Nina Stemme can now officially call herself the best singer in the world. The Swedish soprano was recently awarded best female opera artist at the International Opera Awards held at the Hilton Park Lane in London, according to Reuters.

The prizes, which total 21 in all, were awarded by Opera Magazine and the British businessman Harry Hyman. German tenor Jonas Kaufman was awarded best male opera singer, and British Antonio Pappano, who leads the Royal Opera House, received the prize for best conductor.
Nina Stemme was in competition with other great singers like Joyce DiDonato and Sarah Connolly. She won acclaim for her Wagnerian interpretations in Munich, Milan and Paris.

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Parallel to her studies of business administration and economics at the University of Stockholm, Stemme followed a 2-year-course at the Stockholm Operastudio. Her debut as Cherubino in Cortona, Italy, in 1989 made Stemme decide to follow a professional singer's career; her studies at the National College of Opera in Stockholm were completed in 1994. After winning the Operalia competition in 1993, Stemme was invited by Placido Domingo, founder of Operalia, to appear with him in a concert at La Bastille (1993); the same concert also took place on January 1, 1994, in Munich. In addition to early roles at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, she also sang Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Mimi (La bohème), Euridice in Gluck's Orfeo and Euridice, and Diana (La fedeltà premiata by Haydn), Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly, Tosca, Manon Lescaut, Suor Angelica, Euridice...

For more information on Stemme: www.ninastemme.com and on the Stockholm Opera: www.operan.se

Hear her sing Wagner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8enypX74hU and, an early recording of lighter pieces sang at the Singer of the World contest in Cardiff, 1993: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8enypX74hU