Eilana Lappalainen - The Elegance of Opera
Eilana Lappalainen - The Elegance of Opera
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Finnish-Canadian soprano Eilana Lappalainen has become one of the respected interpreters of Strauss' Salome. Since her 1996 role debut in the acclaimed Felsenstein production, which performed for six consecutive years, she has performed the role in Seattle, New York, Nashville, Kentucky, Warsaw, Trieste, Mannheim, Tokyo, Kyoto, Kagoshima, Morioka, Nagoya, Kanazawa, Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Toyama, Katowice, Ottawa, Montreal, Wintertur, Detroit, Bergen, Vilnius, Syros, the Peralada Festival and Tel Aviv. The Opera News review of the Seattle production states: “Lappalainen's extraordinary physical lightness and agility, her diverse vocal palette and her grasp of the character's complexity were deeply moving... Her dance of the seven veils is simply the best I've ever seen (including Welitsch, Borkh and Stratas – on film, perhaps the greatest Salome ever.)"

  In Ms. Lappalainen’s debut with Opera de Montréal as Salome, she sparked one critic to write:  “Eilana Lappalainen is a revelation!” - La Presse. In the same season she made her debuts in Hamburgische Staatsoper as Elsa in Lohengrin and at the Prague State Opera in Der Freischütz.  Additional engagements have taken the young soprano to San Francisco Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Finnish National Opera, Opera Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Arizona, Portland, Cincinnati, Virginia, Opera Hamilton and Opera Lyra in Ottawa. Her performances in these houses included the core of her repertoire: Lulu, Lohengrin, Der fliegende Holländer, Der Rosenkavalier, Arabella, Jenufa, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, I Pagliacci, La Traviata, Wozzeck, Turandot, Fanciulla del West etc .

  The past seven seasons heard Ms. Lappalainen in both concert and opera performances internationally. She sang Beatrice in Der Vipern by Christian Jost for her Bern, Switzerland debut, as well as a concert and recording the following year with the Symphony in Wintertur. She sang Salome at the Michigan Opera Theater, Opera North in Bergen Norway, Polish National Opera, Perolada Festival in Spain, another Japan tour, the New Israeli Opera, and the Lithuanian National Opera in a David Aldon production. Rome heard her Marie in Wozzeck directed by Gian Carlo Del Monaco, and in Israel heard her Marie in a Manfred Beilharz production. She sang Agathe in Freischutz in Bayern Germany, as well as Madama Butterfly and Pagliacci for a German summer Festival. She made her debut as Leonore in Il Trovatore with Virginia Opera and covered Karita Mattila at the Liceu in Barcelona with the role of Leonore in Beethoven's Fidelio. She performed Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Silvia in Mascangni's Zanetto and Santuzza in Cavalleria, the title role in Tosca and Salome, as well as concerts such as the Verdi Requiem, Faure Requiem, Mahler Songs and a Verdi Gala featuring selections from Aida, Il Trovatore and Un ballo in Maschera. This summer 2014 she sang Tatjana's aria in Eugen Onegin, Il Tramonto and a Puccini gala singing Madama Butterfly, Tosca and Turandot with the International Festival of the Aegean.

In those same seasons, Ms. Lappalainen sang concerts in Taranto and Catania Italy, Katowice Poland, Mexico City, Taluca and Guanajuato Mexico, and numerous concerts in the Czech Republic including works like the Verdi Requiem and Tosca. She returned to Carnegie Hall singing the Verdi Requiem, Mascagni's Zanetto, Gala Concerts, Mendelssohn's "Hymn of Praise", Paulus' s "To be certain of the dawn" and again the Mozart Requiem. In 2013, she celebrated many concert debut's including Vienna singing Schubert's Mass in G and Mozart Requiem, Zurich debut with Rossini's Stabat Mater, Firenze Italy with the Mozart Requiem, and her Istanbul debut with Beethoven's "Ah Perfido".

