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Taru Valjakka (Soprano)

Born: September 16, 1938 - Helsinki, Finland

The Finnish soprano, Taru Valjakka (actual name: Taru Aura Helena Kumpunen), worked first as music teacher and a choir director in Helsinki, before training her voice. She studied singing with Antti Koskinen in Helsinki, with Gerald Moore in Stockholm and London, with Erik Werba in Vienna and with Conchita Badia in Santiago de Compostela.

Taru Valjakka made her debut in 1964 at the Opera of Helsinki as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. Since then she remained member of this opera house. She apopeared as a guest at the National Operas of Budapest and Prague, at the Opera of Oslo and at the Komischen Oper Berlin. In 1980 she appeared as a guest at the Landestheater Kiel in the German premiere of the Finnish opera Der Reitersmann by Sallinen in the main role. She sang the same role in 1975 in the premiere of the opera at the Festival of Savonlinna, wwehere she often appeared. In 1983 she sang this role also with the appearance of the National Opera Helsinki at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 1983 she sang Senta in Fliegenden Holländer at the Festival of Savonlinna. On November 30, 1978 she participated at the Opera of Helsinki in the premiere of another opera by A. Sallinen, Der rote Strich (Punainen viiva), in the role of Riika; on April 5, 1984 at the same house in The Damasc Drum (Silkkirumpniu) by Paavo Heininen (as the princess). In 1987 she appeared at the Teatro Colón Buenos Aires as Senta. Her glorious roles include: Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Pamina in Zauberflöte, Mélisande, Leonore in Troubadour, Desdemona in Verdi's Othello and the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos by R. Strauss (Helsinki, 1986). In 1996 she sang at the Festival of Savonlinna the mezzo-soprano part of Mary in Fliegenden Holländer. She was also an outstanding concert and Lieder singer (songs of Sibelius).

Recordings: Finnlevy (Micaela in complete Carmen), HMV (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk by Dmitri Shostakovich), BIS (Lieder), Finlandia (complete operas Juha by Merikanto, Silkkirumpni by P. Heininen, Der Reitersmann and Der rote Strich by Sallinen).

Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (June 2006)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2006); Manfred Krugmann (Photos 02-03, July 2011)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

Conductor

As

Works

Under her name

Soprano

Selections from BWV 244

Reijo Norio

Soprano

BWV 244 [sung in Finnish]

Ensti Pohjola

Soprano

Selections from BWV 244

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Last update: July 20, 2011 22:47:32