Residency artists and researchers Music Meeri Pulakka Classical singer, soprano Kuva: Jussi Virkkumaa I’m a classical singer, a soprano, living in Helsinki. My work includes a lot of Baroque and contemporary music, and I also love performing lieder and opera. What I love the most about being a singer is the variety, collaboration with other musicians and composers and the insights great music provides. I’m currently particularly interested in implementing a solo performance and exploring the instrumental possibilities of sound. During the residency, I will work on a solo soprano concert programme consisting of contemporary compositions. I will rehearse the pieces in it and prepare a concert out of them that will combine sound and movement into a comprehensive performance. At the Saari Residence, I will find the right ways for me to work that will broaden my artistic expression and also explore the themes arising from the pieces as part of my rehearsal process. I’m very grateful for this opportunity to get acquainted with the work of the other residents and look forward to an exceptionally good opportunity to focus and delve deeper into my own, independent work in the peaceful and inspiring surroundings of the Saari Residence. Soprano Meeri Pulakka’s versatile skill set ranges from the Baroque to contemporary music, and she feels at home both on the opera stage and with chamber music. Pulakka has performed as the soloist with several Finnish orchestras and bands, such as the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, the Central Ostrobothnia Chamber Orchestra, the Finnish Baroque Orchestra and the Uusinta Ensemble under conductors such as Juha Kangas, Sakari Oramo, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Andrew Lawrence-King. Her opera roles include Vitellia in Mozart’s la Clemenza di Tito, Cleopatra in Handel’s opera Giulio Cesare and Madame Euterpova in Menotti’s opera Help! Help! The Globolinks. Meeri Pulakka is a much sought-after performer of contemporary music whose musical and precise work stems from the violin and singing lessons she began in her childhood. Her contemporary music performances include the role of Tyttö in Riikka Talvitie’s Prix Italia award-winning radio opera Kylmän Maan Kuningatar (2017), as well as performances at the Avantin Suvisoitto festival, Kallion nykymusiikkipäivät event for contemporary music, Uuden Musiikin Lokakuu festival and the Musica Nova Helsinki festival. Pulakka also likes to sing early music and has performed as the soloist of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra and in Barocco Boreale’s production Kuningatar Kristiinan jalanjäljissä. Meeri Pulakka graduated with honours from Sibelius Academy’s degree programme in vocal arts (Master of Music, 2018) and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (Master of Arts, 2017) and her most recent singing teachers are Marjut Hannula and Gabriele Lechner. She has participated in numerous master classes under Barbara Hannigan, Soile Isokoski, Anne Sofie von Otter and Karita Mattila, among others. Pulakka performed her debut concert, which focused on contemporary music, at the Talven Nuoret Taiteilijat concert series at Musiikkitalo, Helsinki in January 2019.