Terje Stensvold has been singing since his childhood, when he was a member of the renowned ‘Solvguttene’ boys choir in Oslo. He studied in Norway, London, Berlin and Budapest on a five-year Wallenberg Scholarship.
From 1972 to 1999 he was a member of the Norwegian National Opera performing over eighty diverse roles including Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Marcello (La bohème), Klingsor (Parsifal), Scarpia (Tosca), Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Escamillo (Carmen), Danilo (Die lustige Witwe), Professor Higgins (My Fair Lady), Jochanaan (Salome), Iago (Otello) for which he was awarded ‘Singer of the Year’ award from the Norwegian Opera Society, Sharpless (Madame Butterfly), Mustafa (L’italiana in Algeri) and the title roles in Eugene Onegin, Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, Der fliegende Holländer and Le nozze di Figaro.
After marking his 25th anniversary at the Norwegian National Opera in the 1997/98 season Terje Stensvold suddenly embarked on a wider international career starting with his UK debut as Scarpia for Scottish Opera and progressing with the title role in Der fliegende Holländer for the Frankfurt Opera, Scarpia in Stuttgart, Holländer in Wiesbaden and at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, Balstrode in Peter Grimes, Alfio and Tonio in Cavalleria rusticana and Pagiliacci, Barak in Die Frau ohne Schatten and Dr. Schoen in Lulu in Frankfurt, Pizarro in Fidelio under Riccardo Muti for La Scala and in Monte-Carlo and Der Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte and Pizarro at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Beginning in 2005, he has sung all three Wotans in the new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen for the Royal Opera, Stockholm. He also sang Pizarro in Edinburgh and at the Barbican, London (under Sir Charles Mackerras) and Jochanaan in Salome at the Staatsoper, Berlin, Creon in Oedipus Rex at the Edinburgh Festival, Balstrode for the Theatre de la Monnaie, Brussels, Barak in Hamburg and Amsterdam, Jochanaan at the Vienna State Opera and Filippo II in Don Carlos in the opening season of the new opera house in Oslo and in Toronto. He has also appeared at the Teatre Liceu, Barcelona, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Dusseldorf, Semperoper, Dresden and the opera houses of Amsterdam, Leipzig, Helsinki and Hamburg as well as at the Salzburg Festival.
Most recently he has sung Wotan in new productions not only at the Berlin Staatsoper but also at La Scala under Daniel Barenboim. In December 2012 he sang Der fliegende Holländer in Zurich and in January 2013, two complete Ring cycles in Frankfurt. He sings Wotan at the Berlin Staatsoper and at La Scala as well as in the Munich Festival at the Bayerische Staatsoper. In November and December 2013 he will make his Australian debut singing Wotan in three Ring cycles in Melbourne for Opera Australia.
Future plans also include Wotan at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, Der fliegende Holländer in Oslo, Barak in Die Frau ohne Schatten in Frankfurt, as well as appearances at the Opera Bastille and Amsterdam.
His complete recording of the title role in Der fliegende Holländer appeared on CD with Harmonia Mundi and he has also recorded Jeanne d’Arc by Walter Braunfels for Decca. A recording of him singing Wotan in The Ring appeared on Oehms Classics with the Frankfurt Opera under Sebastian Weigle in both CD and DVD format.
In 2008, Terje Stensvold was made Knight 1st Class of the Order of St. Olav by the King of Norway.