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Sound Bites spotlights up-and-coming singers and conductors in the world of opera.

Sound Bites: Golda Schultz

The South African soprano sings Freia and a Flowermaiden this month in Munich.
By F. Paul Driscoll 

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Soprano Golda Schultz, set to sing in Munich, Zurich, Aspen and London this summer
Photograph by Dario Acosta
Hair and makeup by Affan Graber Malik
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Photograph by Dario Acosta

GOLDA SCHULTZ'S luscious, silky soprano and poised charm have made her one of the fastest-rising young stars on the international scene. Raised in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Schultz studied at the University of Cape Town and at Juilliard, where she received her graduate diploma in 2011. When she won a two-year contract in the young-artist program at Bayerische Staatsoper, she moved to Munich, which remains her home. Within a few seasons, Schultz made debuts at Salzburg, Glyndebourne, Hamburg and Milan, winning raves as Susanna, Vitellia, Countess Almaviva and Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier. She returned to New York in 2017 for her Met debut as Pamina, which she calls “One of the best experiences I have ever had. The people who work there are so supportive and perfect, and when you stand on that stage, it is like being in the middle of your comfy living room—until you look at those gold arches and a million lush red chairs, and you think, ‘Oh my gosh, I am supposed be heard, aren’t I? Maybe this is not a good idea!’ But the night happened, and it all fell together spectacularly well, and I was so happy, when I came off stage to remove Pamina’s cape from the final scene, that when my dresser opened her arms to me, I just burst into tears and sobbed, all from the shock of finally taking in what happened. And I remember her holding me and patting me and saying, ‘It’s o.k., dear. This is all normal.’ And to me, that was the perfect explanation of the entire experience—overpowering, overwhelming and completely normal!

“The wonderful, great thing about working in this art form is that is does connect completely random people to one another—it’s quite cosmically fantastic!” says Schultz. “When I was a student at Juilliard, Elīna Garanča was at the Met, singing Carmen, and they had just released her DVD of the opera. So I saved up all the money I could and bought the Carmen DVD, and then I went to the signing in the Met shop, and she signed it for me. And now, here I am a few years later in Munich, and I’m singing in Carmen, and she’s Carmen, and I’m Micaëla, and it’s the most surreal thing ever. I say to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, there she is, taking a bow, and I’m on the same stage and we are both serving the same audience. We are all connected by a magic silver line, and it is so lovely!’” spacer 



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