Karita Mattila

born on 5/9/1960 in Somero, Finland

Karita Mattila

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Karita Marjatta Mattila (pronounced ['karita 'mattila]) (born September 5, 1960) is a leading operatic soprano. She was born in Perniö, Finland.

Mattila appears regularly in the major opera houses worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, Théâtre du Châtelet, Opéra Bastille, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Vienna State Opera, Toronto Roy Thomson Hall and Großes Festspielhaus, Salzburg and with top orchestras. During her career, Mattila has sold over 150,000 certified records, which places her among the top 50 best-selling female soloists in Finland.[1]


In 1983, Mattila won the first Cardiff Singer of the World competition. The same year she graduated from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where she studied singing with Liisa Linko-Malmio. She then continued her studies with Vera Rozsa in London.

In 1985, she made her Covent Garden debut with the Royal Opera as Pamina in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.

In 1988, she was seen as Emma in the first ever televised production of Schubert's Fierrabras at the Vienna State Opera.

On March 22, 1990, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni.

In 1994, she made her Spanish debut as Tatyana in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin in Madrid.

In 1996 followed important Paris debuts in Wagner's Lohengrin, Verdi's Don Carlos for which she received the François Reichenbach Prize Orphée du Lyrique and in Richard Strauss' Arabella in 2002.

In 1997, she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for her performance of Elisabeth in Don Carlos at the Royal Opera House and awarded the Evening Standard Ballet, Opera and Classical Music Award for Outstanding Performance of the Year in this production.

Mattila has won Grammy Awards for "Best Opera Recording" for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in 1998 and for Jenfa in 2004.

In 2001 The New York Times chose Karita Mattila as the best singer of the year for her performance in Fidelio at the Metropolitan Opera, and in the same year she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award Outstanding Achievement in Opera for both Jenfa and Lisa in The Queen of Spades at the Royal Opera House, London.

Dedicatee of Kaija Saariaho's song cycle Quatre Instants, which she created in April 2003 at the Châtelet Theatre and Barbican Centre.

Paris saw her first Salome in 2003 and she was honored with Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government as a recognition of her contribution to the arts.

In 2004, Mattila sang her first New York Salome at the Metropolitan Opera, which together with the subsequent Káa Kabanová inspired the New York press to write: "When the history of the Metropolitan Opera around the time of the millennium is written, Karita Mattila will deserve her own chapter."

In 2005, she was named Musician of the Year 2005 by Musical America, which describes her "the most electrifying singing actress of our day, the kind of performer who renews an aging art form and drives the public into frenzies."

BBC Music Magazine named Mattila as one of the top 20 sopranos of the recorded era in 2007.

Worldwide audiences saw her Manon Lescaut live in movie theatres in 2008.

On September 23, 2008, she reprised Salome at the Metropolitan Opera, again broadcast worldwide in High Definition on October 11, 2008.

She opened the Metropolitan Opera's 2009-10 season with Tosca, which was seen live in HD worldwide on October 10, 2009.

In 2010 at Opéra National de Lyon, Mattila created the role of Émilie du Châtelet in Kaija Saariaho's monodrama Émilie, which was dedicated to her.

Roles in operas

  • Emilia Marty, Vc Makropulos
  • Émilie du Châtelet, Émilie
  • Tosca, Tosca
  • Manon, Manon Lescaut
  • Salome, Salome
  • Arabella, Arabella
  • Leonore, Fidelio
  • Amelia, Un ballo in maschera
  • Elisabeth, Don Carlos
  • Amelia, Simon Boccanegra
  • Desdemona, Otello
  • Elsa, Lohengrin
  • Eva, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
  • Chrysothemis, Elektra
  • Jenfa, Jenfa
  • Káa Kabanová, Káa Kabanová
  • Lisa, The Queen of Spades
  • Tatyana, Eugene Onegin
  • Donna Anna, Don Giovanni
  • Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni
  • Contessa, Le nozze di Figaro
  • Fiordiligi, Così fan tutte
  • Pamina, Die Zauberflöte
  • Ilia, Idomeneo
  • Agathe, Der Freischütz
  • Emma, Fierrabras
  • Hanna Glawari, Die lustige Witwe
  • Rosalinde, Die Fledermaus
  • Musetta, La Bohème


  • Arias & Scenes (Erato) cond. Yutaka Sado; Queen of Spades, Jenufa, Elektra.
  • German Romantic Arias (Erato), Staatskapelle Dresden, cond. Sir Colin Davis; Beethoven, Weber.


  • Strauss: Orchestral Songs; Four Last Songs (DG)
  • Strauss: Orchestral Songs (Sony Music Entertainment)
  • Strauss: Hölderlin Lieder (Sony Music Entertainment)
  • Sibelius Songs (Ondine)
  • Grieg and Sibelius Songs (Erato)
  • Lollipops; Canteloube, Villa-Lobos (Philips)
  • Sydän Suomessa - From the Heart of Finland (Ondine), 1996, recital with Ilmo Ranta (piano); songs by Toivo Kuula, Oskar Merikanto, Erkki Melartin, Yrjö Kilpinen and folk songs.[2]
  • Wild Rose (Ondine) with Ilmo Ranta. Lieder by Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Mahler.
  • Modern Portrait (Warner/Finlandia), 1995. Paul Hindemith Das Marienleben, song cycle for soprano & piano, Op. 27; Aulis Sallinen Dream Songs; Mikko Heinio song cycle Vuelo de Alambre


  • Karita Live! (Ondine) cond. Jukka Pekka Saraste; Wagner, Verdi, Strauss, Gershwin
  • Helsinki Recital (Ondine), Martin Katz (piano); Duparc, Kaija Saariaho Quatre instants, Rachmaninov, Dvoák Gypsy songs.


  • Excellence - The Artistry of Karita Mattila (Ondine)

Complete operas

Symphonic works

  • Mozart: Requiem (DG)
  • Beethoven: Symphony no. 9 (DG)
  • Shostakovich: Symphony no. 14 (EMI Classics)
  • Schoenberg: Gurrelieder (EMI Classics)
  • Bernstein: Symphony no. 3 (Erato)
  • Sibelius: Kullervo (BIS)
  • Mendelssohn: Symphony no. 2 (DG)
  • Schubert: Mass in E flat major; Mozart: Aria of the Angel, Laudate dominum (DG)

Popular music

  • Fever (Ondine)
  • Best of Evergreens (Ondine)
  • Karita's Christmas (Ondine)
  • Songs To The Sea; Popular Melodies by Lasse Mårtenson (2001)


Role Opera Composer Place Date
Emma Fierrabras Schubert Vienna State Opera 1988
Donna Elvira Don Giovanni Mozart Vienna State Opera 1990
Donna Elvira Don Giovanni Mozart Metropolitan Opera 1990
Rosalinde Die Fledermaus Johann Strauss II Vienna State Opera & Tokyo NHK 1994
Amelia Simon Boccanegra Verdi Teatro Colón 1995
Elsa Lohengrin Wagner Paris Opera 1996
Elisabeth Don Carlos Verdi Théâtre du Châtelet 1996
Hanna Glawari The Merry Widow Lehár Opéra Garnier 1997
Manon Lescaut Manon Lescaut Puccini Tampere Opera 1999
Leonore Fidelio Beethoven Metropolitan Opera 2000
Eva Die Meistersinger Wagner Metropolitan Opera 2001
Amelia Simon Boccanegra Verdi Florence 2002
Arabella Arabella Richard Strauss Théâtre du Châtelet 2002
Salome Salome Richard Strauss Paris Opera 2003
Salome Salome Richard Strauss Metropolitan Opera 2004
Manon Lescaut Manon Lescaut Puccini Metropolitan Opera 2008
Salome Salome Richard Strauss Metropolitan Opera 2008
Kát'a Káa Kabanová Janáek Teatro Real 2008
Tosca Tosca Puccini Metropolitan Opera 2009
Tosca Tosca Puccini Munich Opera Festival 2010


  1. Karita Mattila (Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved on 2011-06-12.
  2. Ondine 0 ODE892-2 (58 minutes: DDD). Texts and translations included. Recorded in association with Helsingin Energia. Gramophone review

External links

  • Intermusica
  • Ondine Records: Biography and discography
  • Karita Mattila Forum
  • Met Opera Review | "'Salome' Unveils Emotions (and a Soprano)," Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, March 17, 2004
  • "Mysteries of Love: Karita Mattila's Salome," Alex Ross, The New Yorker, April 5, 2004
  • Interview with Classical Voice
  • Karita Mattila's career, roles, CDs and DVDs on Mostly Opera
This page was last modified 09.10.2013 23:55:55

This article uses material from the article Karita Mattila from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.