Soile Marja Isokoski (born February 14, 1957) is a Finnish lyric soprano. She is an opera singer as well as a concert and lieder singer.
A lyric soprano is a type of operatic soprano voice that has a warm quality with a bright, full timbre that can be heard over an orchestra. The lyric soprano voice generally has a higher tessitura than a soubrette and usually plays ingenues and other sympathetic characters in opera. Lyric sopranos have a range from approximately middle C (C4) to "high D" (D6). This is the most common female singing voice. There is a tendency to divide lyric sopranos into two groups: light and full.
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.
The lied is a term in the German vernacular to describe setting poetry to classical music to create a piece of polyphonic music. The term is used for songs from the late fourteenth or early fifteenth centuries or even to refer to Minnesang from as early as the 12th and 13th centuries. It later came especially to refer to settings of Romantic poetry during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and into the early twentieth century. Examples include settings by Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Hugo Wolf or Richard Strauss. Among English speakers, however, "lied" is often used interchangeably with "art song" to encompass works that the tradition has inspired in other languages. The poems that have been made into lieder often center on pastoral themes or themes of romantic love.
Isokoski was born in Posio, Finland. She graduated from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki (a cantor-organist diploma, a singing teacher's degree and a singing diploma) and made her concert debut there in 1986.
Posio is a municipality of Finland. It is located in the province of Lapland. The municipality has a population of 3,284 (31 August 2018) and covers an area of 3,544.90 square kilometres (1,368.69 sq mi) of which 506.14 km2 (195.42 sq mi) is water. The population density is 1.08 inhabitants per square kilometre (2.8/sq mi). Neighbour municipalities are Rovaniemi, Kemijärvi, Ranua, Salla, Kuusamo, Taivalkoski and Pudasjärvi.
The Sibelius Academy is part of the University of the Arts Helsinki and a university-level music school which operates in Helsinki and Kuopio, Finland. It also has an adult education centre in Järvenpää and a training centre in Seinäjoki. The Academy is the only music university in Finland. It is among the biggest European music universities with roughly 1,700 enrolled students.
Isokoski won the Lappeenranta song competition in Finland (1987), the Elly Ameling Competition in the Netherlands (1988), and the Tokyo International Singing Competition (1990). In 1987 she was a finalist in the BBC Singer of the World competition in Cardiff.
She worked first as a church musician in Northern Finland. In 1987 she was engaged as a soloist with the Finnish National Opera and stayed there until 1994. Her first appearance there was as Mimi in Puccini's La bohème in 1987.
The Finnish National Opera is a Finnish opera company based in Helsinki. Its home base is the Opera House on Töölönlahti bay in Töölö, which opened in 1993, and is state-owned through Senate Properties. The Opera House features two auditoriums, the main auditorium with 1,350, seats and a smaller studio auditorium with 300-500 seats.
La bohème is an opera in four acts, composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The world premiere of La bohème was in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio, conducted by the 28-year-old Arturo Toscanini; its U.S. premiere took place the following year, 1897, in Los Angeles. Since then, La bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide.
Isokoski has sung at all the leading opera houses in Europe, including the Vienna State Opera, Théâtre du Châtelet, Opéra Bastille, La Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Berlin State Opera, Semperoper, the Hamburg State Opera, and the Cologne Opera.
The Vienna State Opera is an Austrian opera house and opera company based in Vienna, Austria. It was originally called the Vienna Court Opera. In 1920, with the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Austrian Republic, it was renamed the Vienna State Opera. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from its orchestra.
The Théâtre du Châtelet is a theatre and opera house, located in the place du Châtelet in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France.
The Opéra Bastille is a modern opera house in Paris, France. Inaugurated in 1989 as part of President François Mitterrand’s “Grands Travaux”, it became the main facility of the Paris National Opera, France's principal opera company, alongside the older Palais Garnier; most opera performances are shown at the Bastille along with some ballet performances and symphony concerts, while Palais Garnier presents a mix of opera and ballet performances.
She made her début at the Metropolitan Opera as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro in 2002. The New York Times wrote on January 28, 2002: "Ms. Isokoski... touched on the Countess' sense of abandonment by the Count without diminishing her regal bearing or the graceful humor she must contribute to the second act. And her dark, burnished soprano should make her a good addition to the Met roster."
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager. As of 2018, the company's current music director is Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492, is an opera buffa in four acts composed in 1786 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with an Italian libretto written by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 1 May 1786. The opera's libretto is based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais, La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro, which was first performed in 1784. It tells how the servants Figaro and Susanna succeed in getting married, foiling the efforts of their philandering employer Count Almaviva to seduce Susanna and teaching him a lesson in fidelity.
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.
In 2007 Isokoski made her San Francisco Opera debut portraying the role of the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier.In 2010 she made her Los Angeles Opera debut as Elsa in Lohengrin .
She has also appeared at many festivals such as Salzburg Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Chorégies d'Orange, The Proms in London, Tanglewood Music Festival and Savonlinna Opera Festival.
Isokoski's song repertoire is extensive. She has given recitals with her regular accompanist Marita Viitasalo all over the world, including in New York, Washington, D.C., Fort Lauderdale, Vienna, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Rome, Athens, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Tokyo.
Isokoski has appeared with many renowned conductors including Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, James Conlon, Andrew Davis, Colin Davis, John Eliot Gardiner, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Marek Janowski, Neeme Järvi, Okko Kamu, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Yehudi Menuhin, Riccardo Muti, Sakari Oramo, Seiji Ozawa, Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Leif Segerstam, and Osmo Vänskä.
Paavo Allan Engelbert Berglund OBE was a Finnish conductor and violinist.
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Kullervo, Op. 7, is a suite of symphonic movements by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Although often referred to as a "choral symphony," the work avoids traditional symphonic structure and its five movements constitute a set of related but independent tone poems. The third and fifth movements make use of a men's chorus. The third, authorized by the composer for performance as an independent work, also calls for two soloists, a baritone and a mezzo-soprano. Based on the character of Kullervo in the epic poem Kalevala and using texts from that poem, the work premiered to critical acclaim on 28 April 1892 with Emmy Achté and Abraham Ojanperä as soloists and the composer conducting the chorus and orchestra of the Helsinki Orchestra Society, which was founded in that year.
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Ildikó Raimondi is a Hungarian-Austrian operatic soprano and academic voice teacher. She has been a member of the Vienna State Opera since 1991, and has performed leading roles internationally, especially in Mozart operas. She also works in concert and lied, including contemporary compositions. She has received Austrian awards.