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Sylvia Anderson, mezzo and dramatic soprano

Sylvia Anderson was born in Denver, Colorado, where her

father was a prominent lawyer and her mother a music and

art educator. She earned her B.A. from MacMurray College, 

 her M.M. and DMA from  the Eastman School of Music

in Rochester, New York, in Voice and Opera. In these years 

she was a young artist at the Central City Festival and the

Santa Fe Opera Festival where she had the opportunity to

sing under Igor Stravinsky. She received a Fulbright Stipend

to Germany and a Post Graduate degree in Opera from the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. Miss Anderson spent 28

years abroad singing in major houses in Europe, South

America and the U.S. She sang 17 roles at the San Francisco

Opera as well as two seasons with the New York City Opera

as well as many roles in such major houses as the Teatro

Colón, Buenos Aires, Teatro Liceo, Barcelona, Rome, Trieste, Opera Regio di Emilia, Amsterdam and the Theatre Royale

de la monnaie, Bruxelles, Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart,

Hamburg Saarbruecken, Cologne, Duesseldorf, Lisbon,

Vienna and many others.  

She received an Honorary Doctorate for spanning three continents during her career, and was one of few Americans invited to sing behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. She sang Elizabeth in "Tannhaeuser" in Moscow and Kasakstan, Salome in Warsaw and Brangaene in Teheran. She appeared as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at the new Kennedy Center in Washington and was invited to sing Carl Orff's Antigone at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, during the Festival of Greek Tragedy. She has sung 20 Wagnerian roles at the Bayreuth Festival under Wolfgang Wagner, and at the San Francisco Opera, Frankfurt, Berlin, Barcelona and Lisbon Operas. Miss Anderson has sung Salome, Octavian, the Marschallin, Tosca and Carmen each over 100 times. She has sung 80 opera roles in Italy, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Poland, the former UDSSR, Iran, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, the U.S. and in Germany, where she met and married conductor, Matthias Kuntzsch.

Ms. Anderson recorded Karl-Heinz Stockhausens' Drei Lieder and the World Premier of Carl Orff's de temporum fine comoedie for Deutsche Grammophone, conducted by Herbert von Karajan. She created the role of Ophelia in the World Premier of Humphrey Searle's Hamlet with the Hamburg State Opera, and recorded the Schubert Masses for Vox. 

Her love of concerts brought Sylvia Anderson together with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Wiener Philharmonic, the Brücknerhalle Orchestra in Linz, the Buffalo, NY Symphony, the RAI Rome Orchestra, the Orchester of the Suisse Romande, the Southwest German Symphony, the Radio Orchestra of the Saarland, the Stuttgart and Frankfurt Philharmonic and the Salzburg Festival under Herbert von Karajan, Erich Leinsdorf, Leif Segerstam, Sir Charles Mackerras, Woldemar Nelson, Matthias Kuntzsch, Lothar Zagrosek, Bruno Bartoletti, Roberto Abbado, Luigi Toffolo, Nello Santi, and Karl-Heinz Stockhausen, among others. Favorite concert repertoire includes Strauss's Four Last Songs, Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, The Missa Solemnis, Handel's Messiah, The Verdi Requiem, Bach's B minor mass, St. Matthew and St. John Passions, Berlioz' "L'enfance du Christ," Honegger's "Johanna auf dem Scheiterhaufen" and numerous contemporary works, including those of Elinor Armer, Günter Bialas, John Cage, John Duke, Humphrey Searle, Robert Moran, Gloria Coates, Jack Beeson, Neely Bruce, Mack McCray, David Conte, and David Garner.

Miss Anderson joined the voice faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1990. Her many students can be heard singing in major opera houses in the U.S. and abroad.

In 1992 she founded the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute (BASOTI), creating performance opportunities for conservatory and university vocal students and helping them prepare for auditions for young artist programs and for the professional world of singing. She was Artistic Director of this organization for 27 years as well as President of the Board. 

Sylvia Anderson lives with her husband, Matthias Kuntzsch, in San Rafael, California, where she frequently enjoys visits with her actress daughter, Alexandra Matthew Elsman and her husband, William Elsman, who is also an actor.  They live and work in Los Angeles.  Sylvia and Matthias' son, Christopher, manages the Sustainability Office at Stanford University.  He is  also a  leadership coach and consultant to ecology active entrepreneurs and organizations . His wife, Katia Sol  conducts leadership seminars for creating and maintaining  ecological  conscious communites  around the world.  Sylvia and her husband, Matthias, have five  grandsons now, with the latest being born in the middle of the COVID pandemic.  His name is Liam Zion Elsman,  4 years old.  He has a brother, Logan Zander Elsman, 12 years old. Another is  Kolea Strongheart Sol Kuntzsch, 5 years old and two step-grandsons,  Jalen and Mateo Madjidi, 18 and 15 years old, who complete the family.  We are profoundly blessed!

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