Intermusica Artists' Management



Intermusica represents Karita Mattila in Europe (excl. Finland) and Asia

Simon Goldstone

Associate Manager, Vocal & Opera:
Olivia Marshall

Karita Mattila


“Karita Mattila is an artist who confounds expectations… She has a voice that is most often described in terms reserved for varieties of light – radiant, luminous, incandescent, shining. The same adjectives apply to the lady herself, whose artistry and integrity literally seem to brighten whatever she sings.”
F. Paul Driscoll, Opera News, April 2012

Karita Mattila is one of today’s most exciting lyric dramatic sopranos. She is recognised as much for the beauty and versatility of her voice as for her extraordinary stage ability. A native of Finland, Mattila was trained at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where her teacher was Liisa Linko-Malmio, and subsequently she studied with Vera Rozsa for nearly 20 years. She sings at all the world’s major opera houses and festivals, and has performed with the world’s greatest conductors including Levine, Abbado, Davis, Dohnanyi, Haitink, Pappano, Rattle, Salonen and Sawallisch. Her operatic repertoire encompasses works by Beethoven, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner and Janáček.

Mattila’s innate sense of drama has led to remarkable collaborations with major stage directors, including Luc Bondy in his highly acclaimed Don Carlos, which she performed in Paris, London and at the Edinburgh Festival; Lev Dodin in his productions of Elektra for the Salzburg Easter Festival and Pique Dame and Salome at the 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. She is an influential artistic force in the development of new music, regularly collaborating with eminent contemporary composers in the debut performances of significant modern works. Recent performances in this genre include the world premiere of Emilie de Chatelet by Kaija Saariaho at the Opéra National de Lyon. She has won numerous awards throughout her distinguished career, including Musical America’s Musician of the Year (one of the most prestigious honours paid to classical artists in the USA) and the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (one of France’s highest cultural honours).

Mattila has many recordings to her credit on the Phillips, EMI, Sony, DG, and Ondine labels. Her 40th birthday concert, in front of nearly 12,000 people in Helsinki, was released on CD by Ondine. Other recordings include Strauss’s Vier letzte lieder with Claudio Abbado on the DG label; arias and scenes from the operas of Puccini, Verdi, Janáček, Tchaikovsky, Wagner and R. Strauss; German Romantic arias by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Weber with Sir Colin Davis; Grieg and Sibelius songs with Sakari Oramo (all on Erato/Warner); complete recordings of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg on Decca with the late Sir Georg Solti, which won a Grammy Award in 1998; Jenůfa on Erato/Warner with Bernard Haitink, which won a Grammy Award in 2004; and Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder and Shostakovich’s Symphony No.14 with Sir Simon Rattle on EMI.

Highlights of the 2013/14 season included two role debuts at the Royal Opera House (Marie Wozzeck and the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos); Erwartung in St Louis; Vier letzte lieder at the Carnegie Hall under Fabio Luisi; and the title role of Jenůfa for Finnish National Opera. Other recent roles include Emilia Marty The Makropoulos Case (Metropolitan Opera cond. Behlolávek); the title role of Jenůfa (Bayerische Staatsoper); Leonore Fidelio (Houston Grand Opera); the title role of Janáček’s Katya Kabanova (Lyric Opera Chicago); and Lisa Pique Dame (Metropolitan Opera).

Highlights this season include the title role of Jenůfa (Hamburgische Staatsoper cond. Mälkki), the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos for Paris Opera; and a role debut as Sieglinde Die Walküre for Houston Grand Opera.

Karita Mattila is represented by Intermusica.
November 2014 / 532 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.


'O Holy Night' ('Oi jouluyö')
Kalevi Kiviniemi (organ)


‘Over the Rainbow’ (The Wizard of Oz)
Tapiola Sinfonietta / cond. Pekka Saarijoki
Ilmo Ranta (piano)

Ondine ODE 848-2

‘Ich liebe dich’, WoO123
‘Neue Liebe, neues Leben’, Op. 75/2
‘Wonne der Wehmut’, Op. 83/1
Ilmo Ranta (piano)

Ondine ODE 848-2

‘Ich liebe dich’, WoO123
‘Neue Liebe, neues Leben’, Op. 75/2
‘Wonne der Wehmut’, Op. 83/1
Ilmo Ranta (piano)

Ondine ODE 897-2

‘Abscheulicher, wo eilst du hin’
‘Komm, Hoffnung, lass den letzten tern’ (Fidelio)
‘Ah! Perfido’, op. 65
Staatskepelle Dresden / cond. Sir Colin Davis

Erato 0927-42141-2

Symphony No. 9
Berlin Philharmoniker / cond. Claudio Abbado

Deutsche Grammophon 469 543-9

Symphony No. 9
Academy and Chorus of St Martin in the Fields / cond. Sir Neville Marriner

Philips 426 252-2

The Metropolitan Opera and Orchestra / cond. James Levine

Deutsche Grammophon 073 052-9

‘Somewhere’ (West Side Story)
Tapiola Sinfonietta / cond. Pekka Saarijoki

Ondine ODE 848-2

Symphony No. 3 ‘Kaddish’
Salle Olivier Messiaen, Paris / cond. Yukata Sado

Erato 3984-21669-2

Symphony in G Major
‘Meine Liebe ist grün’, Op. 63/5
‘Vergebliches ständchen’, Op. 84/4
‘Der Gang zum Liebchen’, Op. 48/1
‘Schwesterlein', WoO33
‘Von ewiger Liebe’, Op. 43/1

