Carla Huhtanen, in a strappy tank top, standing in front of a lake.

Carla Huhtanen

A powerful and eloquent presence.

Opera Canada

Canadian-born Carla Huhtanen is praised by audiences and by her peers for her “vivid, fine-toned, accurately placed coloratura” (Independent) and her “gorgeous toned soprano of immense vocal flexibility” (Globe and Mail). Recent performances include Konstanze in The Abduction from the Seraglio with Opera Columbus, Il ritorno di Ulisse with Opera Atelier, Boulez’s le soleil des eaux with Toronto Symphony Orchestra and a Bernstein Tribute with the RTÉ Orchestra (Dublin) with John Wilson.

Carla debuted in Italy at Gran Teatro la Fenice as Daisy Park in Gershwin’s Lady, Be Good! and returned to La Fenice as Athenaïs in Cherubini’s Anacréon. In the UK, she was Lisetta in Garsington Opera’s La Gazzetta (Rossini) and returned as Serpetta in their production of Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, a performance repeated at the Barbican Centre’s Mostly Mozart series.

Active in France, she has sung the title role of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen for festival mars en baroque (Provence tour) and Angelica in Händel’s Orlando for Théatre Gyptis (Marseille), at festival musique au coeur (Antibes) and festival de Chartres.

A reprise performance of Lady, Be Good! took her to Lisbon’s Teatro Sao Carlos and she was featured soloist in a Leonard Bernstein Tribute with the Israel Philharmonic. Other highlights include Cunegonde in Candide with the BBC Concert Orchestra and at the Valletta Festival in Malta. She was soloist with the Royal Philharmonic and the Welsh National Opera Orchestra with Carl Davis for a concert tour of the UK and Germany.

A favourite at Toronto’s Opera Atelier, she has sung leading roles in Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, The Abduction from the Seraglio, Der Freischütz, The Magic Flute, the Monteverdi operas, and toured both Lully’s Armide and Persée to the Royal Theatre at Versailles. She returns to OA in 2019/20 for Don Giovanni and Händel’s La Resurrezione.

As a leading interpreter of modern and contemporary music, Carla performs regularly with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Soundstreams Canada, Music on Main (Vancouver) and Tapestry Opera. She recently toured with the Toronto Symphony in le soleil des eaux by Pierre Boulez, in which “her soprano spoke clearly throughout her range and lent itself beautifully to Boulez’s ebbs and flows, bursting out of the orchestra’s colorful splashes and acting as a shimmering extension of upward-reaching choral waves…” (

With Tapestry, Carla appeared in Tables:Turned, The Shadow and Rocking Horse Winner (Dora Award nominee performance), and with Soundstreams, in Cage/Saariaho, Reich, Tan Dun and Unsuk Chin concerts. She works closely with composers to develop and premiere new Canadian works, and also sings the music of Crumb, Scelsi, Leroux, Dusapin, Adès and Knussen.

Other concert performances include Mass in B Minor, Messiah, Carmina Burana, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Five Images after Sappho with the Kitchener-Waterloo and Kingston Symphonies and Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Moravec’s The Blizzard Voices with Opera Omaha. Carla’s love for chamber music has led to fruitful collaborations with Tafelmusik, the Gryphon Trio, Standing Wave, and the Art of Time Ensemble.

Chandos records recently released a Vaughan-Williams compendium CD featuring Carla. It was nominated for two Grammy Awards (winning for Producer of the Year) and also won a Juno Award for Best Classical Album – Large Ensemble.


This page was last updated in July 2023.