Finnish mezzo-soprano Tuija Knihtilä is, with lightning speed, gaining a worldwide following. Of her Amneris in Aida, Thomas Michelsen writing in Politiken (Denmark) was moved to exclaim “It was first and foremost an experience at the international level, nothing less, to hear Finnish mezzo, Tuija Knihtilä. What a voice! What control!” And Susan Nickalls in London’s Financial Times acclaimed “Some of the strongest emotional moments in the opera [Tristan und Isolde] came from Tuija Knihtilä as Isolde’s maid Brangane….”
In the 2017-18 season, Ms. Knihtilä is Kundry in Parsifal with the Finnish National Opera, Mary in Der fliegende Holländer with the Bergen National Opera, and she is soloist in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and in Verdi's Requiem with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Sweden. Her engagements in the 2016-17 season included the role of Laura in La Gioconda in her re-engagement with Malmö Opera, Venus in Tannhäuser at Staatstheater Darmstadt Germany, soloist in Mahler’s Rückert Lieder with Finland’s Kuopio Symphony Orchestra and Jyväskylä Symphony Orchestra, and an opera gala concert with Finland’s Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra. In the 2015-16 season, Ms. Knihtilä made her United States debut as Amneris in Aida with Austin Opera. Her other engagements included Ortrud in Lohengrin with Royal Danish Opera, Sibelius’ Kullervo with Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona and Hungary’s Pannon Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Sibelius’ The Tempest with Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Finnish National Opera Orchestra, and an opera gala concert with Oulu Symphony Orchestra (Finland). In the summer of 2016 she sang Mulier Samaritana in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, and toured Finland with Lohja City Orchestra for performances of Mozart’s Requiem and an opera gala concert.
In recent seasons Ms. Knihtilä performed Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos and Venus in Tannhäuser, both with Oslo’s Den Norske Opera; made her debut as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde in Weimar; and participated in the world premiere of Kimmo Hakola’s opera La Fenice. After her return to Oslo as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana and Brangäne, she made her Italian debut at the Teatro la Fenice in Venice, in a production of works by Myung Whun Chung. Further highlights of the recent past include her debut as Brangäne in Chemnitz, performances of Amneris in Malmö and Sao Paulo, and Venus in Copenhagen. Her stunning interpretation of Ortrud in Lohengrin in Savonlinna in summer of 2013 received great acclaim from public and critics alike.
Tuija Knihtilä is also a sought-after concert singer. She has worked with Leif Segerstam, Esa Pekka Salonen, Mikko Franck and many leading Scandinavian and European orchestras, including the Helsinki, Tampere and Turku philharmonic orchestras, the Malmö, Lohja and Kuopio symphony orchestras, Kymi and Västerås sinfoniettas, Finnish Baroque Orchestra, Orchestra of the Finnish National Opera, and the State Orchestra Darmstadt (Germany), among others. Other recent successes include Venus in Tannhäuser at the Oper Frankfurt in a production by Vera Nemirova, under the baton of Constantin Trinks, and a new production of Aida with Theater Bonn, in which she reprised the role of Amneris.
Tuija Knihtilä studied at the Sibelius-Academy, where she graduated with a Master of Music degree before pursuing further studies in Berlin at the Hochschule der Künste and Zurich at the International Opera Studio. Prior to 2010 she was engaged as a soloist in the ensemble of the Finnish National Opera, where she performed in such productions as Così fan tutte, Rigoletto and Carmen, and particularly distinguished herself in the role of Amneris. Since 2004 she has been a regular guest at Savonlinna Opera Festival.