Crystal Edition 8970

Te Deum
Wiener Philharmoniker / cond. Bernard Haitink

Philips 422 342-2

Grosse Messe F-moll
Bayerischer Rundfunk / cond. Sir Colin Davis

Philips 422 358-2

Echos, Sanctus, Phasing
Netherlands Balletorkest & Theaterkoor

Donemus CV65

‘Baïlèro’, Chants D'Auvergne
Academy of St Martin in the Fields / cond. Sir Neville Marriner

Philips 420 155-2

‘Taas paiva kaunein on’ (‘Some Day My Prince Will Come’)
Tapiola Sinfonietta / cond. Pekka Saarijoki

Ondine ODE 848-2

‘Sylvian joululaulu’
Concertino for piano & chamber ensemble
Kalevi Kiviniemi (organ)


‘Rusalka Měsíčku Na Nebi Hlubokém’
Philharmonia Orchestra / cond. Sir John Pritchard

Philips 422 073-2

‘O Dieu! Que de bijoux!..Ah! Je ris de me voir’ (Faust)
Philharmonia Orchestra / cond. Sir John Pritchard

Philips 422 073-2

‘Solveigs sang’
‘Solveigs vuggesang’
‘Fra Monte Pincio’
‘En svane’
‘Det forste mode’
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / cond. Sakari Oramo

Warner Classics 573 80243-2

‘Jouluy, juhlay’
Kalevi Kiviniemi (organ)

Heiniö, Mikko

‘Vuelo de alambre’ (‘Barbed-wire Flight’)


‘Das Marienleben’

Finlandia 4509-99403-2
Hollander, Freidrich

‘Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt’
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / cond. Jukka-Pekka Saraste

Ondine ODE 968-2

Jenufa in Jenufo
Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, London / cond. Bernard Haitink

Erato 0927-45330-2

‘Bill’ (Show Boat)
Tapiola Sinfonietta / cond. Pekka Saarijoki

Ondine ODE 848-2

Ilmo Ranta (piano)

ODE 892-2 (international edition)

‘Taivahalla syttyi juuri’
Kalevi Kiviniemi (organ)

Kuula, Toivo

Ilmo Ranta (piano)

Ondine ODE 887-2

‘Tuijotin tulehen kauan’
‘Marjatan laulu’
‘Kesäyö kirkkomaalla’
‘Imandran laulu’
Ilmo Ranta (piano)

ODE 892-2 (international edition)

‘Tango D’amor’
Tapiola Sinfonietta / cond. Pekka Saarijoki

Ondine ODE 848-2
Lehar, Franz

Die lustige Witwe / Hanna Glawari

Erato 8573-85785-2
Lloyd Webber

‘Memory’ (Cats)
‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’ (Evita)
Tapiola Sinfonietta / cond. Pekka Saarijoki

Ondine ODE 848-2

‘Memory’ (Cats)

MTV-Musiikki MTVCD 016

‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ (My Fair Lady)
Tapiola Sinfonietta / cond. Pekka Saarijoki

Ondine ODE 848-2

‘Joulun kellot’
Kalevi Kiviniemi (organ)


‘Ich will nicht vergessen’ (Der Weg ins Freie)
‘Itke en lemmen tähden’ (Nur nicht aus Liebe weinen)
Tapiola Sinfonietta / cond. Pekka Saarijoki

Ondine ODE 848-2

‘Ich ging mit Lust’
‘Ablösung im Sommer'
‘Hans und Gretel’
Ilmo Ranta (piano)

Crystal Edition 8970
Melartin, Ekki
Mirjamin laulu I
Mirjamin laulu II

Ilmo Ranta (piano)
ODE 892-2 (international edition)
‘Enkellaulu kajahtaa’
Kalevi Kiviniemi (organ)



Symphony No. 2
London Symphony Orchestra / cond. Claudio Abbado


Deutsche Grammophon 423 143-2

‘Infelice!’ op. 94
Staatskapelle Dresden / cond. Sir Colin Davis


Erato 0927-42141-2
Merikanto, Oskar
‘Kullan murunen’
‘Pai, pai paitaressu’
‘Soi vienosti murheeni soitto’
‘Ma elän!’
‘Kevatlinnuille etelassa’
‘Laula, tyttö’
‘Kun paiva paistaa’
Ilmo Ranta (piano)


ODE 892-2 (international edition)
‘Martern aller Arten’ (Die Entfahrung aus dem Serail)
‘Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben’ (Zaide)
‘In quali eccessi - tradi quell'alma rata’ (Don Giovanni)
‘Ach, ich fahls’ (Die Zauberflaute)
Philharmonia Orchestra / cond. Sir John Pritchard


Philips 422 073-2

Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte
Academy of St Martin in the Fields / cond. Sir Neville Marriner


Philips 422 381-2

‘Martern aller Arten’ (Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail)
‘Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben’ (Zaide)
‘In quali eccessi - Mi tradi quell'alma grata’ (Don Giovanni)
‘Ach, ich fahls’ (Die Zauberflaute)
‘Ei parte senti’ (Cosi fan tutte)


Philips 438 828-2

Grabmusik, K. 42: ‘Betracht dies Herz und frage mich’
Vesperae solennes de confessore in C, K. 339
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala



Deutsche Grammofon 073 4442


Unitel Classica XY-728 (Chinese issue)

Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni
Academy of St Martin in the Fields / cond. Sir Neville Marriner


Philips 432 129-2

La Contessa di Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro
Teatro Verdi, Firenze / cond. Zubin Mehta


Sony S3K 53286

Berliner Philharmoniker / cond. Claudio Abbado


Deutsche Grammofon 463 181-2
‘Waltz of My Heart’ (The Dancing Years)
Tapiola Sinfonietta / cond. Pekka Saarijoki
Ondine ODE 848-2
‘Ja Neitsyt pikku Poijuttansa’
Kalevi Kiviniemi (organ)
Panula, Jorma
Anniina in Jokiooppera
Tapio Parkinnen / cond. Jorma Panula
Jorma Panulan JPSLP 001-2
‘Wunderbar’ (Kiss Me Kate)
Pekka Saarijoki
Ondine ODE 848-2
Manon Lescaut
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet
EMI Classics
‘An die Hoffnung’, Op. 124


