Having been hailed for her exceptional expressive abilities, South African-Dutch soprano Johanni van Oostrum 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, Alan Gilbert, Adam Fisher, Asher Fisch, Lothar Koenigs, Henrik Nánási, Stefan Soltesz, Antonello Manacorda, Oksana Lyniv, Laurence Equilbey and worked with directors such as Harry Kupfer, Barrie Kosky, Tobias Kratzer, Francois Girard and Vera Nemirova.
Ms. Van Oostrum recently made a strong impression at the Bavarian State Opera when she jumped in as Elsa in Lohengrin on short notice. The Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier has become one of her signature roles since she took over the role under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam. This role also took her to the Royal Swedish Opera under the baton of Alan Gilbert, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Komische Oper Berlin, Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, the Estonian National Opera and theatres in the Netherlands.
During the 2020/21 season, Ms. Van Oostrum made her debut as Leonore in a concert performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio conducted by Adam Fischer, her role debut in the title role of Janáček’s Jenufa at Konzert Theater Bern, and appeared as Agathe in Der Freischütz, recorded live in Paris and released by Warner Classics and Erato on CD and DVD. She also appeared in a series of tribute concerts to Hermann Levi at the Munich Opera Festival, under Kirill Petrenko. Van Oostrum begins the current season with both her house and role debut as Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, after which she will appear for the first time at the Wroclaw Opera as Agathe and return to the Bolshoi as Elsa in Lohengrin. The soprano will also sing Agathe for her return to the Dutch National Opera.
2020 kicked off with Ms. Van Oostrum joining Jonas Kaufmann’s “Mein Wien” Concert tour in Nürenberg, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Luzerne. She was scheduled to debut with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester in Hamburg singing Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass led by Alan Gilbert and to have her house debut at the Canadian Opera Company as Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Further planned engagements affected by the coronavirus pandemic included Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Orchestre de Paris under the baton of Daniel Harding, a performance of Beethoven’s Ah! Perfido with Insula Orchestra in Aix-en- Provence, Chrysothemis in Elektra at the Maifestspiele, Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier at the Hessische Staatstheater in Wiesbaden, and her house debut at Garsington Opera as Leonore in Fidelio, a role she also would have sung at Cape Town Opera.
Previous seasons featured major role debuts: the title role in Richard Strauss’s Salome at Oper Graz, Marietta in Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt with Opéra de Limoges, and Agathe in Weber’s Der Freischütz which was received with enthousiasm at the Barbican Centre in London, Aix-en-Provence, Théâtre des Champs- Élysées in Paris, the BOZAR in Brussels, Theater an der Wien, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg, Théâtre de Caen and at Opéra de Rouen.
Highlights from previous seasons have included Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Minnesota Opera and Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Grete in Schreker’s Der Ferne Klang at Oper Graz, Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Hessische Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar and Theater Bonn, Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes at the Hessische Staatstheater in Wiesbaden and Theater Bonn, First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden (released on CD by Deutsche Grammophon), and Komische Oper Berlin, the title role in Janáček’s Katja Kabanova at the Janacek Festival in Brno, Konzert Theater Bern and Hessische Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Judith in Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek’s Holofernes at Theater Bonn, Senta in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer at the Quebec Opera Festival in a production directed by François Girard, Cape Town Opera, Theater Bonn and Theater und Orchester Heidelberg, and Chrysothemis in Richard Strauss’s Elektra at Staatstheater Braunschweig and Theater Bonn.
Ms. Van Oostrum has performed on numerous occasions with the Staatskapelle Weimar, interpreting Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, orchestral songs by Richard Strauss, and Beethoven’s Ah! Perfido conducted by Bertrand de Billy. She performed Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Staatskapelle Weimar in Bayreuth and at the Al Bustan Festival in Beirut. As a concert soloist, she is often heard in the Brahms Requiem, the Verdi Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elias, and as an interpreter of Songs by Richard Strauss and South African composers.
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 prize at the Erna Spoorenberg Dutch Vocal Competition and was awarded the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award in 2018 for Best Female Performance in an Opera for her performance as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer at the Cape Town Opera. In 2019, her high school alma mater honoured her with an Achievements in Performing Arts Award.