Karita Mattila

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Karita Marjatta Mattila (pronounced ['karita 'mattila]) (born 5 September 1960) is a Finnish operatic soprano.[1]

Mattila appears regularly in the major opera houses worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, Théâtre du Châtelet, Opéra Bastille, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Vienna State Opera, Toronto Roy Thomson Hall, and Großes Festspielhaus in Salzburg.


Born in Somero, Finland, Mattila graduated 1983 from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where she studied singing with Liisa Linko-Malmio. She then continued her studies with Vera Rozsa in London.

Also in 1983, Mattila won the first Cardiff Singer of the World competition. In 1985, she made her Covent Garden debut with the Royal Opera as Fiordiligi in Mozart's Così fan tutte.

She was seen as Emma in the first ever televised production of Schubert's Fierrabras at the Vienna State Opera in 1988. In 1990 she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni.

In 1994, she made her Spanish debut as Tatyana in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin in Madrid, and 1996 debuts in Paris in Wagner's Lohengrin, Verdi's Don Carlos.

Mattila has won Grammy Awards for "Best Opera Recording" for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in 1998 and for Jenůfa in 2004. She was awarded the Evening Standard Ballet, Opera and Classical Music Award for “Outstanding Performance of the Year” in 1998 for her performance of Elisabeth in Don Carlos at the Royal Opera House.

In 2001 The New York Times chose Karita Mattila as the best singer of the year for her performance in Fidelio at the Metropolitan Opera, and in the same year she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award “Outstanding Achievement in Opera”.

Mattila's 2004 New York performances in Salome and subsequent Káťa Kabanová inspired the New York press to write: "When the history of the Metropolitan Opera around the time of the millennium is written, Karita Mattila will deserve her own chapter."

In 2005, she was named Musician of the Year 2005 by Musical America, which describes her "the most electrifying singing actress of our day, the kind of performer who renews an aging art form and drives the public into frenzies." BBC Music Magazine named Mattila as one of the top 20 sopranos of the recorded era in 2007.[2]

Worldwide audiences saw Mattila in Manon Lescaut live in movie theatres in 2008. Metropolitan's Salome and Tosca were seen live in High Definition worldwide in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

In 2010 at Opéra National de Lyon, Mattila created the role of Émilie du Châtelet in Kaija Saariaho's monodrama Émilie, which was dedicated to her.

Personal life[edit]

Mattila lives in Naples, Florida.[3] In 1992 she married Tapio Kuneinen, who served as her manager;[4] they divorced in 2018.[5][3]

She has been active on Twitter since October 2018, and has stated that it was a "lifesaver" after her divorce.[5][3][6][7]

Upon the abrupt cancellation of her Jenůfa at the Royal Opera House in late February 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, she moved to an apartment in Helsinki, Finland, until she is able to travel and work safely again and return home.[5]


  • Arias & Scenes (Erato) cond. Yutaka Sado; Queen of Spades, Jenufa, Elektra.
  • German Romantic Arias (Erato), Staatskapelle Dresden, cond. Sir Colin Davis; Beethoven, Weber.



  • Karita Live! (Ondine) cond. Jukka Pekka Saraste; Wagner, Verdi, Strauss, Gershwin
  • Helsinki Recital (Ondine), Martin Katz (piano); Duparc, Kaija Saariaho Quatre instants, Rachmaninov, Dvořák Gypsy songs.


  • Excellence – The Artistry of Karita Mattila (Ondine)

Complete operas[edit]

Symphonic works[edit]

  • Mozart: Requiem (DG)
  • Beethoven: Symphony no. 9 (DG)
  • Shostakovich: Symphony no. 14 (EMI Classics)
  • Schoenberg: Gurrelieder (EMI Classics)
  • Bernstein: Symphony no. 3 (Erato)
  • Sibelius: Kullervo (BIS)
  • Mendelssohn: Symphony no. 2 (DG)
  • Schubert: Mass in E flat major; Mozart: Aria of the Angel, Laudate dominum (DG)

Popular music[edit]



Role Opera Composer Place Date
Emma Fierrabras Schubert Vienna State Opera 1988
Donna Elvira Don Giovanni Mozart Vienna State Opera 1990
Donna Elvira Don Giovanni Mozart Metropolitan Opera 1990
Rosalinde Die Fledermaus Johann Strauss II Vienna State Opera & Tokyo NHK 1994
Amelia Simon Boccanegra Verdi Teatro Colón 1995
Elsa Lohengrin Wagner Paris Opera 1996
Elisabeth Don Carlos Verdi Théâtre du Châtelet 1996
Hanna Glawari The Merry Widow Lehár Opéra Garnier 1997
Manon Lescaut Manon Lescaut Puccini Tampere Opera 1999
Leonore Fidelio Beethoven Metropolitan Opera 2000
Eva Die Meistersinger Wagner Metropolitan Opera 2001
Amelia Simon Boccanegra Verdi Florence 2002
Arabella Arabella Richard Strauss Théâtre du Châtelet 2002
Salome Salome Richard Strauss Paris Opera 2003
Salome Salome Richard Strauss Metropolitan Opera 2004
Manon Lescaut Manon Lescaut Puccini Metropolitan Opera 2008
Salome Salome Richard Strauss Metropolitan Opera 2008
Kát'a Káťa Kabanová Janáček Teatro Real 2008
Tosca Tosca Puccini Metropolitan Opera 2009
Tosca Tosca Puccini Munich Opera Festival 2010


  1. ^ "Karita Mattila facts, information, pictures | Encyclopedia.com articles about Karita Mattila". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  2. ^ "Are these the 20 best sopranos of the recorded era?". The Guardian. 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/12/arts/music/karita-mattila-twitter.html
  4. ^ https://www.jellypages.com/entertainment/IS-opera-star-Karita-Mattila-differs-from-the-27-year-marriage-over-h51389.html
  5. ^ a b c https://newsnowfinland.fi/arts-culture/karita-mattila-opera-diva-interrupted
  6. ^ https://www.opera-online.com/en/articles/a-conversation-with-karita-mattila
  7. ^ https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-daily-telegraph/20200313/282484300828541
  8. ^ Ondine 0 ODE892-2 (58 minutes: DDD). Texts and translations included. Recorded in association with Helsingin Energia. Gramophone review

External links[edit]