Sony SK 53975
‘Will You Remember’ (Maytime)
Tapiola Sinfonietta / cond. Pekka Saarijoki
Ondine ODE 848-2
‘ls s'éloignent enfin...Sombre forêt’ (Guillaume Tell)
Philharmonia Orchestra / cond. Sir John Pritchard


Philips 422 073-2
‘Nelja laulua unesta’ (‘Four Dream Songs’)


Finlandia 4509-99403-2
Tove in Gurrelieder
Berliner Philharmoniker / cond. Simon Rattle


EMI 7243 5 57303 2 9
‘Die Forelle’, D550
‘Heidenroslein’, D257
‘Gretchen am Spinnrade’, D118
‘Auf dem Wasser zu singen’, D774
‘An die Musik’, D547
‘Seligkeit’, D433
Ilmo Ranta (piano)


Crystal Edition 8970
‘Ave Maria’
Kauneimpia Joululauluja / Pertti Pekkanen


Ondine ODE 1009-2
Messe Es-dur D950
Wiener Philharmoniker / cond. Claudio Abbado


Deutsche Grammophone 423 088-2
Theater an der Wien / cond. Claudio Abbado


Deutsche Grammophone 427 341-2
‘Widmung’, Op. 25/1
‘Die Lotosblume’, Op. 25/7
‘Der Nussbaum’, Op. 25/3
‘Du bist wie eine Blume’, Op. 25/24


Crystal Edition 8970
Gretchen, Una Poenitentium in Scenes from Goethe’s Faust
Berlin Philharmoniker / cond. Claudio Abbado


Sony S2K 66308
Peri in Das Paradies und die Peri
Czech Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra / cond. Gerd Albrecht


Supraphon 110086-2
Symphony No. 14
Berlin Philharmoniker / cond. Simon Rattle


EMI 0936-3580772
‘En etsi valtaa loistoa’
‘Jo joutuu ilta’
‘En etsi valtaa loistoa’
‘On hanget korkeat nietokset’
Kalevi Kiviniemi (organ)


Song Cycle ‘Flower Songs’, Op. 88
Ilmo Ranta (piano)


Ondine ODE 856-2
Kullervo, Op.7
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra / cond. Neeme Jarvi


‘S’en har jag eg fragat mera’
‘Varen flyktar hastigt’
‘Luonnotar’ (Symphonic poem for soprano & orchestra)
‘Prayer of the Maiden’
‘Den judiska flickans sang’
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / cond. Sakari Oramo


Warner Classics 573 80243-2

The Metropolitan Opera, Chorus and Ballet

Sony Classics B004ECFWAI

‘Beim Schlafengehen’


‘Beim Schlafengehen’
The Royal Ballet/ The Royal Opera/ Orchestra of the Royal Opera House


‘Watch Duet’ (‘Dieser Anstand, So Manierlich’)
Metropolitan Opera House, New York

Deutsche Grammophone 073 231-9

‘Drei Hymnen’, Op. 71
Berliner Philharmoniker / cond. Claudio Abbado

Sony SK 53975

‘Zueignung’, Op. 10
‘Muttertanndelei’, Op. 43
‘Meinem Kinde’, Op. 37
‘Heiligen drei konige, Op. 56
‘Frahlingsfeier’, Op. 56
London Symphony Orchestra / cond. Michael Tilson Thomas

Sony SK 48242

‘Uzh polnoch blizitsa’
‘Zachem zhe eti sliozi?’
(Lisa / The Queen of Spades)
London Philharmonic Orchestra / cond. Yutaka Sado

Erato 8573-85785-2

Maria Boccanegra (Amelia) in Simon Boccanegra
Teatro Communale, Firenze


Maria Boccanegra (Amelia) in Simon Boccanegra
Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, Argentina

NVC Arts 0630163182

Elisabeth de Valois in Don Carlos
Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris / cond. Antonio Pappano

NVC Arts 0630163182
Villa Lobos

Aria (Cantilena) from Bachianas Brasileiras
Academy of St Martin in the Fields / cond. Sir Neville Marriner

Philips 420 155-2
Voc Vecsey

‘Aavistatkohan’ (Denkst du nie daran)
Tapiola Sinfonietta / cond. Pekka Snvijoki

Ondine ODE 848-2
Von Weber

‘Wie nahte mir der Schlummer’ (Der Freischautz)
Philharmonia Orchestra / cond. Sir John Pritchard

Philips 422 073-2 Sampo

Agathe in Der Freischautz
Staatskapelle Dresden / cond. Sir Colin Davis

Philips 426 319-2

‘Wie nahte mir der Schlummer’
‘Leise, leise, fromme Weise’ (Der Freischautz)
‘Und ob die Wolke sie verhalle’ (Der Freischautz)
‘Ocean! thou mighty monster’ (Oberon)
‘Schirmende Engelschar’ (Euryanthe)
‘So bin ich nun verlassen’ (Euryanthe)
Staatskepelle Dresden / cond. Sir Colin Davis

Erato 0927-42141-2

Eva in Die Meistersinger
Metropolitan Opera House, New York

Deutsche Grammophon 00440 073 0949

‘Einsam in traben Tagen’
‘Euch Laften, die mein Klagen’ (Elsa / Lohengrin)
London Philharmonic Orchestra / cond. Yutaka Sado

