|Year of Birth:||1959|
Ruth Ann Swenson (born August 25, 1959) is an American soprano who is renowned for her coloratura roles.
Born in Bronxville, New York and raised in Commack, New York on Long Island, Swenson studied at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and briefly at Hartt College of Music in West Hartford, Connecticut. In the early 1980s she joined the Merola Program at the San Francisco Opera and toured the country as Gilda in Western Opera Theater's Rigoletto.
She made her San Francisco Opera debut in 1983, as Despina in Mozart's Così fan tutte. But her breakthrough role was Dorinda the shepherdess in Handel's Orlando opposite mezzo Marilyn Horne. Her Metropolitan Opera debut came in 1991, as Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni. In 1993, she won the Richard Tucker Music Foundation Award.
Swenson has appeared on many opera stages, including the Opéra National de Paris, the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, the Berlin State Opera, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Hamburg State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera and the Chicago Lyric Opera.
Roles she has played include Liù in Turandot, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, the Four Heroines in The Tales of Hoffmann, Elvira in I Puritani, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Gilda in Rigoletto (49 performances at the Met alone), Juliette in Roméo et Juliette and Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Violetta in La traviata, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Adina in L'elisir d'amore, Marguerite in Faust, the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, and Rodelinda in Rodelinda.