The lyric beauty of Karita Mattila’s voice and her innate sense of theatre have set her apart as one of the most sought-after dramatic sopranos in the world today.
In demand by every major opera house and festival, Ms Mattila performs with the world’s greatest conductors including Davis, Dohnányi, Haitink, Pappano, Rattle and Salonen. Outstanding collaborations with major stage directors to date include: Luc Bondy in his highly acclaimed Don Carlos, which she performed in Paris, London and at the Edinburgh International Festival; Lev Dodin in his productions of Elektra for the Salzburg Easter Festival and Pique Dame and Salome at Opéra national de Paris; Peter Stein for his Simon Boccanegra in Salzburg and Don Giovanni in Chicago; and Jürgen Flimm for his Fidelio at the Metropolitan Opera. Other critically acclaimed roles include Kostelnička (Jenůfa) which she has recently performed at The Met conducted by David Robertson, at the Bayerische Staatsoper under Tomáš Hanus, with San Francisco Opera under Jiří Bĕlohlávek and also in concert with Bĕlohlávek and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; and Emilia Marty (Věc Makropulos) for The Metropolitan Opera, Finnish National Opera and at the BBC Proms. She has performed Sieglinde (Die Walküre) for Houston Grand Opera and San Francisco Opera, Marie (Wozzeck) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos for the Bayerisches Staatsoper and also at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She made her role debut last season as Kundry in a concert performance of Parsifal at the Turku Music Festival.
In addition to two Grammy Awards for Best Opera Recording – Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under Sir George Solti in 1998 and Jenůfa under Bernard Haitink in 2004 – Ms Mattila has many recordings to her credit, highlights of which include Strauss’s Vier letzte Lieder under Claudia Abbado on Deutsche Grammophon, Schönberg’s Gurrelieder and Shostakovich’s Symphony No.14 with Sir Simon Rattle on EMI, and her 40th birthday concert in front of an audience of 12,000 in Helsinki on Ondine. An influential artistic force in the development of new music, Ms Mattila has given world premiere performances of Kaija Saariaho’s Quatre instants, Mirage, and the monodrama Emilie which received its first performance at Opéra national de Lyon in 2010.
Current season opera highlights include Begbick (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny) conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen at Festival d’Aix, Foreign Princess (Rusalka) conducted by Susanna Mälkki for Opéra national de Paris, and First Prioress (Dialogues des Carmelites) under Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Metropolitan Opera. She reprises the role of Kostelnička (Jenůfa) for Bayerisches Staatsoper under Simone Young and creates the role of Plotina in Rufus Wainwright’s new opera, Hadrian, for Canadian Opera Company. She gives recitals with Ville Matvejeff at the Oslo Opera House and with Evgeny Kissin at the Verbier Festival.
A native of Finland, Ms Mattila trained at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with Liisa Linko-Malmio and subsequently with Vera Rózsa with whom she studied for almost 20 years. Ms Mattila has won numerous awards throughout a distinguished career including Musical America’s Musician of the Year and the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. She was awarded the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for her « unforgettable incarnations of both Kostelnička and Emilia Marty ».