Virpi Räisänen, mezzosoprano

Virpi Räisänen, mezzosoprano

Photo Jukka Lehtinen

Virpi Räisänen, who made in 2016 her concert debut in Milano La Scala launched her international career with a debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2009 in Luigi Nono’s opera Al gran sole carico d’amore, Ingo Metzmacher conducting Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Reinvitation followed in 2010 to sing the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm Dionysos, which was presented in Amsterdam and in Staatsoper Berlin in where she also appeared in the revival of Nono’s Al gran sole and in the role of Iseut aux Blanches Mains in Frank Martin’s Le vin Herbé. She also premiered in the new opera of Uljas Pulkkis Five women in a Chappel in the Helsinki Festival. 

She has sung the leading roles of Elmira in Händel’s Floridante, Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, Muse and Nicklausse in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, the staged version of Toshio Hosokawa’s monodrama The Raven in Finnish National Opera and in The Parmount Theatre Charlottesville, USA. In De Nationale Opera Amsterdam she appeared in the productions of Lulu by Alban Berg and Dialogues des carmélites by Francis Poulenc. 

Her latest roles include Mr Volpino in Haydn’s Lo Speziale (tour in Europe), Hanna Waltz in the world premiere of My Brother’s Keeper by Olli Kortekangas (Tampere Oopera), Riika in Aulis Sallinen’s The Red Line. Virpi also world premiered an opera written for her Lusia Rusintytär by Juha T. Koskinen in Helsinki Festival.

She made her Amsterdam Concertgebouw debut in 2011 with Gordan Nickolic leading the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, and since then she has followed a busy schedule as much asked concert singer all over the world. She has sung for example with the Orchestre Philharmonique et le Choeur de Radio France, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Flemish Radio Choir and Orchestra, Nederlands Philaharmonisch Orkest, the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchester etc.

She has established herself as a specialist in contemporary music, having performed dozens of new works, many of them written and dedicated to her.

In addition to her singing career, Virpi Räisänen has functioned 2011-18 as the Artistic Director of the Oulunsalo Soi Chamber Music Festival.

Virpi Räisänen has been awarded with TAITAJA-award and Finnish State Artist grant.

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