Erato 8573-85785-2
Folk songs

‘Minun kultani kaunis on’
'Hilu, hilu’
‘Läksin Minä Kesäyönä’
‘Tule, tule kultani’

ODE 892-2 (international edition)

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“What we see is a cool, leggy blonde who has all the cards in her hand and knows it. And what we hear is a radiant filter of echt-Straussian soprano singing, impeccably musical and capable of ecstatic blossom."
Andrew Clark, Financial Times

“Karita Mattila is an artist who confounds expectations… She has a voice that is most often described in terms reserved for varieties of light – radiant, luminous, incandescent, shining. The same adjectives apply to the lady herself, whose artistry and integrity literally seem to brighten whatever she sings.”
F. Paul Driscoll, Opera News, April 2012

Erwartung / Helsinki Festival
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / cond. Susanna Malkki

“Mattila’s performance could be described as hysterically intense… Mattila was clearly in full command of this fiendishly difficult music.”
Derek Ho, ResMusica, September 2014

Title role Ariadne auf Naxos / Royal Opera House
Cond. Sir Antonio Pappano / dir. Christof Loy
"Her comic timing is acute… hers is still a magnificent instrument. For sheer magnetism and chutzpah, she was pretty sensational and earned roars of approval at the curtain call."
Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, June 2014

"Karita Mattila adds the dual role of the Prima Donna and Ariadne to her repertoire. She proves finely suited to both, sending herself up something rotten in the broadly comic Prologue, before going on to sing with power and imagination as the deserted Ariadne in the opera proper."
George Hall, The Stage, June 2014

“Karita Mattila has waited a long time before taking on the Prima Donna, and this first attempt is an unbridled, ultimately touching assumption.”
Erica Jeal, Guardian, June 2014

“Karita Mattila brought Wagnerian breadth to Ariadne. One could hear echoes of Birgit Nilsson in her dramatic singing, and even in the haunted tone of her voice as she awoke; this could have been Brünnhilde being stirred from sleep on the mountain top. Mattila succeeded in representing Ariadne’s grief-stricken madness because of her single-minded application to the intensity of the character’s feelings, whether lamenting her lost life with Theseus or welcoming new romantic ardour with Bacchus.”
Curtis Rogers, Classical Source, June 2014

“The stage was dominated throughout by the larger-than-life presence of Karita Mattila, singing the title role for the first time. In the Prologue she does a nice line in over-the-top comedy as the Prima Donna (we love the pink, fluffy slippers) and, as Ariadne, comes across nothing less than a monstre sacrée of the ancient art-form…She throws herself uninhibitedly into the role, pumping out volume, intensity, high-romantic fervour… Mattila has star quality (and voice) to spare.”
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, June 2014

“In de Proloog acteert ze moeiteloos de rol van verontwaardigde diva”

“In the Prologue, she effortlessly acts the role of the indignant diva”
Yourai Mol, Place de l’Opera, June 2014

“The applause that greeted Finnish soprano Karita Mattila at the end of director Christof Loy’s revived staging of Ariadne auf Naxos was the longest and loudest acclaim for one singer that I have heard for some time. There was every reason for praise, as the part of Ariadne requires a strenuously soaring final duet with her newfound love, Bacchus. Richard Strauss loved the soprano voice, for which he wrote his most demanding work, and Mattila never flagged for a moment.”
Clare Colvin, Daily Express, June 2014

“The final scene of Strauss's "opera within an opera" cuts to the chase with a love duet of stupendous proportions. It proved a triumph for Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, making her role debut as Ariadne...Mattila positively glowed as the distraught heroine, revived by sudden, intense love, her voice radiant, her emotion deep.”
Stephen Pritchard, Guardian, June 2014

“This time round Karita Mattila incarnates the Prima Donna/Ariadne, and she prowls (as she must) through the Prologue more as a presence than a voice… Mattila goes on to make something marvellous out of Ariadne’s progressive emotional liberation, finding Wagnerian power in her climactic encounter with Roberto Sacca’s sweetly-sung Bacchus.”
Michael Church, Independent, June 2014

“In the title role, and as the tantrum-prone Prima Donna in the Prologue, Finnish soprano Karita Mattila makes an auspicious role debut. Tempestuous, temperamental and with a delicious eye for sly comedy she dominates the proceedings in the first half with a wonderful air of indignation, and once on Ariadne tears up the stage with formidable hauteur. Her singing is refulgent, poised and full-blooded... She exudes star-quality from every pore, which isn't something you can say about most sopranos these days.”
Keith McDonnell, What’s on Stage, June 2014

“Mattila is mesmerising to watch – she conceives Ariadne, controversially, as a basket case, a near-relation to Strauss’s Salome, Elektra, even Clytemnestra, which I’d love to see her sing eventually…I wouldn’t have missed her for the world…she’s a hoot as the prologue’s über-prima donna, too.”
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, July 2014

“The Finish soprano Karita Mattila turns out a great (debut) performance in the role of Ariadne. If we consider the whole work, that is, Prologue and opera together, Mattila is fully credible as the Prima Donna of the Prologue who later performs her operatic role... Mattila’s performance radiates Wagneran strength which she sustains with vocal power and dramatic intensity throughout. On conclusion of the first night, she received by far the biggest cheers among all those taking curtain calls; the audience evidently greatly appreciated Mattila’s star performance”
Agnes Kory, Musical Criticism, July 2014

“Making her role debut in the double part of the Prima Donna and Ariadne, Karita Mattila sings with radiant tone and glowing power, and is mesmerising in the way she blurs art and life. Playing herself as the diva, complete with fluffy pink slippers, she finds deep vulnerability as the abandoned Ariadne and gives an uninhibited performance recalling several Strauss heroines at once.”
John Allison, Daily Telegraph, July 2014

