First prize winner of the 2004 Lappeenranta Solo Voice Competition, Ville Rusanen began his musical studies as an instrumentalist, playing the double bass at Kuopio Conservatory where he also studied singing under Pertti Rusanen.
He moved to the Sibelius Academy to study singing in 1999 where he was taught by Jorma Hynninen, and then later by Päivi Nisula. Recipient of a scholarship from the city of Kuopio, Ville Rusanen participated in master classes with Roger Vignoles and Olaf Bär and studied Lieder with Ilmo Ranta. He won first prize in the Lied duo category (accompanied by Ilmari Räikkönen) of the 2002 Erkki Melartin Chamber Music Competition.
In his first season outside Helsinki, the young Finnish baritone Ville Rusanen earned excellent reviews for his appearances as Guglielmo in David McVicar’s production of Cosi fan tutte for Scottish Opera returning, last season, for Figaro in Thomas Allen’s production of Il barbiere di Siviglia.
In 2010 he made his debut with De Nederlandse Opera in a new opera by Alexander Raskatov - A Dog’s Heart - based on the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov and has recently sung the title role in Eugene Onegin for Opera Vaasa and his first Biterolf in Wagner’s Tannhäuser at Finland’s Tampere Hall.
The 2012/13 season includes Rusanen's debut with the Sydney Symphony under Vladimir Ashkenazy in Kullervo and his debut with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin under Hannu Lintu (also with Kullervo). He will also make his debut as Bormental in Raskatov’s A Dog’s Heart in Milan at Teatro alla Scala.
CAREER IN FINLAND
At home in Finland he is a regular guest at Finnish National Opera where he has sung a wide repertoire including the title role in Rautavaara’s Aleksis Kivi, Sid in Albert Herring and the title role in Robin Hood. Other roles to date include Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), The Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen), Schaunard (La bohème), Marco (Gianni Schicchi), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Dancairo (Carmen), Ottokar (Der Freischütz) and Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte).
In concert, Ville Rusanen has performed Fauré's Requiem, Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem, the St John Passion, the St Matthew Passion and Carmina Burana. He made his London debut at the 2007 BBC Proms in a performance of Sibelius’ The Tempest with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vänskä. Recently he sang Sibelius' Kullervo at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago under Hannu Lintu.
Ville is a passionate fan of English football and in specific his favourite team Liverpool FC. In addition to Anfield Road, Ville can be found mountain-biking during the summer and snowboarding in the winter time. Ville's sister is famous Finnish soprano Johanna Rusanen.