Juha Uusitalo
Bass-baritone

“Everything he does confirms his growing international status; here is another Finnish baritone set to conquer the opera world.” (Financial Times)

Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Clare Erskine +44 (0)20 3725 9145

Biography

Finnish bass-baritone Juha Uusitalo was discovered as a major vocal talent in the mid-1990s and over the course of the next decade he became one of the world’s pre-eminent dramatic voices. In demand around the globe, Wagner’s Wotan, Wanderer and Fliegende Holländer became his calling cards, alongside Jokanaan and Scarpia, and took him to Wiener Staatsoper under Franz Welser-Möst, Teatro alla Scala Milan, San Francisco Opera under Donald Runnicles, Berliner Staatsoper with Daniel Barenboim, to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under Sir Antonio Pappano, Opéra national de Paris with Philippe Jordan, The Metropolitan Opera under Kazushi Ono and to Florence’s Maggio Musicale alongside Zubin Mehta.

Finnish bass-baritone Juha Uusitalo was discovered as a major vocal talent in the mid-1990s and over the course of the next decade he became one of the world’s pre-eminent dramatic voices. In demand around the globe, Wagner’s Wotan, Wanderer and Fliegende Holländer became his calling cards, alongside Jokanaan and Scarpia, and took him to Wiener Staatsoper under Franz Welser-Möst, Teatro alla Scala Milan, San Francisco Opera under Donald Runnicles, Berliner Staatsoper with Daniel Barenboim, to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under Sir Antonio Pappano, Opéra national de Paris with Philippe Jordan, The Metropolitan Opera under Kazushi Ono and to Florence’s Maggio Musicale alongside Zubin Mehta.

Uusitalo has since left the dramatic repertoire behind and now focuses on less-demanding operatic roles alongside an active and varied concert career. Recent concert appearances have included Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin under Marek Janowski and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under Sakari OramoOedipus Rex with Jukka-Pekka Saraste at the BBC Proms and Kullervo with Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Järvi. Other concert outings include Pulcinella with the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas, Zemlinsky’s Lyrische Sinfonie with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen and Britten’s War Requiem with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra under Lan Shui.

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Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Clare Erskine +44 (0)20 3725 9145

Reviews

“Juha Uusitalo the bass-baritone stole the show in his role as the suitably menacing depraved and lustful Baron Scarpia, the conspiratorial chief of police. Not only was the Finn in excellent voice so rich and characterful, his acting was superb too. Incredibly effective was his first act aria Va, Tosca! Nel tuo cuor s’annida Scarpia! with his ominously intimidating threats to ravish Tosca or have Cavaradossi hung at the gallows.” (Tosca - Bayerische Staatsoper - Seen and Heard, May 2011)

“Central to these operatic excerpts was Finland's so-called answer to Bryn Terfel, the burly bass-baritone Juha Uusitalo. It's a claim that is not overstated. Both performances revealed a voice that can harness the power required to project above Wagner's orchestral might, yet still have the latitude to imbue the music with a poetry and passion that can be as subtle as it is explosive.” (The Scotsman, August 2010)

“Juha Uusitalo the bass-baritone stole the show in his role as the suitably menacing depraved and lustful Baron Scarpia, the conspiratorial chief of police. Not only was the Finn in excellent voice so rich and characterful, his acting was superb too. Incredibly effective was his first act aria Va, Tosca! Nel tuo cuor s’annida Scarpia! with his ominously intimidating threats to ravish Tosca or have Cavaradossi hung at the gallows.” (Tosca - Bayerische Staatsoper - Seen and Heard, May 2011)

“Central to these operatic excerpts was Finland's so-called answer to Bryn Terfel, the burly bass-baritone Juha Uusitalo. It's a claim that is not overstated. Both performances revealed a voice that can harness the power required to project above Wagner's orchestral might, yet still have the latitude to imbue the music with a poetry and passion that can be as subtle as it is explosive.” (The Scotsman, August 2010)

“Elsewhere I have been effusive in my praise of Juha Uusitalo’s Wotan in the Valencia Ring. His greatest skill is to point up the vulnerability of Wagner’s great figures without losing the grandeur. So it was here: the searing pain of the Dutchman and the infinite regret of Wotan was etched into every note and the power of his interpretation was never in doubt. The highlight was the sequence at the end of the Dutchman’s monologue when he looks forward to Judgement Day, a climax the intensity of which I will remember for a long time.” (Seen and Heard, August 2010)

Discography

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