“She [Mattila] plays the affronted prima donna to perfection in the Prologue, then uncorks a thrilling stream of impassioned tone, especially in her duet with Roberto Sacca”
Richard Morrison, Times, June 2014

Four Last Songs / Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Carnegie Hall
Cond. Fabio Luisi

“In any case, the highlight of the evening was Strauss’s Four Last Songs, sung by the great soprano Karita Mattila. Her exquisite, sometimes harrowing dramatic delivery and mastery of pitch and dynamics remain firmly in play, and she brought the house down.”
James R. Oestreich, New York Times, April 2014

Helsinki Recital with Martin Katz / Finnish National Opera [CD: Ondine]
With her powerful voice and dramatic intensity, Finnish soprano Karita Mattila is undoubtedly one of the greatest opera singers of the moment.”
Classic FM, May 2014

Schoenberg Erwartung / St Louis Symphony
Cond. David Robertson

“This was Mattila’s first time out with the fiendishly difficult score, and she was stunning in it. She has the physical presence, the big steely voice and the dramatic ability to conquer in this role.”
Sarah Bryan Miller, STL Today, March 2014

“This is demanding music, both for the audience and the soloist. Schoenberg's didactic, theme-free score is no easier on the ears now than it was over a century ago and the challenges it presents to the singer are substantial. She has to hold her own against a huge orchestra and convincingly portray a wide range of disordered emotions without tipping over into absurdity. It requires a performer with a powerful voice and exceptional acting skills.

Karita Mattila clearly has both. She gave us a jaw droppingly intense performance Friday night. A striking, statuesque figure in a slinky black gown and gray shawl, Ms. Mattila commanded attention from the moment she walked on stage during the final pages of the "Tristan" prelude and held it all the way through the deranged twists and turns of 'Erwartung.'”
Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX, March 2014

Marie Wozzeck / Royal Opera House
“Karita Mattila’s Marie [was] blowsy and maternal but glamorous with it...Mattila, in her role debut, sang it beautifully, her soprano supple in the leaps, always maintaining a soft edge and a silky gleam.”
Erica Jeal, Opera magazine, January 2014

“Mattila also has an effortless ability to waft in and out of the notated Sprechstimme seamlessly, so that the bible-reading scene was as powerful as I ever remember it theatrically, yet far better sung in those passages that call for it. Dressed in a tragically optimistic floral print cheap frock, her own beautiful hair hidden beneath a dark brown wig with a scragged-up topknot, she can rarely if ever have looked less prepossessing or glamorous on the opera stage. Equally, she has never appeared to greater effect, at least not here, and it is scarcely believable that this is her role debut, so assured an assumption is it.”
Opera Britannia, November 2013

"To sing Marie, ill-fated mother of Wozzeck's child, the Royal Opera has brought no less a figure than Karita Mattila back to Covent Garden. Shrouded in dowdiness, the great Finnish soprano projects all her character's maternal warmth, carnal desire and primal fear in a mesmerising performance. She sings the tenderest of lullabies to her child (Sebastian Wright), succumbs with abandon to Entrik Wottrich's priapic Drum-Major and cowers in terrified resignation as Wozzeck brings about her end."
What’s on Stage, November 2013

“The performers are riveting.... particularly Karita Mattila’s Marie — as much a victim of poverty and bullying as Wozzeck. When in despair she begs God to forgive her as Mary Magdalene was forgiven, it’s a rare moment of old-fashioned poignancy in a harsh, depersonalised world.”
Richard Morrison, Times, November 2013

Recital / El Mayor
“…Then came the miracle in the third and last song, Flickan kom (Wine Girl), without doubt the most intense and revealing of the night. Mattila sang with sincerity and abandon… a few minutes later she tried to explain, but could not put into words what had happened in music. I exaggerate a little, I know, but Sibelius songs, especially the third, were the very essence of the night and everything else seemed to be erased.

Karita Mattila gave the best of herself: she sang with commitment, with sincerity, and with the great voice that nature endowed, but above all without reservations, as great artists do.”
El Nuevo Siglo, August 2013

Recital / Turku Music Festival
“[Mattila] makes a juicy, fast-flowing brilliant sound with a beautiful vocal line, and greater subtlety when interpreting Lied texts.

The recital left a wondrous presence. Mattila created an atmosphere that was unpretentious and warm.”
Turun Sanomat, July 2013

Karita Mattila in recital at Châtelet / Belle Revanche
“Troubling, feminine and sensual Karita Mattila shows her best in a Phydilé first whispered, and then literally shaken by the sea breeze.

Five songs by Austrian Josef Marx (1882-1964) finally come to surprise the audience, under the spell of this powerful and proud voice, more serious now, affirming that the German text adds so much value. As a tribute to the public and to the Paris that she loves, the soprano returns with Strauss’ Zueignung (as in Pleyel last year) and a very amusing Finnish tango…”
Concert Classic, June 2013

Toulouse Recital / Théâtre du Capitole
“Karita Mattila is simply one of the most beautiful lyric-spinto sopranos of our time… The voice is beautiful, round, rich and meets all the inflections and nuances of the musician… How nice to hear this beloved voice, with a perfectly controlled vibrato, exquisite shades ranging from piano to fortissimo and a colour palette of staggering wealth. Karita Mattila returns, she has promised us: the loving public of Toulouse is already waiting.”
Classique News, May 2013

Title role in Janáček Jenůfa / Bayerische Staatsoper
cond. Kirill Petrenko / dir. Barbara Frey

“The excellent Karita Mattila… the audience were collectively stunned at the end of the opera. The protagonist Karita Mattila, a specialist in Slavic opera work, sang the role with intensity, which she sustained throughout. Her interpretation was realistic and touching… her voice is brilliant, unbreakable and unbeatable.”
Vladimir Frantar,, May 2013

Wigmore Hall Recital / Songs by Poulenc, Debussy, Duparc, Sallinen & Marx
“Mattila has been a big supporter of living Finnish composers, especially Kaija Saariaho, and she was no less persuasive a champion here of Aulis Sallinen. His cycle of Four Dream Songs (Neljä laulua unesta) brought fearless singing of high intensity. And in a selection of songs by Marx, Mattila’s soaring romantic soprano and Matvejeff’s virtuoso accompaniments combined in performances of near-Wagnerian lushness and grandeur.

