The Finnish bass singer Jaakko Ryhänen began his career as a guest artist at the Finnish National Opera in 1972, and he joined the Finnish National Opera as a permanent soloist in 1975. His international career started with the role of Paavo Ruotsalainen in The Last Temptations when the Finnish National Opera visited the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Since then Ryhänen has performed in all the leading opera houses in the world, such as Covent Garden in London, the State Opera in Vienna, La Scala in Milan, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Marinski Theatre in St. Petersburg, the Paris Opera, the German Opera in Berlin, the State Opera in Bavaria and Hamburg, and the Chicago and Los Angeles Operas.
Jaakko Ryhänen’s repertoire includes most of the opera roles written for a bass singer, such as Boris Godunov, Gremin in Eugene Onegin, Sarastro in Die Zaubeflöte, Osmin in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Don Giovanni, Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer, Philip II. in Don Carlos, Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra, and Ramfis in Aida.
In addition to his opera career, Jaakko Ryhänen has performed widely as a concert and oratorio soloist in leading music centres around the world, and has worked together with the most famous conductors of our time, such as Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Genadi Rozhdestvensky. In Finland, Ryhänen has sung on television and has made recordings as a soloist in church concerts and in concerts of popular classical music. Jaakko Ryhänen was awarded the Finnish Pro Finlandia medal for service to the arts in 1989.