Finnish baritone Heikki Kilpeläinen studied singing at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. In 1994, after attending the Zürich Opera Studio, he was invited to become a member of the Theater Bremen, where his roles included a.o. Malatesta and Escamillo as well as various modern roles like “I“ in Alfred Schnittke’s Life with an Idiot and the title role of Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz. In Bremen he participated in the CD-recording of Madama Butterfly in the role of Sharpless for Naxos.
In 1997 Heikki Kilpeläinen became soloist of Theater Bonn, where he sang his first Verdi roles Rodrigo and Ford alongside Mozart roles Conte and Guglielmo. From 2000 to 2009 he was in the opera ensemble of Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, where he performed such roles as Don Giovanni, Enrico Ashton, Alfio, Faninal, Zar in Zar und Zimmermann and Alsemero in the world premiere of Christian Jost’s opera Vipern. In 2010 Heikki Kilpeläinen became a member of Staatstheater Mainz with repertoire including the title roles of Szymanowski’s King Roger, Eugen Onegin and Macbeth, as well as Germont, Renato, Kurwenal, Beckmesser, Ratefreund in Braunfels’ Die Vögel, Sebastiano in Tiefland, Feldmarschall Dörfling in Henze’s Der Prinz von Homburg, a.o. He was nominated “Singer of the year 2013” in the German opera magazine Opernwelt for his portrayal of Verdi’s Macbeth.
Since 2015 Heikki Kilpeläinen is a freelance artist with a wide repertoire of some 70 opera roles. His guest appearances have led him to many important German opera houses, to Geneva and to his native Finland, where he has sung Mandryka, Ottokar, Sharpless, Shtshelkalow and Fra Melitone. Among recent performances Pascal Dusapin’s Perelà in 2016 and Ubalde in Gluck’s Armide in 2017, both in Mainz. In the world premiere of Ludger Volmer’s Tschick at Theater Hagen he performed the roles of Lehrer, Richter Burgmüller and Vater Heckel in 2017. His next roles are Gritzenko in Meyerbeer’s opera L’étoile du Nord with West Coast Opera Kokkola and Bartolo in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the new opera company Opera Box in Helsinki.