Raimo Sirkiä



Finnish tenor Raimo Sirkiä is one of the most interesting dramatic tenors on the international scene. His powerful, warm-timbred voice lends itself equally well to Verdi's Otello and Radames as to Wagner's Tannhäuser, Tristan, and Lohengrin.

Raimo Sirkiä has been a musician since his fourth year of life, when he began playing the accordion. He was the Finnish national champion four years in succession and went on to master several other instruments.
Mr. Sirkiä studied voice at the
Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. In 1981 he won the Timo Mustakallio Voice Competition and entered his first opera house engagement in Kiel, Germany. Here his lyric tenor repertoire widened to include Italian spinto tenor roles.

Engagements at the Dortmund City Opera (1985-1991) and at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein (1991-96) gave him the opportunity to add all the major Italian roles, including Otello, which he has sung all over Europe, as well his first Wagner roles, Erik, Parsifal, Walter von Stolzing, and Tristan.

Since 1990 Raimo Sirkiä has also been a member of the ensemble of the Finnish National Opera. Notable among his roles in his home theater were Otello, a televised Don Carlos, and Siegmund in Gõtz Friedrich's production of the Ring.

Mr. Sirkiä is a frequent concert guest with the major orchestras of Scandinavia and has recorded several complete operas, symphonies, as well as numerous solo recordings and complete operas on video.

Raimo Sirkiä has sung at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Staatsoper Hamburg, the Royal Operas of Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo, the Semper Oper in Dresden, the Teatro Malibran in Venice, and the Teatro Regio in Turin, the Otello Festival in Cyprus and the Bayreuth Festival.
Mr. Sirkiä's Wagner repertory expanded to include Tannhäuser(Savonlinna Opera Festival) and Tristan (Deutsche Oper am Rhein) in 1996. Lohengrin followed in 1999 at the Megaron in
Athens. Lohengrin was his debut role at the Bayreuth Festival in 2000.

Mr. Sirkiä has a long association with the Savonlinna Opera Festival, having sung the major tenor roles there since winning the Mustakallio Prize in 1981. He was named Artist of the Year in 1996 in recognition of his contribution to the Festival. Raimo Sirkiä was the artistic director of the festival during the seasons 2002-2007.


Mr. Sirkiä recorded Tauno Pylkkänen's Mare and her Son in a cooperation between the National Operas of Finland and Estonia in September 2004. He was Parsifal in Harry Kupfer's new prouction in Helsinki in March of 2005. Cavaradossi followed at the Finnish National Opera in April.

In the summer of 2005 Raimo Sirkiä returned as Calaf to Savonlinna's highly successful mounting of Puccini's Turandot.

The 2005-2006 season began with Pollione in the Finnish National Opera's reprise of Norma, and with a new Giancarlo Del Monaco production of Andrea Chénier, followed by a stage debut as the Kaiser in Richard Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten in Michael Hampe's interpretation. The season at the Finnish National Opera ended with reprises of Otello and Parsifal.

Raimo Sirkiä retired from the Finnish National Opera after the season 2006 .
He started to teach the young generation of tenors and tries to help them to find their way in the world of opera.
Lately, after his opera carriere, Raimo Sirkiä has given mainly concerts and recitals.