Baritone Tommi Hakala, BBC Singer of the World in 2003, graduated from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and studied in Karlsruhe before starting his career as a baritone in Germany and his native Finland. A regular guest of the Finnish National Opera and the Savonlinna Opera Festival, he has held positions at the Nuremberg Opera (1998–2001) as well as the Leipzig Opera (2001-2004) and joined the ensemble of the Finnish National Opera in 2008. Since then, guest engagements have included several concerts in Europe and the USA, his US-debut with Le nozze di Figaro in San Francisco and Faust at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Don Giovanni and Danilo/Die lustige Witwe with Flanders Opera as well as in Bern (2006/07), Carmen at the Finnish National Opera, Don Carlo in Copenhagen as well as in Tampere and another Figaro production in Atlanta. In 2008 Hakala was also re-invited to the Metropolitan Opera to sing La bohème and in 2009 he sang succesfully his first Belcore at De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam. His recording of Kullervo, together with Leif Segerstam and Soile Isokoski, was awarded the Diapason d’or in 2008. In addition to several concerts, projects until 2011 include La traviata, La bohème, The Merry Widow and Yevgeni Onegin in Helsinki, a new Onegin production at Flanders Opera, Euryanthe in Toulouse, and Tannhäuser in Copenhagen.
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