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The Finnish bass-baritone JUKKA RASILAINEN (Kurwenal) studied in Rome with Tina Sciapini-Rella. While still a student, he debuted in Don Giovanni (Leporello) under the direction of Gian Carlo del Monaco. He became a member of the Opera Studio Zurich for the 1985/86 season. Between 1986 and 1993 he had a fixed contract as a bass-baritone and heroic baritone with the Städtische Bühnen Dortmund and the Vereinigte Städtische Bühnen Krefeld/Mönchengladbach. There he acquired a large repertoire, including the following: Wozzek (title role), Lucia di Lammermoor (Raimondo), Falstaff (title role), Nabucco (title role), Salome (Jochanaan), and Tosca (Scarpia). In 1991 Rasilainen debuted in Flensburg in Wagner's opera Der fliegende Holländer in the title role. He then sang this part with great success in more than 12 productions at the Vienna State Opera, the Staatsoper unter den Linden Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Saxon State Opera Dresden, Tokyo, and Savonlinna. In 1992 he debuted at the Saxon State Opera Dresden, and he is still linked to this house through a residential contract. There, he participated in ten new productions and premieres.
In 2000 he sang the new Ring cycle in Helsinki in a production by Götz Friedrich. From 2000 to 2002, Rasilainen sang the new Ring (Wotan, Wanderer) in a production of Robert Wilson and under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst at the Zurich Opera House. Another important premiere was Strauss' Elektra (Orest) in a production by Martin Kusej and under the direction of Christoph von Dohnányi in 2003, again in Zurich.
In 2003 he sang in Lohengrin (Telramund) at the Edinburgh Opera Festival, Siegfried (Wanderer) in Tokyo, Tristan and Isolde (Kurwenal) and Falstaff (title role) in Taiwan, and he debuted at the Bavarian State Opera in Arabella (Mandryka) and Fidelio (Pizarro). In 2004 he received the title Kammersänger at the Saxon State Opera from the Free State of Saxony. In 2005 he debuted in Der fliegende Holländer (title role) at the Bayreuth Festival. Additional highlights of the season 2005/06 were Tristan and Isolde (Kurwenal) with Ben Heppner and Waltraud Meier in a production by Peter Sellars and under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen, and a new production of the Ring at the Théâtre du Châtelet (Wanderer, Wotan) produced by Robert Wilson and under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach. His engagements for the season 2006/07 include Das Rheingold (Wotan), Siegfried (Wanderer), Die Walküre (Wotan), Carmen (Escamillo), Tristan and Isolde (Kurwenal), Frau ohne Schatten (Barak), and Der fliegende Holländer (title role) at the Saxon State Opera Dresden; a Wagner concert tour in Switzerland; and Der fliegende Holländer (title role) at the Bavarian State Opera.