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Press

 



 "Since 2009, she has wisely focused on singing, and now all of a sudden

 she has a world-class voice capacity. Räisänen interprets the solo songs

 with amazing confidence and boldness."

-Aamulehti-

 

 

"Räisänen's strength lies in the dynamic flexibility of her voice and in her ability to express the nuances of music and drama."

-Kaleva-

 

"Astonishingly naturally Räisänen played and sang simultaneously, as if having an expressive dialogue between bright and dark sides of her personality. She has similar kind of lyrical and radiantly beautiful tone both in her singing voice and in her violin."

-Helsingin Sanomat-

 

 

"...creative tone world accented by mezzo-soprano Virpi Räisänen's magnetic charisma and expression."

-Norrbottens Kuriren-

 

"...the moonlike scenery, which is lightend up by mezzo soprano Virpi Räisänen's radiant, heart touching singing."

-Koillissanomat-

 

"Playfull and surprising Virpi Räisänen shows that one can combine voice and body in many unexpected ways. Sequenza III from Luciano Berio is exploring all the possibilities of a female voice and Virpi was facinating and impressively agile both in her voice and body."

-Östran-

 

   
Biography

   
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Mezzo-soprano Virpi Räisänen completed her vocal studies at the Utrecht and Amsterdam Conservatoires with the highest distinction under Eugenie Ditewig and Udo Reinemann. Afterwards she has been coached by Margreet Honig. Following her recent career change from a successful violinist to a concert and opera singer, she has appeared on the stages such as the Salzburg Festival, Radio France's Festival Présences, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Musashino Recital Hall in Tokyo, the Helsinki Music Centre, the Staatsoper Berlin, the Netherlands Opera and the Händel Festival Halle, Savonlinna Opera Festival and Finnish National Opera.

 

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. She was invited back to Salzburg Festival in 2010 for 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.

 

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 with Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Sakari Oramo and Hannu Lintu, the Helsinki Philharmonic with John Storgårds, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Flemish Radio Choir and Orchestra, Nederlands Philaharmonisch Orkest, the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, etc.

 

In 2012 appeared Virpi Räisänen's debut cd The Lagacy of Mahler and in 2014 cd of Lugiano Berio's works with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra for ONDINE. Both of these cd's have been internationally highly acclaimed.

 

Virpi Räisänen has performed lied repertoire throughout Europe, USA, Hong Kong and Japan.

 

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

The latest world premieres include vocal acrobatic L'arche by Michel Tabachnick with Insomnia Ensemble, Le miroir courbe by Lotta Wennäkoski with Tapiola Sinfonietta, Earth, daughter of the Spring (in sami language) by Outi Tarkiainen with Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Wayfare Symphony by Uljas Pulkkis with Oulu Sinfonia. The opera Le bonnet de laine by Colin Roche and his string quartet Petites masses des cendres.  Kalevi Aho wrote the finale of his 16th Symphony for the voice of Virpi Räisänen, this was premiered also in 2015 with The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu. She has also worked with composer Kaija Saariaho and her student Juha T. Koskinen who's new opera Lusia Rusintytär, written for Virpi Räisänen, was premiered in Helsinki Festival 2015.

In Tapio Tuomela's new opera Neljän tien risteys (A four-way junction) Virpi sang the role of Maria written for her voice. In 2018 Virpi will premiere in Tapere Opera a new opera by Olli Kortekangs Veljeni vartija.

 

In 2006 she created the project VIULAJA (violin-mezzo) around her ability to sing and play violin simultaneously. Several composers since have collaborated in this project. A film Trasparente in Ilmari Mäenpää's music where Virpi sings and plays violin, was released in 2011. 

 

In addition to her singing career, Virpi Räisänen has been since 2012 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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