She exited as only Mattila could, with a blazing tango encore, like the Eva Perón of the recital hall, and every bit as compelling.”
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, April 2013

“Finnish soprano Karita Mattila gives a radiant sensitivity to the role of Jenufa and the contours of the female soul, distraught and tormented through both her vocal performance and acting. Her impressive stage presence transports us into the action drawing the audience in, showing how she deeply understands her character.”
Luclebelge,, March 2013

Title role in Janáček Jenůfa / Bayerische Staatsoper
cond. Kirill Petrenko / dir. Barbara Frey

“Finnish soprano Karita Mattila gives a radiant sensitivity to the role of Jenufa and the contours of the female soul, distraught and tormented through both her vocal performance and acting. Her impressive stage presence transports us into the action drawing the audience in, showing how she deeply understands her character.”
Luclebelge,, March 2013

Opening of The Rest is Noise at Southbank Centre
Final Scene from Strauss Elektra / London Philharmonic Orchestra / cond. Vladimir Jurowski

“An unforgettable performance – by turns furious, exhausted, hysterical, and sweetly lyrical - of the aria which Salome sings to her beloved’s severed head. Unstaged this may have been, but no staged performance could have been more electrifying.”
Michael Church, Independent, January 2013

“Mattila lived up to such star billing. The last scene of Salome is all about mental extremes, as the crazed princess swings from vengeful fury to terror to dreaminess to necrophiliac lust. The piece still shocks, and Mattila has a flexibility of voice and an understanding of the music which lets her reach every one of those extremes, bringing her character to life in front of your eyes. She brought the house down.”
David Karlin, Bach Track, January 2013

“In a way it was a pity to reveal our Salome – the amazing Karita Mattila – so prematurely in the evening but the two early songs she offered in a group of four – Verführung (“Seduction”) and Gesang der Apollopriesterin (“Song of Apollo’s priestess”) – were real rarities with the latter offering the line “We bring the fruit in a silver salver” as a chilling portent of the lustful and deranged princess to come. Mattila sings with all of herself her shining open sound and the sheer physicality of her singing sweeps pretty much all before it.”

“Enter again Mattila, tellingly minus her shawl, to bare all, emotionally speaking, in the shocking finale scene. There are various ways to go in the singing and acting of this infamous scena but understatement cannot be one of them. Mattila went for broke, the fullest monty, the total disintegration of an abused young woman’s humanity subsumed as it is here by lust. She was fearless, taking the vocal line to the very limits of her possibilities and beyond. She slid grotesquely through the myriad chromatics living dangerously on the flat side of pitch and puffing out her chest notes at any mention of “death”. It wasn’t pretty but it was hair-raising and it – along with the rest of the concert – set the bar extraordinarily high for the year ahead.”
Edward Seckerson, Edward Seckerson, January 2013

“…few singers have her ability to immerse themselves so totally in their material, and the visceral quality of her performance was overwhelming. She finished it on her knees as the audience, quite rightly, rose to its feet.”
Tim Ashley, Guardian, January 2013

“This was what the audience had been waiting for, and as the 50-something-going-on-17 demonic, depraved, obsessed teenager, Karita Mattila did not disappoint…she was a terrifying display of preening, slobbering, petulant heat, any vocal strain offset by the extraordinary physicality of her performance – you really couldn’t take your eyes off her. Crushed and crouched on the floor, Strauss’s and Oscar Wilde’s heroine had tasted the bitterness of forbidden love, and the audience went mad for her. How very satisfying.”
Peter Reed, Classical Source, January 2013

“The concert, the opening of the year-long Festival inspired by Alex Ross’ book The Rest is Noise, climaxed in an astonishing reading by Mattila of the Final Scene from Salome; yet the works moving towards this climax were each, in their own way, thrilling.”

“Mattila’s low register sounded positively mezzo-ish. Her sound was beautifully open, her low register again effective in Gesang der Apollopriesterin (‘Song of Apollo’s priestess’).”

“Everything about Mattila became Salome, her bodily movements deranged and (seemingly) uncontrolled. She lived every word, projecting Salome’s obsessive nature to perfection. Jurowski ensured that the orchestra remained a vital part of this monodrama, but all eyes and ears were surely on Mattila. As far as Salome is concerned, she appears to have everything. The final orchestral stabbing chords finished her off, each flurry finding her moving closer to the floor. Remarkable, visceral stuff.”
Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, January 2013

“Mattila was on home turf in the surging ‘Verführung’ and the dramatic ‘Gesang der Apollopriesterin’ (Song of Apollo’s Priestess), singing and acting them with her characteristic power, warmth and rapport.”
Peter Reed, Classical Source, January 2013

“Salome was sung by Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, introduced by Thomas Hampson as "one of the great Salomes of this or any age". Mattila lived up to such star billing. The last scene of Salome is all about mental extremes, as the crazed princess swings from vengeful fury to terror to dreaminess to necrophiliac lust. The piece still shocks, and Mattila has a flexibility of voice and an understanding of the music which lets her reach every one of those extremes, bringing her character to life in front of your eyes. She brought the house down.”

