Eija Tolpo has acted as a director, dramaturge and pedagogue for 30 years.
Tolpo has studied drama, expression and communication at the Helsinki University and the University of Tampere in Finland. At the end of 1980’s, she continued with her expression and drama studies in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the USA. In 1990-1992, she completed her studies in opera directorship at Hochschule fûr Musik und Darsellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria. She has also been an assistant director in Vienna’s State Opera, Cologne Opera, Schwetzinger Music Festival, Stockholm Royal Opera and Savonlinna Opera Festival. After her studies in Vienna, the Finnish Broadcasting company offered her an opportunity to direct the TV-opera Hund 1993 (composed by Ralf Gothoni, libretto by Thomas Wulff). She also directed the TV-production of Winterreise 1996 (by Schubert, with baritone Tom Krause). In the capacity of a dramaturge and adviser, Tolpo has worked for the Finnish Broadcasting Company, as well as for the Finnish Commercial TV Channel MTV and TV4 in Finland, the Swedish TV and the Estonian TV. Her work on TV and opera has included also tutoring of acting, performance, communication and rhetoric.
Tolpo has directed many stage operas such as Wolf’s Bride by Pylkkänen (1996¬), Opera Night: A Collection of Operas (1997), Stage Production: Boundless Eros by Motaleff (1997), Carmen by Bizet (1999), The Cunning Little Vixen by Janacek (1999), Rigoletto by Verdi (2001), Cosi`van Tutte by Mozart (2003), Curlew River by Britten (2006), and Prodigal Son by Britten (2009). In 2011, she has directed Domenico Cimarosa: Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage, Savonlinna and Detmold). Additionally, she has directed many concerts such as Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch.
Tolpo has taught opera, drama and expression for 30 years. She started her teaching career at the opera studio of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Since 2007, Tolpo has given Opera Master Classes in Detmold (Germany), Cairo (Egypt), Ankara and Izmir (Turkey), and Baku (Azerbaidjan). Since 1996, Tolpo has worked for the Savonlinna Music Academy where she has been also giving Opera Master Classes. Currently, she is a member of the Artistic Board and the head of the opera department of Savonlinna Music Academy.
Tolpo has been rewarded by Pro Musica, AVEK, the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Koura Foundation of the Finnish Broadcasting Company for her achievements in art and culture.