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Karita Mattila

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Hailed for her dynamic stage presence and lyrical soprano voice, Karita Mattila has triumphed in performances of the great operas and in recitals in all the great halls of the world from London to Paris, New York and Salzburg. Ranked by 22 opera critics in a BBC Magazine poll at number 15 among the top 20 sopranos of all time, she has captivated critics and audiences with her delivery of the works of Mozart, Wagner, Strauss, Verdi, Puccini and Janácek.

Born in Finland, she attended the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and then studied in London. In 1983, she won top prize in the first Cardiff Singer of the World competition and by 1985 she made her debut with the Royal Opera at Covent Garden singing Fiordiligi in Mozart's 'Così Fan Tutte'. She sang Schubert with the Vienna State Opera in 1988 and Mozart with the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1990. Other highlights included Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin' in Madrid in 1994 and Wagner's 'Lohengrin' and Verdi's 'Don Carlos' in Paris in 1996.

Critics lauded her vibrant performances in the 1990s as Chrysothemis in Strauss's 'Elektra' and Eva in Wagner's 'Die Meistersinger' in Salzburg, Elsa in Wagner's 'Lohengrin' in San Francisco, Elisabeth of Valois in Verdi's 'Don Carlos' and in the title role of Leos Janácek's 'Jenufa', which is one of the complete operas she has recorded. Others include 'Tosca', 'Die Meistersinger', 'Don Giovanni' and 'Salome'. Her lieder albums include several with the works of Strauss. She continues to perform and in 2017 in a review of her performance at Wigmore Hall, 'The Guardian' newspaper critic Martin Kettle described her as "a fabulous and fearlessly direct stage performer.. It's about the rich nuance of her vocal sound, which still ranges from the full-on operatic to the intimate, all delivered with a laser-sharp awareness of both text and context."