Viktoria Tocca is a shining example of an indie artist making waves in the genre of classical crossover music. She began her craft early on and claims, “I can’t remember not singing! I was always making up my own songs and putting on shows in the house, forcing everyone to watch!”

At the tender age of 10 she was accepted to the Adolf Fredriks School of Music in Stockholm. Viktoria explains that while it is similar to a regular school, music is a part of their everyday classes. “A lot of Sweden’s musical talent stems from this school and I had six wonderful years there where I was often the soloist at concerts. Then I did a three year musical theatre program and since graduating, in 1998, I’ve been working professionally as a singer and actress.”

Viktoria performed the title roles of Christine in Phantom of the Opera as well as Evita, in the musical of the same name. Her career’s expansion into the classical crossover genre “came rather naturally for me,” Viktoria says. “I’ve always liked to write music and lyrics but never really pursued it until I got pregnant with my daughter. I couldn’t do musical theatre during the pregnancy and for a while after having the baby, so that’s when I started working on my first album which was in Swedish. Then of course I was hooked and have to date released four albums, a Christmas EP that I’m working on extending to a full album, and lots of singles.”

Both creating roles on stage and performing as a solo artist “requires me to be very honest on stage. When creating a character I have to highlight certain parts that are more prominent in that other person. I usually do quite a lot of work when creating a character, lots of writing and figuring out who this person is, but ultimately it will all stem from myself and my own experience and bringing that out in the most honest way possible.”

Does she have a favorite onstage moment? “There are many,” Viktoria shares. “Right now I’m in the middle of working on a character that I really love, Francesca in The Bridges of Madison County and we’re doing a couple of songs from the show in the musical theatre concert tour “Från Broadway till Duvemåla” that I’m currently in and that’s one of my favorite moments on stage every night, because you can feel the character taking form right there and then in the moment and that’s a really great feeling. Another favorite is obviously playing Christine in Phantom of the Opera, which had been my dream for so long!”

Viktoria created the role of Sissi in the world premiere of “Ludwig II.” She calls the experience “really special” as well as challenging. “I had never worked in Germany, so the language was new and I had never worked on such a huge stage before. The theatre was more than 2000 seats and the stage was huge! We had real horses on stage as well as a huge pool where Ludwig drowned himself in the end. It was also  such an honor to play such an iconic historical figure as Empress Elisabeth “Sissi” of Austria. You could hear the audience whisper her name every night at my first entrance, “Sissi, Sissi, look it’s Sissi”, that was very humbling.”

I ask Viktoria if there are any plays she would like to see made into musicals. Her response is enthusiastic, “Oh wow, that’s a great question. When I come up with something really great I’ll let you know, because I might want to write my first musical myself!”

Viktoria is very supportive of new music. “I think there are plenty of good singers out there who want to do classical crossover, but most of them sing and record the same stuff that has been done before. I think that it’s very important to write, create and sing new material for the genre to move forward! I think Jennifer Thomas is doing a lot for the instrumental CC genre and Mary-Jess is one of my favorite singers in the CC genre, both writing a lot of new material and doing a great job!”

When I asked if there’s one song from the classical crossover repertorie that Viktoria thinks should be retired she replies, “Oh I don’t know. I love a lot of this repertoire, but I don’t think we need any more recordings of Time to Say Goodbye and Nella Fantasia, unless someone is going to spice it up and do something really different!” Fair enough.

Viktoria is currently involved in a tour of Broadway music in Sweden called Från Broadway till Duvemåla. “I’m actually producing this tour myself. I’ve worked mostly internationally in my career and moving back to Sweden, for family reasons, I realized that it’s not so easy to break into the musical theatre scene in Sweden.” Still, Viktoria remains undaunted. “Instead of sitting at home moping about, I decided to produce something myself. I had no idea that it would grow so big so quickly, but we’re booking shows left and right, getting spectacular reviews and I’m honestly getting more work than I can handle at the moment, but I’m not complaining!”

Of course creating new music and producing shows is expensive and difficult especially for the independent artist. Platforms like Pledge Music and Patreon however are allowing fans to finance the projects they believe in. “For me it’s absolutely necessary! I try to offer as much as possible to my patrons and fans, because they’re really the people who support all the creative ideas I have. I still spend a lot of my own money that I make at concerts etc., on new recordings, music videos etc, but my Patreons are very important!”

Viktoria continues to train her voice under the tutelage of Douglas Yates. “I’ve had the same teacher for a long time. Douglas Yates is basically classical, but he works with all genres since the basic technique is very much the same. I’ve been with him since 2001. I work with him very intensely 4-5 times a year when he comes to Sweden or I have the time to go see him (he lives in Germany). But usually we work for 4-5 days, very intensely and that’s enough at the level I’m at. The rest of the time I work on my own.”

On her time off Viktoria enjoys reading. “Finding a good book and spending time is like vacation. I also love watching great films and TV series. I really love all the new online options where I can watch TV when I have time. Binge watching series on any of the online services is such a treat! Other than that I love walking my dogs in the woods or going out on our boat. Nature and quiet creates such a perfect balance to my rather hectic life, I love it! And food, yes, I love food! Who doesn’t?!”

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