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Anu Komsi

About this Artist

ANU KOMSI continues to be praised for her versatile musicianship and for her dynamic coloratura voice. Equally at home on both opera and concert stages, she has appeared regularly all over Europe and the United States. Komsi is a versatile recitalist and chamber musician with a repertory ranging from Baroque and Renaissance to cutting-edge contemporary music and progressive jazz improvisation.

Engagements in leading European opera houses, such as Paris Bastille, Stuttgart, Frankfurt am Main, Paris Châtelet, and Paris T&M (Odéon and Strasbourg), keep her busy in her operatic career. Her repertoire lists over 40 operas, including Lulu, Ariadne auf Naxos (Zerbinetta), Don Pasquale (Norina), Stravinsky's Nightingale, Rigoletto (Gilda), The Magic Flute (Queen of the Night), Ligeti's Mysteries of the Macabre, and James Dillon's Philomela. One of her biggest successes has been the virtuoso role in Morton Feldman's Neither, which was highly acclaimed in the international press. At the Lincoln Center Festival 2007, Komsi sang a role written for her in George Benjamin's Into the Little Hill.

Komsi has also appeared as soloist with numerous leading orchestras in Europe and in many of the most prominent concert halls throughout Europe and the United States. She has collaborated with important conductors, including Sir Roger Norrington, Oliver Knussen, Sakari Oramo, Osmo Vänskä, Rudolf Barshai, Leif Segerstam, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and George Benjamin. Her collaboration with Esa-Pekka Salonen began in 1988, with the world premiere of Floof. Her involvement also included a recording (Warner Bros./Finlandia) and, since the premiere, approximately 30 performances all over the world. Salonen's orchestral work Wing on Wing showcased the coloratura voices of the Komsi twin sisters, as did Korean composer Unsuk Chin's Cantatrix Sopranica. Additionally, Komsi has often performed works such as Debussy's Chansons de Jeunesse, Lutoslawski's Chantefleurs et Chantefables, Sibelius' Luonnotar, Mahler's Fourth Symphony, György Kurtág's Kafka-Fragments, Jonathan Harvey's White as Jasmine, Judith Weir's Natural History, Couperin's Leçons des Tenebres, Bach's cantatas and oratorios, Schumann's Faust Scenes, Schoenberg's String Quartet No. 2, and Kimmo Hakola's Le Sacrifice.

Komsi has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Hänssler Classic, Warner, Ondine, and Bis. Her most recent CD, Sydän (which includes songs by Saariaho, Kaipainen, and national romantic composers on texts of Finnish poet Eino Leino) was released by Alba in 2007.

A recent challenge for Anu Komsi is to spearhead a new opera company in her hometown, Kokkola. She is founder and artistic director of the Kokkola Opera on the Finnish West Coast. The company's first production was Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro in 2006 (repeated in summer 2007), conducted by Sakari Oramo, with Komsi singing the role of Susanna. The production was acclaimed in Finland as "Innovation of the Year." Komsi will be singing the lead role of Rosalinda in Kokkola Opera's new production of J. Strauss' Die Fledermaus in 2007. For the 2008 summer festival in Kokkola, Anu has planned an Italian diptych, including Carissimi's Jephta and Puccini's Suor Angelica, and she also plans to perform Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire.

Future engagements include productions in Cité de la Musique, Casa da Musica in Porto, Frankfurt Opera, Alte Oper Frankfurt, and the Osaka Festival, with works by composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Morton Feldman, and George Benjamin. In the 2007/08 season, she will tour Europe with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Salonen, and sing her debut with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.