Finnish mezzo-soprano Rita Ahonen looks back at almost 40 years of singing opera, having sung her first roles while still a schoolgirl at the Conservatory opera studio in her hometown Tampere. After singing at Finnish theatres in Kotka, Vaasa and Oulu she made her debut at the Finnish National Opera in 1991 appearing there regularly until 2003. She debuted at the Theater Basel in 2000 and was invited to join the ensemble where she stayed until 2016. She has performed as a guest at the Stadttheater Bern, Royal Opera Stockholm and the Savonlinna Opera Festival. Her repertoire comprises 70 roles ranging from baroque to contemporary operas, such as Arnalta, Messaggera, Juno/Ino, Dorabella, Carmen, Orlowsky, Baba the Turk, Flosshilde, Siegrune, Rosina and Berta, Feodor and Inn keeper, Olga, Larina and Filipyevna, Suzuki, Maddalena, Madame de Croissy, Clarice, Podtotshina, Bianca, Genéviève and roles in Finnish contemporary operas of I.Kuusisto, A.Sallinen, J.Kokkonen, E,Bergman, E.Rautavaara and T.Tuomela. Rita Ahonen graduated from the Sibelius-Academy in 1987 and undertook postgraduate studies at the Sankt Petersburg Conservatoire. An enthusiastic vocal pedagogue, she has worked as a singing teacher at the Theatre Academy in Helsinki and at the opera studio OperAvenir of Theater Basel.