Helen Lepalaan

Member of Association of Estonian Professional Musicians

Mezzo-soprano Helen Lepalaan graduated in singing from Estonian Academy of Music with Ludmilla Issakova in 2000. She continued her singing studies in 2000/2001 with Udo Reinemann at Amsterdam Conservatory and in 2001–2004 under the guidance of Mya Besselink at Maastricht Academy of Music. She has improved privately her skills with Monika Hauswalter and Charlotte Margiono. Her present singing couch is Snezaana Stamenkovic.

Helen Lepalaan works as an International Relations and Casting Manager of Estonian National Opera and since 2013 as a lecturer of Voice Department of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.

In 2006–2008, Helen Lepalaan was contracted for two seasons at Opera Zuid in Netherlands where she performed leading roles in George Bizet’s Carmen, Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon (Prince) and Gioachino Rossini’s Barbier of Seville (Rosina). For these performances, which were also performed at the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, she received high critical acclaim in the national and international press.

Since 2008, Lepalaan is a freelance singer and performs in different opera theatres. She has participated in productions of Belgian opera company Idée Fixe, Royal Opera of Wallony, Rotterdam, Theatre of Koblenz, Heidelheim Opera Festival, Welsh National Opera, Opera North and Estonian National Opera.

Her opera roles also include Pastuchina (Leoš Janáček’s Jenůfa, Opera Zuid), Blanche (Sergei Prokofiev’s The Gambler), Carmela (Manuel de Falla’s La vida breve), Cherubino (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro), 2nd Lady (Mozart’s The Magic Flute), Kate Pinkerton and Suzuki (Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Idée Fixe, Belgium), Polina (Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame, Estonian National Opera), Olga (Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin), Volpino (Joseph Haydn’s The Apothecary), Valet (Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka), Clarice (Rossini’s La pietra del paragone), Maddalena (Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, Royal Opera of Wallony), Frugola (Il tabarro), Abtiss (Sour Angelica) and La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi) from Giacomo Puccini’s Il trittico (Zuidi Ooper), mezzo roles in Maurice Ravel’s opera L'enfant et les sortilèges (Rotterdam, Holland) and solo part in Claude Debussy’s Le Martyre de saint Sébastien, Carmen (Bizet’s Carmen, Theatre of Koblenz,  Heidelheim Opera Festival, Estonian National Opera), Orlofsky (Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Welsh National Opera), Dorabella (Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Welsh National Opera), Sesto (Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito, Opera North), Julius Caesar (Georg Friedrich Händel’s Julius Caesar, Estonian National Opera), Armida (Händel’s Rinaldo, Estonian National Opera), The Daughter (Hindemith's Cardillac, Estonian National Opera). In June 2018, Helen Lepalaan participated in the performance of Rudolf Tobias’s oratorio „Jonah“, the premiere of the author’s Estonian language version and original orchestration in Estonia.

Helen Lepalaan has performed at many reputable concert venues in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and England, including Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In addition she has sung internationally as soloist in numerous large-scale vocal works with symphony orchestra, such as Mass in B minor, Christmas Oratorio, Magnificat, Passions of St. John and St. Matthew and several cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, Stabat mater by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Messiah and cantatas by Händel, Mass in c minor and Requiem by Mozart, Requiem by Dvořák, Missa Solemnis and Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven, Petite messe solennelle by Rossini, Requiem by Verdi, Harmoniemesse by Haydn, Mass No. 5 by Franz Schubert, Passio by Arvo Pärt, Requiem by Maurice Duruflé and canatatas by Georg Philipp Telemann, she has also perfomed vocal cycle Summer Nights by Hector Berlioz.

Lepalaan has given song recitals with American, Russian, French and Estonian music. Since 2009, she is a member of a trio Kybele with Esra Pehlivanli (viola) and Anastasia Safonova (pano).

Among the conductors she has collaborated with Neeme Järvi, Tõnu Kaljuste, Ludovic Morlot, Ed Spanjaard, Daniel Raiskin, Ivan Angelov, Daniele Rustioni, Thomas Roesner, Marcus Bosch and performed with Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Brabant Orchestra, Residence Orchestra, Limburg Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Netherlands et al.

Helen Lepalaan has received high critical acclaim for her performances in the international press.

Helen Lepalaan as Carmen is impressive.
Brabants Dagblad, August 28, 2007

Helen Lepalaan (Rosina) proves again her class – perfect technique and unique timbre combined with jealous-making presence.
Peter van der Lint. – Trouw, May 19, 2008

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