Diddú: A Singer for all seasons
Diddú’s performances move audiences and critics alike.
Most Icelanders, artists included, are known by their given names in Iceland. But if you asked an Icelander about Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir, they might not be sure whom you were talking about. If you say Diddú, however, a smile will appear and they will already be recounting their fond memories of a singer who has been one of Iceland’s favorites for decades.
Diddú started singing while in her teens. She first appeared on the Icelandic cultural scene when she was a member of pop and folk group Spilverk thjódanna in the 1970s and immediately became known for her distinct voice and lively performances. Spilverk thjódanna was one of the most prominent musical groups at the time and most people probably expected Diddú to continue as a pop singer. However, she surprised many of her fans by switching over to opera.
Diddú studied classical singing in Reykjavík, at the Guildhall School of Music in London, and in Italy. On completion of her studies she started appearing in operas, both within Iceland and abroad. With the Icelandic Opera she has performed the roles of Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Gilda in Rigoletto, Papagena and the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Violetta in La traviata, Adina in L’elisir d’amore and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus. She has also sung the role of Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann at the National Theatre of Iceland. Many of her performances have strongly moved audiences and critics alike.
Diddú has also acted in several Icelandic films, most notably Movie Days (Bíódagar) by Fridrik Fridriksson and Brekkukotsannáll, based on the novel The Fish can Sing by Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness. Had she not chosen singing as her profession she would surely have become an actor.
Her recent albums include Hvert örstutt spor (‘Each Tiny Step’) and Fuglar tímans (‘Birds of Time’). In the fall of 2007 she performed with singer Gardar Thór Cortes in London and starred in a special production at the Icelandic
Opera called Opera Pearls.
Diddú often performs at concerts and official gatherings. When she arrives the venue is inevitably filled with joy. Her presence is strong and she radiates positive feelings. Her skills at finding the right songs to fit the moment are uncanny. Even foreign audiences who have never seen her before are immediately charmed. Her smile and good humorpenetrate even the strongest defenses.
I & I Iceland 2007 (Number 3)
Diddú & Icelandic rapper Sesar A