Eilana Lappalainen

Finnish-Canadian soprano Eilana Lappalainen is quickly becoming one of the world's most sought after interpreters of Strauss's Salome. Since her 1996 role debut in the acclaimed Felsentein production, she has performed Salome in Seattle, New York, Nashville, Kentucky, Warsaw, Trieste, Mannheim, Japan, Ottawa, Montreal, Switzerland and Spain. The July 2002 Opera News review of Seattle's Salome 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.)" Autumn 1999 heard Ms. Lappalainen's Opera de Montreal debut as Salome and 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 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, Senta, Der Rosenkavalier, Jenufa, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, I Pagliacci and La Traviata.

Highlights between the 2000 – 2005 seasons for Ms. Lappalainen include her debut at La Scala in the world premiere of Corghi's Tat'jana, 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 performances of Madama Butterfly, Jenufa, Der fliegende Holländer, Giovanna d'Arco and Eugen Onegin. In concert she sang with the Berliner Rundfunk singing an all Berg and Mahler program and Wagner's Götterdämmerung at the Bruckner Festival in Linz. In the same season, she made her first solo CD of Italian arias in St. Petersburg. Ms. Lappalainen sang Salome with New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Kentucky Opera, Nashville Opera, Polish National Opera, Opera Lyra and a tour of ten cities in Japan. She also sang the role of Senta in Der fliegende Holländer in Japan, and Minnesota Opera. Ms. Lappalainen performed the title role of Tosca, and Nedda in I Pagliacci for a summer Festspiel in Burg Hohenstein near Wiesbaden. Eilana was also heard in productions of La Fanciulla del West, Der Freischütz, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana in Dessau. The concert stages heard her in a Wagner/Strauss Lieder Abend and concerts in Ottawa and Wiesbaden. Eilana also gave her Spanish debut with Salome at the Peralada Festival, and her second Japan tour with Salome.

Recent seasons include Ms. Lappalainen's return to the Opera Bellas Artes for her first Marie in Wozzeck, which was a live national broadcast in Mexico. She had her debut with San Francisco Opera as Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, as well as 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. Also in Dessau she sang the title role in a new production of Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco with a libretto written by the Intentant of the theater ,Johannes Felsenstein, based on the Schiller original. In addition, Ms. Lappalainen performed in a concert series featuring French repertoire in Wiesbaden, Gala performances at the theater in Fürth, and Galas at the Schauspielhaus and the Philharmonie in Berlin.

In the 1998-1999 season Ms. Lappalainen returned to the Deutsche Oper Berlin in Der fliegende Holländer, to Essen for Arabella and Die Fledermaus, and 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. Wiesbaden and Bremen heard her in Der fliegende Holländer and in Würzburg as Elsa in Lohengrin. Dessau audiences heard her Tosca and her first Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier.

The 1997-1998 season found her opening the San Francisco summer season in the title role of Lulu, 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' Graf von Luxembourg 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.

Eilana 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 which she also later sang with the Arizona Opera. Opera Hamilton heard her as Mimi in La Boheme and the title role in Madama Butterfly. She has sung with the Finnish National Opera as Mimi, Cincinnati Opera as Nedda in I Pagliacci and Opera Bellas Artes in Mexico as Cio-Cio-San and Nedda. With the Anhaltisches Theater 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 also heard as Arabella in Bielefeld.

On the concert stage, Eilana Lappalainen has sung opera Galas with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (one of which was televised throughout Finland featuring scenes from Fidelio and Otello) and also toured Finland in Recital. She recorded a live broadcast in 2004 of Salome with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra. With the Dessau Symphony, she recorded a CD of Verdi arias. She has sung recitals in Germany and California, made her New York recital debut with the Sibelius Society, and also sang a Gala performance at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto. Her concert repertoire includes Wagner´s Wesendonck Lieder, Verdi's Requiem, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Strauss's Four Last Songs. In 2005, Eilana sang a Verdi Gala in Japan, an Opera Gala at the Piccolo La Scala in Syro's Greece and a recital for the Summer Festival Urkuyö ja Aaria in Espoo Finland.

Upcoming engagements include a Carnegie Hall debut with the Mozart Requiem, a Gala concert in Greece, a Verdi Gala in Japan, Salome in Spain, Salome in Detroit with The Michigan Opera Theater, her first Aida in Idaho, Madama Butterfly in Montana, continued performance of Salome in Poland, a recital in Espoo, Finland and a Japan tour with Salome. She will also record a CD of German arias.

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