  Career highlights for Ms. Lappalainen include: her debut at La Scala in a Peter Stein production of the world premiere of Corghi's Tat'jana, singing the main role; her performance as Abigaille in Nabucco at the National Theater in Warsaw; and her debut with the New Israeli Opera as Marie in Wozzeck. She also performed Mefistofele in Montreal; Elsa in Lohengrin in Trier; Hanna in The Merry Widow in Hamilton; and has sung in Madama Butterfly, Jenufa, Der fliegende Holländer, Giovanna d'Arco and Eugene Onegin. In concert she sang with the Berliner Rundfunk Sinfonie-Orchester in a program of all Berg and Mahler and in Wagner's Götterdämmerung at the Bruckner Festival in Linz.  In the same period she made her first solo CD of Italian arias in St. Petersburg.  Ms. Lappalainen starred as Salome with New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Kentucky Opera, Nashville Opera, Polish National Opera, Opera Lyra and two tours in Japan (one tour including ten cities). She sang the role of Senta in Der fliegende Holländer in Japan and for the Minnesota Opera, and the title role of Tosca, and Nedda in I Pagliacci for a summer Festspiel in Burg Hohenstein near Wiesbaden. Ms. Lappalainen has also performed in productions of La Fanciulla del West, Der Freischütz, Nedda in I Pagliacci and Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana in Dessau. On concert stages she performed in a Wagner/Strauss Lieder Abend and in concerts in Ottawa and Wiesbaden. In recent seasons Ms. Lappalainen has had the pleasure to return to the Opera Bellas Artes, performing Marie in Wozzeck in a live national broadcast in Mexico. She debuted with the San Francisco Opera as Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, and in the title role of Lulu directed by Lotfi Mansouri. She also sang at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Senta in a new Götz Friedrich production of Der fliegende  Holländer, Salome and her first Maddalena in Andrea Chenier with the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau and continued performances of the Verdi Requiem, La Traviata and Jenufa. In Dessau she sang the title role in a new production of Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco with original Schiller text. In addition, Ms. Lappalainen performed in a concert series featuring French repertoire in Wiesbaden, Gala performances at the theater in Fürth, and Verdi Galas at the Schauspielhaus and the Philharmonie in Berlin. In Greece in July 2015 she sang the title role in Medea by Luigi Cherubini, which marks her role debut.  

  At the start of the first five years of her International career, Ms. Lappalainen sang the title role of Jenufa. Ms. Lappalainen also returned to the Deutsche Oper Berlin in Der fliegende Holländer, to Essen for Arabella and Die Fledermaus and did her first Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes.  She had a huge success as Salome in her Italian debut at the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste.  Audiences in Wiesbaden and Bremen heard her in Der fliegende Holländer and she sang Elsa in Lohengrin in Würzburg and, in Dessau, Tosca and her first Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier.  Ms. Lappalainen opened San Francisco’s summer season with the title role of Lulu. She did her Austrian debut in Linz as Elsa in Lohengrin, as Violetta in the Landesbühne Dresden’s La Traviata and as Arabella in Essen.  Dessau heard her as Marta in Tiefland, in Der Graf von Luxemburg and in the Felsenstein productions of La Boheme and Der fliegende Holländer.  She also sang Gala concerts with Tulsa Opera and in Alabama, Köln, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin and Düsseldorf.

  Ms. Lappalainen has sung the title role of Jenufa for the Portland Opera, Elsa in Lohengrin in Halle and Dessau, and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Columbus as well as with Opera Lyra and Opera Hamilton. With Virginia Opera she performed the roles of Violetta in La Traviata, Micaela in Carmen and Liu in Turandot (a role she repeated later with the Arizona Opera). Opera Hamilton heard her as Mimi in La Boheme and in the title role in Madama Butterfly.  She has sung with the Finnish National Opera as Mimi, the Cincinnati Opera as Nedda in I Pagliacci and at the Opera Bellas Artes in Mexico as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, as Nedda in I Pagliacci and as Arabella in Bielefeld.  With the Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau she scored triumphs in roles such as Violetta, Marguerita, Arabella, Desdemona and Amalia in I Masnadieri as well as in the operetta roles of Hanna in The Merry Widow and the title role in Victoria und Ihr Hussar. She was performing the roles at the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau as a member of the Ensemble under the direction of Johannes Felsenstein. Prior to her German and International debuts, Eilana was a Resident Artist singing 30 leading roles at Opera San Jose under the direction of her Mentor Irene Dalis.

