Tuula Paavola's mezzo-soprano was perfect for the role of Maddalena: her magnificent, metallic voice was hair-raising; strong role sung with bravado that gave great weight to the whole.
Antti Juvonen, Karjalainen (of Verdi's Rigoletto in Joensuu)
The role of Principessa de Bouillon was in Tuula Paavola's capable hands. She was an assertive and ice-cold princess and yet sung with fervent intensity.
Matti Lehtonen, Wagneriaani (of Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur in Turku castle)
Singing- and especially expressionwise Tuula Paavola swept the board. Extraordinarily impressive!
Jorma Pollari, Keskisuomalainen (of the role of Ulrica in Verdi’s Masked Ball in Jyväskylä)
With great warmth and brilliance in her lightly-veiled voice, mezzo-soprano Tuula Paavola lifted the opera to new heights.
Egil Green, Borgåbladet (of Samson and Delilah -concert performance)
The role of Carmen transformed Tuula Paavola into a magnificent, sensuous flame. Her voice is rich in ebony nuances, quite large but light in movement. In Arsace’s aria from Rossini’s Semiramide, her coloratura was exactly right, but her bold interpretation and free vocal tone were more immediately touching during the romantic arias. How skillfully she lingered as she dropped the Habanera’s seductive tonal pearls. And how deliciously deadly her rendition of Amour viens aider, Dalila’s aria from Saint-Saëns' popular opera.
Katariina Tuovinen, Savon Sanomat
Tuula Paavola was mightily expressive as Lemminkäinen’s mother.
Mats Liljeroos, Hufvudstadsbladet
Helsinki alto Tuula Paavola had the audience eating out of her hand. Song simply discovered wings. Her voice rang with nuance and richness near perfection. Brahms, Sibelius and Rossini were all totally convincing.
EJ Posti, Pohjolan Sanomat
Her lower notes have fine, dark depths… A voice exquisite in the mid and upper ranges, scales and figures light and the presentation eloquent. The climax of the evening was her marvellous interpretation of Sibelius’ “Flickan kom ifrån sin älsklings möte”.
Jussi Mattila, Savon Sanomat
The musical integrity of Paavola’s singing matured every time she sang. Her Agnus dei was so whisperingly beautiful that it caressed the innermost depths of your soul. The quartet’s youngest member grew to become the evening’s most memorable soloist.
Mikko Voutilainen, Keskisuomalainen
Tuula Paavola, the soloist in Gustav Mahler's Kindertotenlieder series, recently presented us with a dramatically courageous and musically expressive performance in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucetia. She is a rarity, with a deep alto voice. Her dusky notes captured the tragic imminence of suffering without descending into grandiloquence. Her intimate self-denial served only to emphasize the depths of the grief she portrayed. She handled the German lyrics with tenderness and clarity.
Hannu-Ilari Lampila, Helsingin Sanomat
Tuula's voice is beautiful and her lower notes ring deep, training has bestowed on them a polished refinement. Paavola and her pianist Collin Hansen make an exceptionally harmonious combination. Everyone who attended this evening of poems and music will recall it with real gratitude.
Mihail Bialik, Nevskoe Vremia
Tuula Paavola’s Lucretia grew powerfully from initially symbolizing purity and innocence to its final tragic collapse.
Risto Nordell, Kirkko ja kaupunki
Alto offers warm tonal merriment The coloratura in the Empio, dirò aria was precise and well-controlled - she will be an excellent choice when enthusiasm for baroque opera waxes once again in Finland. Her interpretation of the sadness in songs by Rachmaninov and Duparc was convincing, and she used skilful changes in vibrato to differentiate between Russian and French melancholy. Her sumptuous voice brought the exoticism of the 1940s to life in Xavier Montsalvatge’s Canto Negro series. In the première of Kimmo Hakola’s Valoa reunat, Paavola handled both the fractured text and the broad melodic leaps very well. Samuli Tiikkaaja, Helsingin Sanomat (Critical reaction to Tuula Paavola’s debut concert)
Jezibaba the witch was not so much wickedness personified, more a crazy person who expresses certain truths. Tuula Paavola offered us a colourful Pippi Longstocking-type protest figure.
Jan Granberg, Huvfudstadsbladet
After singing in such a splendid manner during the first round of the competition, Tuula Paavola continued to delight us. Her singing and performing radiate self- confidence and supreme competence. Chillingly beautiful, her alto voice transported the audience during the Rachmaninov songs, but the high point was Delilah’s aria from Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah which gave her the opportunity to show us all the elements in her vocal, technical and musical arsenal.
Jouko Juntunen, Pohjolan Sanomat