Jenni Lättilä's performance of Karol Szymanowski's highly demanding song cycle Des Hafis Liebeslieder op. 26 was another delight in the concert. Ms. Lättilä's soprano has obtained maturity and carrying power.
When her voice had wind beneath its wings, it soared beautiful and enjoyable. She still has some fine-tuning to do securing the highest range and strengthening the middle, but she has what it takes to be a first class Wagnerian soprano. That can also be heard on her excellent debut album of Wagner's Complete Lieder (Sibarecords 2016).
The vocal part [in Szymanowski´s "Des Hafis Liebeslieder"] is reminiscent of late Wagner or early Schönberg, or why not Richard Strauss. The melody has a very large ambitus, and demands extremely expressive singing in the demanding high range from the soprano. With her background in Wagner, Jenni Lättilä interpreted these songs in a convincing manner.
The song cycle [Des Hafis Liebeslieder] was sung by Jenni Lättilä, who was recently seen for example in the Finnish National Opera's "Elektra" in September.
Her youthful dramatic soprano voice suits well to perform the densely expressive early 20th century music, and here she provided us with intensely exuberant exclamations and mystical whispers.
Ms. Lättilä savoured the enjoyable long legato lines of the songs and interpreted the texts delicately and playfully. In the eight-part cycle, I especially enjoyed the song Deine Stimme (Your voice), where the orchestra rippled like a wistful fountain, while Ms. Lättilä was sighing in dreamy pianissimi.
Ottaen huomioon Wagnerin myöhemmän menestyksen hänen varhaiseen laulutuotantoonsa on kiinnostavaa tutustua. Lättilä ja Kozlovsky tekevät puhuttelevan kohtalokkaasti esimerkiksi laulun Les deux grenadiers, joka on ranskannos Schumannin Die beiden Grenadierena paremmin tunnetusta Heinrich Heinen tekstistä. Taistelukenttien muistot ja Marseljeesi sekoittuvat tummanpuhuvan oopperamaisesti —Lättilä itse mainitsee levytekstissään laulun yhteydet Ring-sykliin ja erityisesti Valkyyrioiden musiikkiin. Pariisilaislauluista Trois melodies ovat samalta vuodelta 1839 eli Wagnerin ensimmäseltä Pariisin-vuodelta. Niiden korkealla leijaileva, pitkä linja kaipaisi ehkä hivenen lyyrisempää laulajaa,
lopputulos on ehkä tarpeettoman raskas. Yleisesti ottaen Lättilä hallitsee instrumenttinsa vakuuttavasti ja osaa ottaa laulujen sävyjä esiin huumoria myöten. Sitä on tarjolla Mary Stuartin jäähyväisissä, Adieux de Marie Stuart, jonka Wagner sävelsi Pariisissa ilmeisesti huvittaakseen ystäviään—ja tahallisen tahattoman huumorin esiintuomiseen Jenni Lättilän Wagner-sopraano on kuin omiaan! Lauluista vakavammat, aina nuoruuden Faust-laulujen vakuuttavasta Gretchen am Spinnradesta Wagnerin kypsän kauden mestarillisiin Wesendonck-lauluihin, sopivat Lättilän dramaattiselle äänelle ja taiteelliselle persoonalle parhaiten. Kiril Kozlovsky on herkkä ja taitava kumppani, parhaita Lied- pianistejamme. Tristan ja Isolde -oopperan alla 1850-luvun viime vuosina syntyneet laulut ovat laulumusiikin helmiä ja soivat Lättilän ja Kozlovskyn esittämänä sävykkäästi ja tasapainoisesti.
Turku Philharmonics kicked off their 225th anniversary year with panache by providing a staged performance of this ultra-challenging classic of musical expressionism, with Jenni Lättilä in the leading role. Her performance made me wish that vocal soloists would more often have the courage needed for full stage presence in front of an orchestra. The soloist immersing herself totally into the work with full operatic bodily expression released new overwhelming energy from Erwartung. [...] Maestro Leif Segerstam laid out the orchestral texture as a dream-like, soft landscape, where depth and color, not the fragmented and lucid surface, was emphasized. This was fully convergent with Ms. Lättilä’s dramatic flux of voice, painting the inner landscape of the delusional Woman with a wide romantic brush but avoiding all heaviness and monotonousness. Ms. Lättilä’s downright enormous voice has a fine floating quality and – even surprising – vivaciousness, based on good text and unfailingly flowing legato line. Her Erwartung built on speech-like, yet vocally abundant stream of consciousness, which she colored with straight tones, altercations, metallic shouts and downy pianissimos.
