Carla Huhtanen, soprano
Soprano Carla Huhtanen is in demand internationally for her “soaring, translucent” voice, “winning stage presence,” and her diverse repertoire. She debuted in the UK as Lisetta in Garsington Opera’s La Gazzetta (Rossini) and returned as Serpetta in their production of Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, a performance repeated at the Barbican Centre’s Mostly Mozart series. She debuted in Italy at Gran Teatro la Fenice in Venice as Daisy Park in Gershwin’s Lady, Be Good! and returned to La Fenice as Athenaïs in Cherubini’s Anacréon. In France, she sang the title role of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen for Festival Mars en Baroque (Marseille, Tarascon, and Aix-en-Provence) and Angelica in Händel’s Orlando for Théatre Gyptis (Marseille), Festival Musique au Coeur (Antibes) and Festival de hartres. A reprise performance of Lady, Be Good! took her to Lisbon’s Teatro Sao Carlos and that same year she was featured soloist in a Leonard Bernstein Tribute with the Israel Philharmonic. She has been praised for her “vivid, fine-toned, accurately placed coloratura” (Independent) and her “clarity of tone and smoothness of line…matched only by her exquisite acting” (Opera Now).
Other past highlights include Cunegonde in Candide with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London and also in Malta for the Valletta Festival. She was soloist with the Royal Philharmonic and the Welsh National Opera Orchestra under Carl Davis for a concert tour of festivals in the UK and Germany.
With Opera Atelier (Toronto) she has sung lead roles in the Monteverdi trilogy, as well as the roles of Susanna , Blonde , Ännchen , Zerlina and Actéon , and toured to South Korean with Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Nominated for a Dora Award for her Susanna with OA, Carla was one of Now Magazine’s Top Ten Theatre Artists in 2008 and Artists to Watch in 2012, and her “amazing versatility and unwavering voice” won her a place on Eye Magazine’s Top Ten Great Individual Achievements List. Recently she performed in Lully’s Armide (Phénice/Lucinde ) and Persée (Cassiope ) at the Opéra Royal de Versailles as well as Armide (Phénice/Nymphe ) with Opera Columbus.
A leading interpreter of modern and contemporary music, Carla performs with Soundstreams, New Music Concerts, Array New Music, Continuum Contemporary Music, Music on Main, Talisker Players and Tapestry New Opera, where she has developed and premiered many roles in their Librettist/Composer Lab and has premiered the roles of Allegra and Ava in The Shadowand The Rocking Horse Winner respectively. With the Luminato Festival in Toronto, she was soloist in R. Murray Schafer’s Apocalypsis and covered Marie in Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna.
Other contemporary concert performances include Salonen’s Five Images after Sappho with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Moravec’s The Blizzard Voices with Opera Omaha. Her spectrum of chamber music concerts features music by Adès, Knussen, Birtwistle, Saariaho, Boulez, Leroux, Dusapin, Berio, Cage and Scelsi.
Recording credits include Herbert’s Babes in Toyland with the London Sinfonietta for EMI, Vivaldi’s Griselda and Sacred Music Vol. 3 for Naxos Records, the Juno winning Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage and The Music of James Rolfe and Sewing the Earthworm on Centrediscs as well as Brian Current’s chamber opera Airline Icarus on Naxos.
Recent: a Bernstein concert with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra (Dublin), Bach’s Mass in B minorwith the Grand Philharmonic, the premiere of Alligator Pie with the Toronto Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic, and concerts featuring the music of Steve Reich and Nicole Lizée with the Modulus Festival, Vancouver.
Upcoming: Konstanze in Abduction from the Seraglio with Opera Columbus, Messiah with the Sudbury Symphony and Electric Messiah with Soundstreams, as well as Boulez’s Le soleil des eaux with the Toronto Symphony which will tour to Vienna in May,2016.