In 2022/23, Joa Helgesson will perform at Uppsala Stadsteater as Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, in Charlotte Engelkes Flyg vart du vill at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, and as Wagner in Marguerite at Malmö Opera, a show in which he also appears as an actor/muso on bass and trumpet.
The season 2021/22, Joa Helgesson made his debut as Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa in Verdi’s Don Carlos at Folkoperan in Stockholm. He also sang Kurwenal in Tristan & Isolde at Spira in Jönköping, Marcello in Bohème at Dala-Floda Operafest, sang his role debut as Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte at Folkoperan in Stockholm, and the world premiere of Daniel Hjort’s Djävulsdansen i Skarpans in Alandica, Mariehamn.
Swedish baritone Joa Helgesson grew up in Blackeberg, Stockholm. He went to choir school as a boy, formed his first death metal-band at the age of 12, went on to sing and play bass in several bands and compose music at Rytmus high school. A composition collaboration with schools from New York and Shanghai under the tutorship and baton of Quincy Jones brought him to China. He studied acting at the Shanghai Theatre Academy in China, started his classical vocal training at the chamber music programme of MDH/Sweden, and finished his studies at the University College of Opera in Stockholm.
As a promising young singer, Joa Helgesson was accepted at the National Opera Studio in London and subsequently at the Opera Studio of Opernhaus Zürich where he worked under conductors Bernard Haitink, Zubin Mehta, Nello Santi, and Ingo Metzmacher, and was the cover for Thomas Hampson in Verdi’s I Masnadieri.
Joa Helgesson has performed around 50 different parts on stage, in a variety of styles ranging from barock operas to world premieres. Notable interpretations include Don Giovanni, Kurwenal, Barbiere, Don Giovanni, Onegin, Billy Budd, Posa, the Phantom of the Opera, and Frollo.
Joa Helgesson has sung at the Beijing Modern Music Festival, Berliner Philharmonie, Markgräfliches Opernhaus im Rahmen der Bayreuther Festspiele, The Royal Opera and Folkoperan in Stockholm, Göteborgsoperan, Norrlandsoperan, Berwaldhallen, Stockholm Concert Hall, Tonhalle Zürich, Opern Halle, Gare du Nord Basel, Reykjavik Arts Festival, Oslo Ultima Festival, and more. He was also the house baritone of Landestheater Schleswig-Holstein between 2012 and 2015.
Based in Berlin, Joa Helgesson designs unique performances to challenge the boundaries of opera and classical singing, under the moniker Opera Beast.
He works closely with the Body Suspension community, developing unconventional fakir/opera-performances.
Along with his partner, Dr. Anna Zakrisson, he also mixes science and opera into unexpected performances.
In 2017-2019, Joa Helgesson joined the Gothenburg Opera in Sweden, where he appeared in the musicals The Phantom of the Opera as The Phantom, and as Dom Claude Frollo in Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.