Jukka-Pekka Saraste

In the 2014–2015 season, the Finnish National Opera and Ballet will be offering nine premieres. The 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius will be celebrated with two productions: Tero Saarinen’s ballet Kullervo conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste and a Roald Dahl fairy-tale concert The season begins in August.

The first opera premiere of the season will be Le nozze di Figaro by W. A. Mozart on 29 August. The new production in period style will have sets by Jani Uljas, costumes by Erika Turunen and lighting by Mikki Kunttu. Performances will be conducted by Susanna Mälkki and Marco Ozbič.

Friends of operetta will enjoy the return of Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss on 28 November after an absence of almost 20 years. In the new production by director Marco Arturo Marelli, the action will be set in the early years of the 20th century.

The Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janáček will be staged by Finnish designer Klaus Haapaniemi. Immo Karaman will be directing this encounter between wild nature and human society, and Fabian Posca will provide the choreography that brings the colourful animal figures to life. The opera will be performed in Finnish and will appeal to audiences of all ages with its beauty and lightness of touch. The conductor will be Dalia Stasevska, and the premiere will take place on 23 January.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Richard Wagner will be premiered on 13 March. This buoyant comic grand opera is directed by Harry Kupfer. The production has sets by Hans Schavernoch, costumes by Yan Tax and lighting by Jürgen Hoffmann. The production was previously staged at the Zurich Opera. Performances will be conducted by FNO Chief Conductor Michael Güttler.

The April premiere will be the monologue opera Émilie by Kaija Saariaho, with Camilla Nylund in the title role. Émilie de Châtelet was an exceptional woman, one of the most accomplished physicists of the 18th century and a powerful personality. In the opera, we see her in a situation where she is pregnant with her lover’s child, a woman torn by conflicting expectations. Directed by Marianne Weems, this production has previously been staged at the Spoleto Festival in the USA. Performances will be conducted by André de Ridder, who has conducted a lot of Saariaho’s music. The sets are by Neal Wilkinson, the costumes by Claudia Stephens and the lighting by Allen Hahn.

More information about dance, concerts etc at www.opera.fi.


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