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Born in Somero, Finland, Karita Mattila studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with Liisa Linko-Malmio and, starting in 1984, continued vocal studies with Vera Rozsa. She began her career as a lyrical soprano but has long since broadened her repertoire to include young dramatic soprano roles. She made her operatic debut in 1986 as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She has appeared on all the leading opera stages around the world, performing a repertoire that encompasses the great soprano parts by Mozart, Richard Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, and Janáček. Along with her vocal qualities, Karita Mattila is acclaimed for her extraordinary stage presence, which she has developed especially through collaboration with such directors as Luc Bondy (Verdi’s Don Carlo in Paris, London, and Edinburgh), Lev Dodin (Elektra in Salzburg as well as Pique Dame and Salome at the Opéra Bastille in Paris), Peter Stein (Simon Boccanegra in Salzburg and Don Giovanni in Chicago), and Jürgen Flimm (Fidelio at the Metropolitan Opera). In the 2009-10 season, she performed as Tosca at the Met and in Munich and Katya Kabanova in Chicago and also appeared in the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Emilie de Châtelet in Lyon. Karita Mattila has been honored with numerous prizes for her operatic portrayals: Her interpretations of Jenufa and of Lisa in Pique Dame earned her nominations for the Laurence Olivier Award, while her recordings of Die Meistersinger as well as of Jenufa garnered Grammy Awards; Musical America chose her as Musician of the Year in 2005. As a concert singer, Karita Mattila has collaborated with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Wolfgang Sawallisch. Since the start of her career, Karita Mattila has also dedicated herself to art song and performs regular recitals.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on August 19, 1985 in Mahler’s Second Symphony, with Claudio Abbado conducting the European Community Youth Orchestra.