  On the concert stage, Eilana Lappalainen has sung opera galas with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (one of which featured scenes from Fidelio and Otello and was televised throughout Finland) and also toured Finland in recital.  In 2005 she sang at an opera gala at “La Piccola Scala” in Syros, Greece and at a recital for the Summer Festival Urkuyö ja Aaria in Espoo, Finland.  Ms. Lappalainen made her Carnegie Hall debut in the Mozart Requiem in 2005, her Weill Recital Hall debut in 2006 and returned to Carnegie Hall in 2007 in Verdi’s Requiem.  She sang in Verdi Galas and recitals in Espoo, Finland, and performed the Verdi Requiem in the Czech Republic.  She has also sung at a Verdi gala in Japan in 2005. She has done recitals in Germany and California, made her New York recital debut with the Sibelius Society, and also sang in an Italian Aria performance at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto. She also sang the Four Last Songs by Strauss with the Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Filharmonie Katowice. The same city heard her with the Radio Symphony Orchestra as Salome and in June 2014 she was presented in a DVD in Warsaw singing Beethoven's "Ah Perfido". In Bari, Italy, Ms. Lappalainen sang Wagner's Wesendonck-Lieder and in Mexico Mahler's Fourth Symphony. She returned to Mexico 2015 to sing Arabella and Tatjana from Eugen Onegin in concert with the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra of Toluca.

2016 brought Ms. Lappalainen celebrating another debut in Macau China singing Beethoven, and then she returned to Carnegie Hall for the Vivaldi Gloria. Florence Italy heard her in the Italian debut of Terry Johnson’s Song of the Captive and Beethoven’s Ah Perfido. She then returned to Vienna performing Beethoven’s Ah Perfido again with the St Peter’s Kirche Orchestra. Her summer production included singing Nedda in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci in Greece marked her 8th production in the country as well as directing the various opera studios for young artists. Her concerts continued in Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic.

  Eilana Lappalainen recorded a live broadcast of Salome (2004) with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, a solo CD of Italian arias in St. Petersburg, Russia, a CD as Salome in a live performance, and a CD of Verdi’s arias and duets with the Anhalisches Symphony Dessau. Her voice has also been heard as Mimi in the film Café and Tobacco. Eilana sang the role of Silvia in Mascagni's Zanetto in a studio recording with Jennifer Lamore released by Elisium recordings in 2008. With the same label, 2012 marks her release of her new CD of Mahler songs. New release of a DVD includes Eilana singing Beethoven shared with a Julian Cochran recording. In February she performed Beethoven's "Ah Perfido" with Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando, Florida.

Ms. Lappalainen's career has placed her on International stages as a leading artist. This experience has launched her into positions and extended responsibilities, such as General Director of the Greek Opera Studio, Berlin Opera Studio and Vienna Opera Studio, Artistic Director (Opera Division) for the Young Artists Festival Bayreuth, Stage director and vocal teacher for the Young Artists Programs, Festival Manager and Artistic Director Opera Division for the International Festival of the Aegean and the Artistic Adminstrator for MidAmerica Productions.

Up-coming engagements concerts in Belluno, Italy, Montreal, Canada, Florence, Italy, Vienna, Austria, New York, a Liederabend featuring Strauss and Wagner in Germany and the role of Santuzza in Greece. Her Dramatic Divas-Recording is planned to be released in the fall of 2017.

 
                  
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Eilana Lappalainen - The Elegance of Opera