Hannu Niemelä has graduated in Sibelius Academy in cantor-organ, sing teacher and opera singer degrees and the sing diploma. His first concert took place in 1983. In years 1984–2002 Niemelä was engaged in Opera Studio in Zürich and in Germany in Baden and Mainz state theaters and in Dortmund opera.
His carreer continued as free lancer. e.g. in Savonlinna Opera Festival 1980–2007 and in Finnish National Opera as permanent guest soloist since 1993.Niemelä has performed in several operas and concerts in most European countries and in USA, Japan, Mexico, Kenia and Israel. His repertoire consists of about 130 opera roles, e.g. almost all big baritone roles in operas of Mozart, Verdi and Wagner – and remarkable roles in modern opera. In his repertoire includes also concerts, Lied and religious music.
Niemelä was the artistic director in Lohja Church Music Festival in 1988-1995 and in 1999 he was nominated to the Year’s Artist in Savonlinna Opera Festival. Since autumn Niemelä has worked in Sibelius Academy as vocal music teacher.