Tiihonen, Kirsi, Sopran, *?. In 1993 the Finnish soprano Kirsi Tiihonen finished her studies at the Sibelius Academy with Liisa Linko-Malmio. Since winning two major national singing competitions and the International Rio de Janeiro singing competition, the International Mirjam Helin competition and the prestigious lieder prize at The Cardiff Singer of the World competition Kirsi Tiihonen is known as one of the most interesting dramatic sopranos in Europe. She was engaged at the Finnish National Opera in 1994-96, during which time she sang Elisabetta in Don Carlos, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Leonore in Fidelio and Desdemona in Otello. Since then she has been a visiting there regularly in such roles as Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes), Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro), Leonore (Fidelio) and Leonora (Il trovatore) among others. In 1997 she made her debut at the Savonlinna Opera Festival as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser. Over the past few years Kirsi Tiihonen has sung among others Countess (Helsinki, Frankfurt), Aida (Savonlinna, Braunschweig) Leonore of Fidelio (Schwerin), Helmwiege in Die Walküre (Amsterdam, Helsinki) and the Third Norn in Götterdämmerung (Amsterdam, Hamburg). In 2000 she made her debuts as Sieglinde in “Die Walküre” and Gutrune in “Götterdämmerung” in Braunschweig and participated in the tour of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin and Daniel Barenboim in Japan singing several roles in Wagner's “Ring” (Ortlinde, Gutrune, 3 rd Norn) and covering Waltraut Maier as Sieglinde. The following season she made her debut as Amelia in “Un ballo in maschera” by Verdi at the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen. In March 2003 Tiihonen sang a brilliant role debut as Isolde at the Gothenburg Opera and in summer 2003 she continued with big Wagner parts at the Savonlinna Opera Festival by singing her first Senta (Der Fliegende Holländer) alongside with Juha Uusitalo and Matti Salminen. In season 2003-04 Tiihonen made her debut at the Komische Oper Berlin in Fidelio by Beethoven ( Leonore ) and toured with the company in Hongkong in January -04. In spring 2004 she sang the role of Riita in “The last Temptations” by Joonas Kokkonen at Tampere Opera and performed as a soloist of the “Missa da Requiem” by Verdi in Brussels with Belgium National Orchestra and maestro Mikko Franck. In Summer 2004 she returned to Savonlinna Opera Festival as Senta . In fall 2004 Tiihonen will sing the huge title role in “ Mare and her son” by Tauno Pylkkänen at the Estonia Theatre in Tallinn and Isolde at the Halle Opera House, Germany, in Rene Kollo's new production. In addition to her performances at the opera stages Kirsi Tiihonen has appeared as a concert singer in major concert Halls of Europe, such as the Philharmonie of St Petersburg, the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam with Ingo Metzmacher as conductor, the BBC Proms in Royal Albert Hall in London with Maestro Osmo Vänskä (PROMS), the Berlin Philharmonie under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy . Additionally she has also sung under conductors Mark Wigglesworth, Paavo Berglund, Jukka-Pekka Saraste etc.
With concerts and recitals she has performed in Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Korea , Japan and Singapore. Ms. Tiihonen has recorded two solo-CDs for NAXOS label; the songs of Toivo Kuula and Leevi Madetoja (1999) and Sibelius (2001). In fall 2004 she recorded Madetoja's songs for BIS record company.
(Biography by courtesy of Alste Artists' Management [Henryk Dobron] )