“Whether you view Strauss as the end of a glorious era, the start of an exciting one or both, it made fascinating listening, and it's a privilege to have heard Mattila performing this role.”
David Karlin, Bach Track, January 2013

“Wow! Mattila looked stunning and sounded stunning, too… Mattila doesn’t merely vocalise the part: she lives it with every fibre of her body, capturing the various facets of the character’s weird admixture of lubricious sensuality and wide-eyed innocence. Sprechstimme (speech-song) is used to give some passages an Expressionistic edge and the effect is to suggest that Salome is not so much sexually obsessed as clinically insane. But there is nothing emptily vulgar or wantonly extreme about the interpretation; it’s too raw, too intense, too unashamed for that. Is it too late for us to hear Mattila perform the entire role in the opera house?”
Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, January 2013

Recital / St Paul’s Ordway Centre
“An opera singer with star power, a female lead who steals scenes and makes arias her own … Karita Mattila is a diva in the best sense of the word.

While Mattila was in excellent voice from the start of the seven songs by Alban Berg that launched the recital - her tone clear, weighty and strong throughout its ample range - her characterizations grew more vivid, the paeans to love became more urgent, the songs of sleep and dreams hypnotic.

The concert will leave no memory more indelible than a collection of songs by Richard Strauss that gradually grew more intense and ultimately explosive. The closing tandem of "Allerseelen" ("All Souls") and "Fruhlingsfeier" ("Spring Festival") was spellbinding, each conveying loss in decidedly different ways, one wistful, the other wailing with anguish.

Seldom will you experience a singer pouring herself into a performance like this. It seemed to leave Mattila drained and the audience astounded”.
Rob Hubbard, St Paul Pioneer Press, October 2012

Janáček The Makropulos Case
Finnish National Opera / dir. Olivier Tambosi

“Mattila has an irresistible, vibrant, physical presence. With her incredible body language and passion she builds a dramatic arc from cool glamour at the beginning, through cynical despair and occasional fragility in the second act, to boredom and resigned dejection at the end. As a whole, it was utterly captivating.”
Jan Granberg,, September 2012

Recital with Martin Katz / Savonlinna
“In Karita Mattila, you find combined the unusual symbiosis of a hearty girl next door, a world-class diva, a consummate artist answering only to music and an entertainer who knows how to entice her audience... She explored and shared the hidden meanings of the songs with her listeners.”
Riitta-Leena Lempinen-Vesa, Itä-Savo, July 2012

Emilia Marty The Makropulos Case / Metropolitan Opera
Cond: Jirí Behlolávek

“The Finnish soprano Karita Mattila brings extraordinary intensity to her operatic roles. But the emotions don't stop at the footlights.”
Wall Street Journal, April 2012

“…the great Karita Mattila sings her dramatically, with vulnerability forming cracks in the steely persona. In the end, in a gorgeous final aria, she learns that it's death that gives our lives value, and she poignantly chooses the finality of the grave”
Henry Stewart, L Magazine, May 2012

“Mattila may be one of the few dramatic sopranos today who can do justice to both the blasé femme fatale of the first two acts and to the emotional vulnerability of her character’s final scene. Her voice can be cool and aloof or bitingly sarcastic, as when she taunts the love-struck Prus in Act II. When, in the end, she chooses death and humanity over eternal, impersonal, youth, her voice becomes warm and vibrant, even a touch smoky, as if to allow her true age to catch up with her. She looked the part, too, in Dona Granata’s costumes, including a softly tailored blue power suit revealing just the right amount of satin and lace underneath”
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The Classical Review, May 2012

“Ms. Mattila was electrifying before she had sung a note. The lighting captured the luster of her blond hair, pale blue dress and knowing smile. This is what you call charisma…. her singing was commanding: cool and cagey one moment, intense and chilling the next... Ms. Mattila’s singing was a spellbinding mix of blazing fervor and ethereal beauty.”
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, April 2012

“Centuries of life have distilled Emilia’s glamour into an almost supernatural force, and nobody in opera today better embodies this sort of allure than Karita Mattila, a supernova of star quality….Her lustrous soprano cut like a blade through the frenetic music depicting Emilia’s fury at those standing in her way. Later, when the diva reflects on the emptiness of her existence, Mattila’s voice throbbed with world-weary pain”.
James Jordan, The New York Post, April 2012

“Statuesque and hyper-blonde, she modelled modest costumes unlike the flamboyant gowns of her predecessors. She stalked the stage with cheerful grandiosity, exuded sexy excess and swaggered ferociously. She sang the role with silken purity masking extrovert thrust... she exerted magnetism at every tasteless turn... she earned her ovations.”
Martin Bernheimer, Opera, July 2012

“Karita Mattila gave a performance for the ages… triumphed as yet another Janacek heroine…She deftly manoeuvred the leaping notes of Janacek's 1926 score, showing off gleaming high notes alongside a middle register that rode over the color-filled orchestration... She won a huge ovation from the audience and seemed a bit overwhelmed.”
Ronald Blum, US Daily, April 2012

“... she has always been great in Janáček, and Makropulos finds her in her element both vocally and theatrically. She sounds great, and sings Janáček’s tricky rhythms with a spontaneity that suggests they are just being written... It is unquestionably her show.”
Likely Impossibilities, April 2012

Recital at Salle Pleyel
“… a wonderful foray into the music of Debussy, where Mattila’s sensitivity, her unconventional timbre and her feminine vocal line blossomed in Baudelaire’s poems (Jet d’eau and Recueillement)… She finished her musical and literary journey with Strauss, giving an ecstatic and ethereal performance of Wiegenlied, a grippingly melancholy Allerseelen, and a staggering Frühlingsfeier.

