Manager: Michael Benchetrit
Management Territory: North & South America, Asia and Oceania
As wretchedly unhappy Sieglinde, all feral animal with greasy dreadlocks, international superstar soprano Karita Mattila must hobble in a painful duck-walk throughout the act, until later released and set upright by Siegmund's love. Her thighs get a punishing workout, but trooper that she is, she goes with it and sounds ravishing throughout her ordeal. Her distinct voice has a burnished quality that resembles '60s dramatic soprano Leonie Rysanek, the best Sieglinde of her generation. A high-powered actress who takes the stage just by stepping onto it, Mattila's unfailing in her commitment and electric presence. She's the best part of this show. (Die Walküre, Houston Grand Opera) Houston Press D.L. Groover, April 20, 2015
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 as nothing less than a monstre sacré of the ancient art-form. It would be nice to hear this classical heroine sung in a comparably classical style, but Mattila is not about that. She throws herself uninhibitedly into the role, pumping out volume, intensity, high-romantic fervor […]; Mattila has star quality (and voice) to spare. (Ariadne auf Naxos, Covent Garden) Financial Times, Richard Fairman, June 27, 2014
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. (Opera News Award) F. Paul Driscoll, Opera News, April 2012
Karita Mattila is one of today’s most exciting lyric dramatic sopranos. She is recognized 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 Janácek.
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 du Châtelet 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 and Opera News Awards (two of the most prestigious honors paid to classical artists in the USA) and the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (one of France’s highest cultural honors).
Karita 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, Janácek, 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.
Performances of the current season include Karita Mattila’s much-anticipated first Kostelnička in Jenůfa with the Prague Philharmonic and Jiří Bělohlávek in both Prague and London, followed by her first staged performances of the role with the San Francisco Opera. She will return to the Royal Opera House for the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos, which she recently sang at the Paris Opera. In concert Karita Mattila will be heard in Helsinki, Oslo, Bergen, St Louis and in recital she will appear in New York and Madrid.
Recent highlights include Janácek’s Jenůfa at the Hamburg State Opera, a role debut as Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre with Houston Grand Opera Leonore in Fidelio for Houston Grand Opera, Emilia Marty in The Makropoulos Case at the Metropolitan Opera and at San Francisco Opera, the title role of Janácek’s Katya Kabanova at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Lisa in Pique Dame at the Metropolitan Opera, Marie in Wozzeck at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and concert performances of Erwartung with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Updated October 2015
News & Critical Acclaim