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Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir[1] (pronounced [ˈsɪɣrun ˈçaulmtʰi(ː)sˌtouhtɪr]) (born 8 August 1955), better known as Diddú (pronounced [ˈtɪtːu]), is an Icelandic soprano and songwriter. Educated at the Reykjavík College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, she began her singing career in the 1970s as a vocalist for the popular folk and pop group Spilverk Þjóðanna. She subsequently turned to classical music, particularly Lieder and operas.

Diddú's most recent album, Hvert Örstutt Spor (Each Tiny Step), was released in 2005.

Early life and education[edit]

The second of seven children[2] of Hjálmtýr E. Hjálmtýsson, a bank clerk, and Margrét Matthíasdóttir, a writer, Diddú was born on 8 August 1955[3] and raised in Reykjavík. She studied at the Reykjavík College of Music, and afterwards at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she received a degree (1979–1984) and a postgraduate diploma (1985).[3][4] She also had private singing lessons in Italy between 1987 and 1988.[3]


Diddú began her singing career as a vocalist with the folk and pop group Spilverk Þjóðanna between 1975 and 1978 and made numerous recordings of folk and popular music,[5] before turning her focus to classical music, particularly Lieder and operas. With the Icelandic Opera she has performed the parts 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 was a guest singer as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro in Trondheim, Norway, and as Gilda in Rigoletto in Gothenburg, Sweden (1992).[6] She has also sung the role of Olympia in Les contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) at the Þjóðleikhúsið (Thjodleikhusid, or National Theatre of Iceland) in Reykjavík.[4]

In 1994, Diddú appeared in Bíódagar (Movie Days) by Icelandic film director Friðrik Þór Friðriksson,[7] playing the mother of a young boy living in the 1950s who is engrossed with American movies.[8]

In 2001, Diddú performed at a special concert in Beijing, China, in the Forbidden City Concert Hall. The concert was held to commemorate 30 years of relations between Iceland and China.

On 26 September 2007, Diddú was a special guest of Garðar Thór Cortes at a concert at the Barbican Centre in London with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Cortes's father, Garðar Cortes. She performed "Il Bacio" ("The Kiss"), "Mein Herr Marquis" ("My Lord Marquis") from Johann Strauss II's Die Fledermaus (The Bat, 1874), the cavatina "Casta diva" from Bellini's Norma (1831), and "É strano... sempre libera" ("It's Strange... Ever Free") from Verdi's La traviata (1853); and duetted with Garðar Thór Cortes in "O soave fanciulla" ("O Gentle Maiden") from Puccini's La Bohème (The Bohemian, 1896), in a duet from Act I scene 5 of Verdi's Rigoletto (1851), and in "The Prayer" (c. 1999) by Carole Bayer Sager.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Diddú's husband is musician Þorkell Jóelsson (born 28 May 1952).[3][9] Her father, Hjálmtýr E. Hjálmtýsson (5 July 1933 – 12 September 2002),[10] had roles in the Icelandic comedies Með allt á hreinu (On Top, 1982),[11] Löggulíf (A Policeman's Life, 1985)[12] and Karlakórinn Hekla (The Men's Choir, 1992).[13] Diddú's youngest brother, Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson, is a pop singer, songwriter and disc jockey.

Selected works[edit]

of appearance
Production Role Awards and nominations
1992 Rigoletto (1851)[6]
by Giuseppe Verdi

Gothenburg, Sweden

2006 Le Pays (1912)[14]
by Joseph Guy Ropartz

Reykjavík Arts Festival 2006, Reykjavík Art Museum, Reykjavík

[date unknown] Les contes d'Hoffmann
(The Tales of Hoffmann, 1881)
by Jacques Offenbach

Þjóðleikhúsið (Thjodleikhusid, National Theatre of Iceland), Reykjavík

[date unknown] L'elisir d'amore
(The Elixir of Love, 1832)
by Gaetano Donizetti
[date unknown] Die Fledermaus (The Bat, 1874)
by Johann Strauss II
[date unknown] Lucia di Lammermoor (1835)
by Gaetano Donizetti
[date unknown] The Magic Flute (1791)
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Papagena/The Queen of the Night
[date unknown] The Marriage of Figaro (1786)
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
[date unknown] La traviata (The Woman who Strayed, 1853)
by Giuseppe Verdi
Violetta Valery


  • Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir Sópran (Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir Soprano, 1992).
  • Töfrar (Magic, 1994).
  • Jólastjarna (Christmas Star, 1997).
  • Klassík (Classical Music, 1998).
  • Ljós Og Skuggar (Light and Shadows, 2000).
  • Óskastund (A Moment for a Wish, 2001).
  • Fuglar Tímans (Birds of Time, 2003).
  • Hvert Örstutt Spor (Each Tiny Step, 2005).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ This is an Icelandic name. Diddú's last name, "Hjálmtýsdóttir", is a patronymic (it means "daughter of Hjálmtýr") and is not her family name; she should be addressed by her first name, "Sigrún".
  2. ^ Diddú's siblings are Ásdís (born 21 August 1954), Lucinda Margrét (born 7 June 1957), Matthías Bogi (born 25 May 1959), Johanna Steinunn (born 19 February 1962), Arnar Gunnar (born 11 February 1964) and Páll Óskar (Paul Oscar) (born 16 March 1970): "Sigrun Hjalmtysdottir". Barnaskoli Vestmannaeyja. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Sigrun Hjalmtysdottir". Barnaskoli Vestmannaeyja. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  4. ^ a b c Programme of An Evening at the Barbican Centre with Cortes : With a Very Special Guest Diddu; the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gardar Cortes, Barbican Centre, London, 26 September 2007.
  5. ^ "Diddu". 12 Tónar. Archived from the original on 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  6. ^ a b "Sigrún Hjálmtýsdóttir". Íslenska óperan (Icelandic Opera). Retrieved 2007-10-02.  In Icelandic.
  7. ^ Sometimes credited as Fridrik Thor Fridriksson.
  8. ^ Bíódagar on IMDb. Retrieved on 1 October 2007.
  9. ^ Þorkell Jóelsson is often transliterated "Thorkell Joelsson".
  10. ^ Hjálmtýr Hjálmtýsson on IMDb. Retrieved on 1 November 2007.
  11. ^ Með allt á hreinu on IMDb. Retrieved on 1 November 2007.
  12. ^ Löggulíf on IMDb. Retrieved on 1 November 2007.
  13. ^ Karlakórinn Hekla on IMDb. Retrieved on 1 November 2007.
  14. ^ "Reykjavik – Le Pays – French Opera". European Festivals Association. 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]