She sang with touchingly clear high notes, great personal presence, and highly expressive communication…The second half opened with three songs by Debussy, performed with perfect style, skilled breath control and great attentiveness to the texts. (…) And to close such a rich programme, the Finnish soprano returned to repertoire in which she is most at ease: four songs by Strauss, most notably a whispered Wiegenlied, without excessive swooning, but with exemplary legato and breath control.

And to finish in full voice, like a Tosca or a Salomé, Karita Mattila gave the dumbfounded audience the shivers with her powerful and sensual invocations of “Adonis! Adonis!” from Frühlingsfeier.

(…) the intense radiance of an artist who is both beautiful to look at and enthralling to listen to.”, March 2012

Recital at Carnegie Hall
“Aulis Sallinen’s moody Four Dream songs might have been written for her, so well did they suit her voice; her dusky sound complemented the sharp Finnish language, and her rich chest voice amplified the eerie atmosphere of the haunting sketches … [she has] an extraordinary instrument as well as artistry and personality to burn.”
Susan Brode, American Record Guide, March/April 2012

Quatre Instants / St Louis Symphony
cond. David Robertson
“Karita Mattila, the soprano for whom Ms. Saariaho wrote the work, wove her burnished, flexible tone around the texts and was particularly compelling in the cycle’s two central songs, “Douleur” (“Torment”), which demands a balance of passion and self-directed anger, and “Parfum de l’Instant,” a blend of wistfulness and contentment.”
Allan Koznin, The New York Times, March 2012

“Ms Mattila was regal, majestic, in her black jewelled gown and black scarf. Her voice was powerful enough to fit the majesty, but soon went onto fierce declarations, mighty leaps, a voluminous cry when singing 'Le remords me brûle!'"
Harry Rolnick, Concerto Net, March 2012

“It was written for the tall, slim and sexy Mattila and her big, steely voice, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else performing it; the stage persona and Mattila’s expressive, charismatic physical side are as much a part of the performance as the vocalism and delivery. Even her dress -- a slim black creation with diagonal lines of sequins – and shawl were a part of the performance: the soprano started chastely covered and then gradually revealed more as the music did, giving the shawl a workout.”
Sarah Bryan Miller, STL Today, March 2012

Title Role and Leonore in Beethoven Fidelio
Houston Grand Opera / cond. Michael Hofstetter / dir. Jürgen Flimm

“The world-renowned Finnish soprano Karita Mattila plays both the title role and Leonore. While the introductory scene between soprano Britanny Wheeler as Marzelline and her spurned lover Jaquino, performed by Norman Reinhardt, was captivating, the clear, powerful voice of Kartia Mattila, the 1983 Singer of the World, was earth-shattering. She is recognized as one of the best sopranos of the modern era for obvious reasons. When the two sopranos harmonize in Act 1, it is a true thing of beauty.Together, O'Neill and Mattila evoke such an emotionally stirring performance that I completely ignored the English subtitles above the stage.”
Aaren Pastor, The Rice Thresher, November 2011

Alban Berg Seven Early Songs / Edinburgh Festival / Usher Hall
accomp. Malcolm Martineau

“Malcolm Martineau was as superlative a piano accompanist as ever, but there was no doubting who stood centre-stage for this recital. In persona as much as in voice, Finnish soprano Karita Mattila declares herself the grande dame of the concert platform. She had the audience thoroughly in the palm of her hand.

Mattila's voice has a seductive, mellow maturity to it, all round edges, velvet undertones and ultra creamy legato. It has the earthy warmth of a mezzo but an upper register that still soars. Most striking was her ability to shape endlessly long lines: the breath control was stunning.

There were glimpses of the operatic acting Mattila – in the drunken lover in Brahms's Vergebliches Ständchen, and the cutesy pout in Sibelius's Spring Passes Swiftly. In Strauss's Frühlingsfeier, with its elemental cries to Adonis, she unleashed the fearsome energy that makes her performances of Elektra and Salome so powerful.

At the end, she dropped to the floor in grandiose exhaustion, accidentally knocking a large jewel off her ring in the process. She stooped gracefully to pick it up, then popped it down her cleavage with a wink. A move only the surest of divas could get away with.”
Kate Molleson, Guardian, September 2011

“AS SHE LAUNCHED straight into Seven Early Songs by Alban Berg on Thursday evening, it was immediately evident there was no messing with Karita Mattila. ...

Mattila’s voice is huge. Berg’s little nightingale could have been an eagle spreading its wings as the immense power of her voice opened up to fill the hall. Nothing is forced though. Mattila is totally in control, with sustained, rounded tones and deep velvet low notes that especially suited the darker setting of Brahms’ Eternal Love.

And she can sing softly too. The Lullaby ... was beautifully smooth, even maternal, in her sensitive version. The fun and games of Vergebliches Ständchen showed yet another, humorous, side to her character...."
Carol Main, Edinburgh Festivals, September 2011

Lisa in Tchaikovsky Queen of Spades
Metropolitan Opera / dir. Elijah Moshinsky / cond. Andris Nelsons

“...thrilling fortissimos in her duets with Gherman... Mattila’s was a consummate negotiation between different tonal densities and textures... She was vulnerable without seeming fragile—in the scenes of public life, regal enough to be almost a younger version of the Countess herself. Mattila has a taste not so much for excess as for strategic outrageousness. She fell to her knees confessing to herself the illicit passion she harbors for Gherman, then touched her head practically back to the floor in a paroxysm of near-orgasmic surrender. She does these things so persuasively that critical judgment is all but suspended; She knows when and how often to insert this kind of acting statement.”
Joel Lobenthal, CityArts, March 2011


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  • Karita Mattila sings Come in quest'ora bruna from Simon Boccanegra, conducted by Claudio Abbado. (footage courtesy of YouTube)