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Q&A | 22 Questions For Carla Huhtanen

By Ludwig Van on February 5, 2017

Soprano Carla Huhtanen (photo: Tobin Grimshaw)
Soprano Carla Huhtanen (Photo: Tobin Grimshaw)

Every so often MT poses 60 questions to a local or visiting artist in Toronto who has made our classical music community that much more interesting. They pick and choose. The minimum response is 20 answers. A kind of Rorschach personality test, if you will.

Soprano Carla Huhtanen is a rare breed of artist who is at equally at home in both traditional and contemporary music. She first launched her career in Italy and France, singing at Teatro La Fenice (Venice) in Gershwin’s Lady, Be Good! and Cherubini’s Anacréon in 2000-01. She sang Angelica in Händel’s Orlando and the title role in Purcell’s Fairy Queen in Marseille, also performing in Aix-en-Provence, Tarascon, Toulon, Avignon and Chartres.

Huhtanen performs regularly with Opera Atelier (Susanna, Blonde, Drusilla, Minerva) and Tapestry New Opera (The Shadow, Opera to Go) in Toronto. She was chosen as One of Now! Magazine’s Top Ten Theatre Artists of 2008 and has been nominated for a 2010 Dora Award.

What are three things that Toronto doesn’t have but should?

Faster public transit, protected bike lanes and privatized liquor stores.

Name the musical equivalent to junk food.

I don’t know….Lordi? Like Cheetos: they make you laugh, they make you cry.

Default drink/cocktail of choice?

A left bank Bordeaux or bourbon

Name your favourite concert hall/venue anywhere

Marie Antoinette’s theatre at Versailles – it’s a ghostly place where history is dead and alive all at once.

Your favourite sound?

Wildly laughing babies

Your least favourite sound?

Sudden, loud noises.

Your favourite smells?

Wet rocks, damp cellars, or the sidewalk right before it rains.

The historical personalities, both good and bad, that fascinate you the most?

At present, Scriabin and Risto Ryti

The dumbest thing that you’ve ever done to your hair?

I once turned my hair a greyish navy blue by trying to colour it myself.

Your first three record store purchases

Purple Rain, Touch (Eurythmics) and Arena (Duran Duran)

If you could board a plane this afternoon, where would it be taking you?

To SW6, London.

The three books that you read that made an impact on you in your formative years?

I’m still and always forming. Lolita, This Side of Paradise, Fugitive Piece. I may say, Ulysses, once I finish it.

What is your biggest phobia?

Snakes. On a plane.

The strangest talent that you possess?

Smelling specific perfumes from 50 paces.

The different career path that you could have gone on?

Translator, linguist.

Your three favourite films?

Das Weisse Band, Solaris (Tarkovsky original), Rocco e i suoi fratelli.

Your major character flaw?

Quick temper

The character flaw in others that you can’t abide?

Ignorance with a big mouth attached to it.

Your least favourite word?


Your favourite curse word?

Scheissbullen at the moment.

The strangest road you’ve ever travelled?

An old logging road in Finland obstructed by a clamour/parliament (!!) of rooks who all turned to stare at me with their beady eyes in a stare-off worthy of a spaghetti Western.

The first album that made you love music?

My parents’ homemade Disco Mix. 8-track, huge headphones.

To read more from our Q&A Series, click HERE.


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