Bjoner, who was born on November 8, 1928 in Kraakstad, Norway,
studied to be a pharmacist at the University of Oslo where
she took and passed her exam in this field. She did not,
however, pursue this as a career choosing instead to study
voice with Gudrun Boellemose in Oslo. A concert which she
gave in 1951 at the Oslo Cathedral gave her some excellent
reviews and helped launch her career. Voice studies continued
in Frankfurt, Germany, under the tutelage of Paul Lohmann
at the Frankfurt Musikhochschule. Her later studies included
those with Franziska Mattienseen-Lohmann in Dusseldorf,
Ms. Bjoner gave her New York
City debut in 1957 at the Wuppertal Opera House where she
sang the part of Donna Anna in Mozart's "Don Giovanni".
In her native Norway she continued to sing operatic roles
including one of the three Norns and Gutrune in Wagner's
"Götterdämmerung" in which she appeared with Kirsten Flagstad.
Her performances led to an engagement with the Oslo Opera.
Shortly thereafter, she moved to Germany where her career
as an opera singer continued. Performances followed at the
State Opera of Vienna, Austria, as well as Hamburg, Germany.
She also sang at Covent Garden in London, England, and with
the San Francisco Opera in San Francisco, California. In
1960 Ms.Bjoner sang the roles of Freia and Gutrune in the
Wagnerian Festival held in Bayreuth, Germany.
1961 saw her join the State
Opera in Munich where she sang the role of the empress in
Richard Wagner's opera "Die frau ohne Schatten", which was
the opera chosen to open the newly-rebuilt opera house.
Other performances include the role of Isolde in Wagner's
"Tristan und Isolde" at the Centennial Festival in Bayreuth.
From 1962 to 1967 Ms. Bjoner
was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York City where
she sang a variety of operatic roles. Engagements followed
at Covent Garden in London, England, at the opera in Warsaw,
Poland, and in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1970, at
the Staedtische Opera in Berlin, Germany, and the Staatsoper
in Stuttgart, Germany. Ms. Bjoner is currently on the faculty
of the Copenhagen Opera Academy and in 2001 she will serve
on the jury of the Queen Sonja International Music Competition.
Ms. Bjoner has been given the Order of St. Olav by King
Olav V of Norway (1964).
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