About this Artist
Soprano Miina-Liisa Värelä has firmly established her presence on the operatic landscape through a number of recent highly acclaimed debuts including as Isolde/Tristan und Isolde (Glyndebourne Festival Opera), Senta/Der fliegende Holländer (Finnish National Opera) and as Strauss’s Elektra (Landestheater Linz). As Sieglinde in Odense Symfoniorkester’s staged Ring Cycle under Alexander Vedernikov, Värelä was hailed as an exciting emerging talent and she sang her first Ortrud in Wagner’s Lohengrin in a highly acclaimed new staging at Salzburg’s Felsenreitschule.
Two highlights of Värelä’s 2019/20 season focused on the music of Richard Strauss: her return to Finnish National Opera in the title role of Katie Mitchell’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos, conducted by music director Hannu Lintu, and her debut at the Verbier Festival as Färberin in Die Frau ohne Schatten, conducted by Valery Gergiev. In 2020/21, Värelä further expanded her Wagnerian repertoire through her debut as Isolde in Tristan und Isolde to mark her Glyndebourne Festival debut, conducted by Robin Ticciati, and with a final performance at Royal Albert Hall as part of the 2021 BBC Proms.
The current season includes two company debuts for Vӓrelӓ: at Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona as the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos and at Oper Frankfurt as Färberin in Die Frau ohne Schatten. She makes a return to Brünnhilde in “Ring an einem Abend” on tour throughout Germany, including performances at the Philharmonie in both Berlin and Munich. Värelä subsequently appears as Sieglinde in concert performance of Die Walküre (Act 1) with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, under Andris Poga and for the 2022 Savonnlina Opera Festival, she sings the title role in Keith Warner’s production of Tosca, conducted by Carlo Montanaro.
On the concert platform, Värelä returns to Shostakovich Symphony No. 14 with Solistes Européens Luxembourg under Music Director Christoph Kӧnig. She has most recently performed Shostakovich’s From Jewish Folk Poetry for Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu and Shostakovich Symphony No.14 with HR Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt under Klaus Mäkelä. Further performances include, Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder in Aarhus, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Ingo Metzmacher, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra under Hannu Lintu, Shostakovich’s Symphony No.14 with Oulu Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with Odense Symphony Orchestra under Hans Graf.
A native of Finland, Värelä is a graduate of Helsinki’s renowned Sibelius Academy and has taken prizes in numerous competitions including at Lappeenranta and Belvedere.