Artist of the Week: Karita Mattila

Finnish Soprano Returns to Mozart in New COVID Adaptation

By Francisco Salazar

This week the 2020-21 season begins in many European theaters. And with the reopening of seasons, many opera companies are adapting to restrictions imposed by health departments and experimenting with the repertoire. The Finnish National Opera is one of the companies that restructured its season and will present the world premiere of “COVID fan tutte” to open the season. The work will feature a new libretto to the score of Mozart’s “Così fan tutte” by will Minna Lindgren and will star Karita Mattila, who returns to her native country and to the works of Mozart.

Mattila headlines the production, which will put a focus on the Finnish Corona Spring and will bring insight into canceled work, financial losses and insecurity, postponed blockbusters, travel restrictions, social isolation, the adjustment of workaround safety distances and equipment, quarantines, video meetings, audience restrictions, and the new reality.

For Mattila, the work will give the soprano a chance to return to Mozart’s music, which she performed early in her career. Mattila sang the role of Fiordiligi to rave reviews and at some of the greatest theaters; she even recorded “Così fan tutte” under Sir Neville Mariner. The soprano also sang Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni,” “Idomeneo,” and the Countess in “Le Nozze di Figaro.” This time she will get to show her comic skills as Despina and dominate the scene as Mattila is well known for doing.

Additionally, it will be a rare chance for the soprano to perform in her country. The soprano graced the Savonnlina stage this summer but she has been absent from the National Opera for a number of years.

For those not in Finland, the soprano will be in the Czech Republic and Spain later this season. She is also expected to make her role debut as Isolde in “Tristan und Isolde” in 2021.


For those who have not heard Mattila’s Mozart interpretations, we recommend her “Così fan tutte,” “Le Nozze di Figaro,” and Mozart Requiem. For those looking for a dramatic Mattila, her “Salome” recording from the Metropolitan Opera is a must-watch.

Here she is as “Tosca.”

Here she is in “Jenufa.”

And here she is in “The Makropoulos Case.”


Artist of the Week