Lassi Virtanen studied at the Oulu Conservatory under Esko Jurvelin, after which his teachers have been Professors Galina Polivanova, Herbert Brauer and Dorothy Irving. He completed his studies at the Vienna Adacemy of Music under Professor Gerhard Kahry.
In the autumn of 1990 Lassi Virtanen joined the Finnish National Opera as a soloist. His roles have been, among others, the title role in Gounod’s Faust, the title role in Herman Rechberger’s Laurentius, Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Salttu in Leevi Madetoja’s Ostrobothnians, Nemorino in Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, Triquet in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, in which he guested with the Tampere Opera in 2001, Spärlich in Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, Felix in Kalevi Aho’s Insect Life, The Simpleton in Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Pirelli in Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sweeney Todd, Jaquino in Beethoven’s Fidelio, Pastor Adams in Britten’s Peter Grimes, Edmund in Sallinen’s King Lear, The Devil in Kari Tikka’s Luther, the Scrivener in Musorsky’s Khovanshchina and Mitja Kozeľsk in Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Rasputin.
Lassi Virtanen has performed at the Savonlinna Opera Festival since 1991. He has guested with the Seinäjoki Opera as Antti in Madetoja’s Ostrobothnians and with the Espoo Cultural Centre as Bardolfo in Falstaff, in Amsterdam in the role of Kunz Vogelsang in Die Meisterzinger von Nürnberg, and in Spain as the Mate in Der Fliegende Holländer. He has also performed as a tenor soloist in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, which was recorded in Spain. Virtanen performed the role of Jim Mahoney in Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, which was produced on Finland’s television channel TV2, as the Wigmaster in Einojuhani Rautavaara’s The Gift of the Magi, which was produced on Finland’s television channel TV1, and in the role of the Cushion Bearer in Aulis Sallinen opera Palace.