Notifications

Music

Greta Thunberg's mother, Malena Ernman, is an opera rock star

Watch the Swedish mezzo-soprano sing arias by Handel and Purcell.

Watch the Swedish mezzo-soprano sing arias by Handel and Purcell

Malena Ernman is an accomplished opera singer in addition to being the mother of teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg. (Opera Online)

Before Greta Thunberg was making headlines as a teen environmental activist, her mother, Malena Ernman, was their family's biggest celebrity.

Ernman is a mezzo-soprano who began her career singing in operatic productions in Sweden before taking on roles in major European opera houses, including the Berlin Staatsoper, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Theater an der Wien. An accomplished crossover artist, she represented Sweden at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, singing "La voix."

Eventually, her daughter's activism convinced Ernman to curb her performances abroad due concerns of the climate effects of aviation.

Below, two of Erman's performances: First, Nerone's aria, "Come nube che fugge dal vento," from Act 3 of Handel's Agrippina. Then, Dido's Lament from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.