The languishing widow Popova, portrayed by Jenni Lättilä, made an impressive dramatic arch from bleak sorrowful dowager to a passionate, almost blood-in-your-mouth tigress. When a debtor - misogynic Smirnov (Hannu Niemelä) - of her late husbands comes to collect, begins a duel that cannot end but between the sheets. The fight between Ms. Lättilä and Mr. Niemelä together with their marvelous solo parts are candy for the ears. More of this, please!
Women are given smaller roles in this opera [The Nose by Shostakovich], but the best female singers in the cast were Jenni Lättilä as the Matryoshka-like Podtotshina and Margarita Nacér as her perky daughter.
Soprano Jenni Lättilä put her soul in the role of the anxious Woman all out, and threw herself (also literally) totally into the role. Ms. Lättilä’s soprano is not just a vivid jingle, but has great drama in it. Her voice has so much volume and solidity that she does not need to blast out with full force at all times, even the gentlest nuances carried extremely well over the orchestra. Sami Saikkosen's dance complemented the soprano's mental landscape excellently: anxiety thickened, but Mr. Saikkonen also brought humour to the piece. [...] Communication and timing between Ms. Lättilä and Mr. Saikkonen worked like a charm. [...] The entirety of the performance was very balanced, with plenty of different stimulus for all senses – but not too much. Just suitably for a human being.
The world premiere of Paavo Heininen's two-part Kun ja Jos, vakavia lauluja op. 133 formed an almost meta-textual bi-polarity.
The song Kun provided the narrating soprano voice by soprano Jenni Lättilä with a shattered space molded by small mirror-clear flashes, like echoes of feelings left in an empty room. Jos in its turn could almost be associated with the musical language of political song-theatre, although there was also an undercurrent of native folk tunes to be sensed. Ms. Lättilä's voice resounded with purpose and demand, especially the latter song was so loaded with text that no easy way out was left for anyone.
Orchestra congratulated the 75-year old composer with an extra number: Kun päivä paistaa by Oskar Merikanto glittered conqueringly, and revealed Ms. Lättilä to be a souvereign interpreter of Merikanto as well.
In the third part of the work (Kullervo by Jean Sibelius) the orchestra was joined by Olli Tuovinen (as Kullervo), Jenni Lättilä (his sister) and the male choir Sirkat. The choir part, mostly in unisono, sounded hefty; only in the upper registers did it occasionally trip to out-of-tune sideways.
Especially soprano Jenni Lättilä's capacity of voice and skills in drama carried brilliantly and winningly over the stage edge.
The same prayerful feeling [w.r.t Sibelius' Scene with Cranes and Siegfried's Rhine-journey] is also found in Sibelius' Luonnotar which in many ways is still more challenging, partly because the piece is longer (since it is a tonepoem with a soprano solo), and partly because the modality grows progressively more vague as the text of the Kalevala is given an almost modernist treatment, becoming at times unrecognizable.
Jenni Lättilä, who replaced [--] on a very short notice, filled the whole hall with her enormous voice, and was surely as radiant as Aino Ackté in the world-premiere [of Luonnotar by Sibelius] in Gloucester, England 1913. The attack on some of the very lowest notes was a bit off, and a pianissimo is almost impossible to produce in Turku Concert Hall, but the intensity was all the more tactile.
Great voices and a magnificient orchestra shone in the Ring of the Nibelung [...]
A surprise and a rising name in the Ring of the Nibelung is young Jenni Lättilä, whose blonde habitus and the beautiful and well-carrying radiance of her rounded voice take her beyond being just a promising Wagner-soprano.
In the strong Götterdämmerung sang the first rank of Finnish singers: Matti Salminen as Hagen, Tommi Hakala as Gunther and Jenni Lättilä as Gutrune. The spectacle got the conclusion it deserves. Considering the profile of the Finnish National Opera it is not an insignificant thing it can present the Ring with such a high artistic level.
Happy and satisfied seemed also Leif Segerstram. A triumph in the arduous undertaking has been achieved and new wagnerians have been inaugurated. The magic of the Ring lasts.
