Mother of activist Greta Thunberg gave up opera career to fight climate change

Opera singer Malena Ernman chose to end her international career due to concerns over climate change.Bengt Nyman/Wikimedia Commons

September 25, 2019

Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist from Sweden, has been taking a stance on government inaction in regards to climate change.

Her activism has extended to her family as well. Her father is actor Svante Thunberg, and her mother is opera singer Malena Ernman. Ernman has performed internationally for companies and festivals across Europe, and even was a Eurovision contestant in 2009.

Even though she had a long and celebrated international career, Ernman revamped her professional life after the activism and research done by her daughter opened her eyes to the environmental impact of her job.

In March 2016, Ernman stopped flying due to the climate crisis. Instead, she and her family typically drive or sail to their destination to reduce their carbon emissions.

Now, Ernman works out of Sweden while supporting her daughter's actions to fight climate change and bring about political change.

She and her husband co-wrote a memoir, Scenes From the Heart, which outlines the family's story of supporting their daughter before she appeared in the public eye.

Ernman is no longer touring internationally, but you can enjoy this performance of her and Martin Fröst performing Flight of the Bumblebee, by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov.