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Karita Mattila

Soprano

Biography

Karita Mattila in action.
Karita Mattila in Ariadne auf Naxos, The Royal Opera © ROH/Catherine Ashmore, 2014

Finnish soprano Karita Mattila made her Royal Opera debut in 1986 as Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) and has since sung Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Agathe (Der Freischütz), Musetta (La bohème), Elisabeth de Valois (Don Carlos), Elsa (Lohengrin), Liza (The Queen of Spades), Chrysothemis (Elektra), the title roles in Jenufa and Arabella, Amelia (Un ballo in maschera), Leonore (Fidelio), Marie (Wozzeck) and Ariadne (Ariadne auf Naxos). In the 2019/20 Season she sings Kostelnicka (Jenufa) and Klytämnesta (Elektra) for The Royal Opera.

Mattila studied singing at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and came to international attention when she won the 1983 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. She began her career specializing in Mozart roles and later sang major soprano roles in operas by Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, Puccini and Janácek, with her many engagements including Liza, Kát’a Kabanová, Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Leonore, Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Salome for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Tatyana (Eugene Onegin) for Teatro Real, Madrid, Chrysothemis for Salzburg Festival, Jenufa for Bavarian State Opera, Elsa for Paris Opéra and Emilia Marty (The Makropulos Affair) in Helsinki. Her current repertory includes Emilia Marty, Kostelnicka, Leocadia Begbick (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny), Foreign Princess (Rusalka), Sieglinde (Die Walküre) and Kabanicha (Kát’a Kabanová). In 2010 she created the title role in Saariaho’s monodrama Émilie, dedicated to her. In recent seasons she has made role debuts as Kundry (Parsifal) for the Turku Music Festival and as Madame de Croissy (Dialogues des Carmélites) for the Metropolitan Opera.

Mattila is an active concert singer and recitalist, performing with leading orchestras and accompanists at venues including Carnegie Hall and the Ravinia Festival, in repertory including Strauss’s Vier letzte Lieder, Schoenberg’s Erwartung, Sibelius’s Luonnatar and contemporary Finnish songs. Her many recordings include an acclaimed disc of Jenufa recorded at the Royal Opera House, CDs of arias and orchestral songs and many opera DVDs. Her awards include Musical America’s Musician of the Year, two Grammy Awards and a Royal Philharmonic Society Award. She is a Chevalier des arts et des letters.

Videos

News and features

Your Reaction: Ariadne auf Naxos 2015

11 October 2015
Your Reaction: <em>Ariadne auf Naxos </em> 2015

What did you think of Christof Loy's production of Strauss's playful fusion of tragic opera and romantic farce?

International Opera Awards 2015 finalists announced

27 March 2015
International Opera Awards 2015 finalists announced

A host of Royal Opera-affiliated artists have been shortlisted.

Your reaction: Ariadne auf Naxos

26 June 2014
Your reaction: Ariadne auf Naxos

What did you think of Christof Loy's production of Richard Strauss's tragi-comedic opera?

Photos