Wagner's Ring got an ending as magnificient as one can hope. The orchestra of the Finnish National Opera was at its best under Leif Segerstam, and the troop of soloist was outstanding. After five hours of sitting the audience still gave a splendid ovation. --- The National Opera has assembled thirteen singers next to ideal for their roles. As the primus motor of evil we had the best Hagen in the world, Matti Salminen --- The siblings Gunther and Gutrune were naive both in thoughts and deeds. Tommi Hakala sang Gunther well. Jenni Lättilä was vocally impressive, especially in her middle range, both as the Third Norn and Gutrune.
Jenni Lättilä's concert in the Sibelius-Academy was not only a complete artistic total-experience, it was something of a catharsis for all Wagnerians and like-minded persons. [...] The "Wesendonck-lieder" is a kind of pilot study for Tristan and Isolde, and Ms. Lättilä sung it with such a timbral warmth and emotional fervor that one can hardly wait for her to re-create Isolde on the national stage. [...] From the morbidly self-critical Duparc's fastidious production we heard five "mélodies", in which Ms. Lättilä showed in terms not uncertain that she masters both resounding fortissimos and breathless pianissimos with the same natural easiness. [...] That we are talking about a voice unique in both its clean and penetrating capacity as well as in the timbral qualities should be clear, and even if Ms. Lättilä did sing lied in an admirably unaffected way, there is absolutely no doubt that she was born to stand on the large opera stages.
[...] contracted laryngitis just before the concert and was thus unable to sing. Soprano Jenni Lättilä, who has earned her spurs even in international vocal competitions, had the courage to jump in. It takes quite a lot of professionalism and ability to throw oneself onto the music to be able to sing as soloist with a symphony orchestra with only a couple of days of warning. Jenni Lättilä managed the work well. Presumably the short time she had to prepare forced her to rely on sheet music - that should be forgiven in this case. In any case Ms. Lättilä did sing with confidence, purely, with securely flowing line. Most impressive of the interpretations by this large, wagnerian voice was from the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi: truly beautiful melodies, difficult to sing - Ms. Lättilä sung throughout the concert with intensity, at times downright heroically.
Macbeth springs in mind here [with reference to Semiramide by Rossini] easily because I visited Jyväskylä to see the innovative reading of Verdi's Macbeth by stage director Ville Saukkonen, produced by Jyväskylä Opera. Made with a small budget but ardent passion, this production was an interesting rendering of this very familiar work. I was curious to see how Jenni Lättilä, a young dramatic soprano, manages to sing the part of Lady Macbeth. I must say I hadn't seen before such daringly interpreted and acted out Lady as she did, even though her voice does not yet reach perfection in all the whims Lady puts out. Jenni Lättilä visited some time ago Denmark, receiving the third prize from the Lauritz Melchior International Singing Competition. She writes entertainingly about the competition in The Wagnerian, a magazine by Finnish Wagner Society. This competition is peculiar for its age limit, set to forty. This is to enable the participation of dramatic Wagnerian voices, which mature only later. For once, a competition which did better than just worship youth - but Jenni Lättilä was still junior in the company of her competitors, and did well nevertheless! Also other roles of the Jyväskylä production were occupied by interesting singers - and of course the choir, composed of local amateur singers, was enthusiastic about their roles, as well playing the witches as well as the oppressed people of Scotland.
The Jyväskylä production is a celebration of Lady Macbeth and the choir. Soprano Jenni Lättilä fulfills the (even melo-) dramatic requirements of her role splendidly, up to her gestures and - especially - expressions. Even the highest top notes are hit accurately, and open up gorgeously. The long-waited dramatic high point - the sleep-walking scene - shows also convincingly, that she has worked diligently to understand completely the inner motivations of her character.
The [Turku Philharmonic Orchestra] concert program comprised of Wagner's music, as a part of Finnish Wagner Society's 20th anniversary festivities. Congratulations!
The conductor was Austrian Ralf Kircher, who now lives in Finland. Soloists were Jenni Lättilä, Johanna Rusanen-Kartano, Esa Ruuttunen and Petrus Schroderus. Esa Ruuttunen replaced Juha Uusitalo, who had to cancel due to illness. [...]
Jenni Lättilä yielded the best moments of the evening. She is a very promising dramatic soprano, to whom I wish a long and successful career.