensemble as Pamina. Miss Sjölander's operatic roles include Contessa Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte. She recently recorded (Olympia label) and sang the role of Tisbè in Nicolò Isouard's Cendrillon under the baton of Maestro Richard Bonynge at the Stanislavski-Theatre in Moscow, Russia. In year 2001 she sang the role of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Opera Atalier in Toronto to critical acclaim. In addition to singing the role of Tytania in Midsummer Night's Dream with the touring ensemble of the Canadian Opera Company.
Marian performs extensively on the concert stage, having appeared in Sibelius' Kullervo with the Oslo Philharmonic under the direction of Paavo Berglund. She recently sang the soprano lead in Haydn's Die Jahreszeiten under the baton of Peter Schreier and Mozart's Coronation Mass at Lincoln Centre in New York, U.S.A.. In addition Miss Sjölander has sung Brahms' Ein deutsches Requim with the Turku Philharmonic in Finland, Haydn's Die Schöpfung with the Aalborg Symphony in Denmark, Mozart's Requim with the Tallinn Philharmonic in Estonia and Bach's St. John's Passion with the Niagara Symphony in Canada. Marian has also performed in a concert with the Tapiola Sinfonietta under the direction of Okko Kamu, in addition to performances with Kymi Sinfonietta under Mikko Franck's direction in Finland.
An active recitalist, Miss Sjölander has appeared throughout North America and Mexico in recital and concert, most recently performing in recital at the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Canada. Marian has also appeared throughout Finland in concert and recital, most notably at the Kangasniemi Music Festival, Johan Willgren Festival and the Savonlinna Opera Festival. In 1998 Miss Sjölander won one of the two prizes of the Timo Mustakallio in Finland. In 1999 she was a semi-finalist in the Mirjam Helin International Vocal Competition in Helsinki, Finland.
Her upcoming events include a world premiere production of the opera Röd hamn at the Finnish National Opera and the role of Michaela in Carmen with the Tampere Opera. Additionally Miss Sjölander has performed with Oakville's Masterworks Orchestra in several performances in addition to the Oakville Symphony under the direction of Roberto DeClara. Marian recently became the proud mother of a baby boy.Tweet