Helena Juntunen


Helena Juntunen is currently one of Finlands most dazzling young sopranos to have established an international career. Her responsive soprano voice enraptures audiences with its freshness, and her phrasing is praised for its expressive and natural quality. Helenas career in Finland was established through winning many competitions, one of the most important of which was the ladies section of the Lappeenranta Singing Competition in 2002, and in October 2006 she was awarded the Karita Mattila prize.

Helena Juntunen started her singing studies at the age of 15 at the Oulu Conservatoire as a student of Airi Tokola. She has graduated as a Master of Music from the Sibelius Academy, where she was taught by Anita Välkki.

The role of Marguerite in Gounods Faust at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in 2002 can be considered as Helenas professional breakthrough. She made her debut with the Connecticut Opera in the USA in the same role during the 2003-2004 season. In fact the season could be considered as the season of debuts as Helena also made her debut in Genoa in Rossinis Il viaggio a Reims (Journey to Reims) as Madame Cortese, in Antwerp as Zdenka in Strauss Arabella, and as Pamina in Mozarts The Magic Flute at the Saxon State Opera Dresden. In addition, Helena also gave her debut concert at New Yorks Carnegie Hall in October 2003 and then in Tokyo.

Helena Juntunen has been a regular performer at the Finnish National Opera since 1999. She has appeared in such roles as Zdenka in Arabella and as Madame Cortese in Il viaggio a Reims under the direction of Nobel-winning Dario Fo. The list of roles include Sophie in Strauss Der Rosenkavalier, Nedda in Il Pagliacci, Mimi in La Boheme, Liisa in Pohjalaisia, Pamina in Magic Flute and world premiers such as Alide in Juri Reinveres Purge (Puhdistus) and  Helena in Sebastian Fagerlunds Autumn Sonata along Anne-Sofie von Otter.

Helena Juntunen has appeared as a soloist with numerous Finnish orchestras and worked with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Leif Segerstam, Osmo Vänskä, Mikko Franck and Hannu Lintu. Helenas recordings for the Ondine label have included a solo album of lieder by Leevi Madetoja together with the pianist Gustav Djupsjöbacka, and complete recordings of Einojuhani Rautavaaras operas Aleksis Kivi and Auringon talo (House of the Sun).