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Karita Mattila (pronounced KA-re-ta MATT-e-la) is a leading opera soprano. She was born Karita Marjatta Mattila on September 5, 1960 in Someromarker, Finlandmarker.

Mattila appears regularly in the major opera houses world-wide, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera Housemarker in London, Théâtre du Châteletmarker, Opéra Bastillemarker, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Vienna State Operamarker and Großes Festspielhausmarker, Salzburg and with top orchestras.


In 1983, Mattila won the first Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. The same year she graduated from the Sibelius Academymarker in Helsinkimarker, where she studied singing with Liisa Linko-Malmio. She then continued her studies with Vera Rozsa in Londonmarker.

In 1985, she made her Covent Gardenmarker debut with the Royal Operamarker as Pamina in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.

In 1988, she was seen as Emma in the first ever televised production of Schubert's Fierrabras at the Vienna State Opera.

On March 22, 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.

In 1996 followed important Paris debuts in Wagner's Lohengrin, Verdi's Don Carlos and in 2002 in Strauss' Arabella.

Grammy Award for "Best Opera Recording" in 1998 and 2004.

In 2003, Paris saw her first Salome and she was awarded one of France’s highest cultural honours, Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

In 2004, Mattila sang her first New York Salome at the Metropolitan Opera, which together with the 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."

In 2007, she was named by BBC Music Magazine as one of the top 20 sopranos of the recorded era.

World-wide audiences saw her Manon Lescaut live in movie theatres in 2008.

On September 23, 2008, she reprised Salome at the Metropolitan Opera, again broadcast world-wide in High Definition on October 11, 2008.

She opened the Metropolitan Opera's 2009-10 season with Tosca, which was seen live in HD world-wide on October 10, 2009.

Roles in operas


  • Arias & Scenes (Erato)
  • German Romantic Arias (Erato)
  • Strauss: Orchestral Songs; Four Last Songs (DG)
  • Strauss: Orchestral Songs (Sony)
  • Strauss: Hölderlin Lieder (Sony)
  • Excellence - The Artistry of Karita Mattila (Ondine)
  • Sibelius Songs (Ondine)
  • Grieg and Sibelius Songs (Erato)
  • Karita Live! (Ondine)
  • From the Heart of Finland (Ondine)
  • Wild Rose (Ondine)
  • Modern Portrait (Warner/Finlandia)
  • Marriner: Lollipops (Philips)

Complete operas:
  • Manon Lescaut (EMI)
  • Don Carlos (EMI)
  • Fidelio (DG)
  • Die Meistersinger (Decca, DG)
  • Simon Boccanegra (TDK)
  • Jenůfa (Erato)
  • Le nozze di Figaro (Sony)
  • Così fan tutte (Decca)
  • Don Giovanni (Philips)
  • Fierrabras (DG)
  • Der Freischütz (Decca)
  • Scenes from Goethe's Faust (Schumann) (Sony)

Symphonic works:
  • Mozart: Requiem (DG)
  • Beethoven: Symphony no. 9 (DG)
  • Shostakovich: Symphony no. 14 (EMI)
  • Schoenberg: Gurrelieder (EMI)
  • 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)

  • Fever (Ondine)
  • Best of Evergreens (Ondine)
  • Karita's Christmas (Ondine)


Role Opera Composer Place Date
Emma Fierrabras Schubert Vienna State Operamarker 1988
Donna Elvira Don Giovanni Mozart Vienna State Operamarker 1990
Donna Elvira Don Giovanni Mozart Metropolitan Opera 1990
Rosalinde Die Fledermaus Johann Strauss II Vienna State Operamarker & Tokyo NHK 1994
Amelia Simon Boccanegra Verdi Teatro Colónmarker 1995
Elisabeth Don Carlos Verdi Théâtre du Châteletmarker 1996
Hanna Glawari The Merry Widow Lehár Opéra Garniermarker 1997
Manon Lescaut Manon Lescaut Puccini Tampere Operamarker 1999
Leonore Fidelio Beethoven Metropolitan Opera 2000
Eva Die Meistersinger Wagner Metropolitan Opera 2001
Amelia Simon Boccanegra Verdi Florencemarker 2002
Arabella Arabella Richard Strauss Théâtre du Châteletmarker 2002
Salome Salome Richard Strauss Metropolitan Opera 2004
Manon Lescaut Manon Lescaut Puccini Metropolitan Opera 2008
Salome Salome Richard Strauss Metropolitan Opera 2008
Tosca Tosca Puccini Metropolitan Opera 2009


  1. "MUSIC; From Headstrong Heroines to Sly Vixens", Matthew Gurewitsch, The New York Times, 22 September 2002.

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