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Finnish world premiere at the National Opera stars Anne Sofie von Otter

The much-anticipated highlight of the 2017–2018 season at the National Opera is the world premiere of a new Finnish opera, Höstsonaten – Autumn Sonataon the 8th of September 2017. The opera brings together a story by cinema legend Ingmar Bergman, the music of Sebastian Fagerlund and the voice of one of today’s most highly-esteemed mezzo-sopranos, Anne Sofie von Otter.
“This opera, commissioned from me by the Finnish National Opera, is a multi-layered and powerful relationship drama,” says composer Sebastian Fagerlund who is currently the focus of increasing international attention. Fagerlund is particularly renowned for his large-scale works, his deep and intense expression and his virtuoso handling of the orchestra. Höstsonaten – Autumn Sonata is Fagerlund’s second opera.

The libretto of the opera, based on Bergman’s film script, has been written by Gunilla Hemming. In the story a famed pianist, Charlotte Andergast, visits her daughter after a long absence. The family conflicts are revealed little by little. The role of Charlotte, specially composed for Anne Sofie von Otter, is the world-renowned star’s first opera role on the FNO stage.

“The underlying themes of the opera are universal: forgiveness and the ability to accept others as they are. Even as I was beginning the composition process, I felt as if the story and its characters were waiting for me somewhere in the depths of my mind,” Fagerlund describes.

The production is directed by Stéphane Braunschweig from France and conducted by John Storgårds who returns to lead the FNO Orchestra after a break of nearly 11 years. Besides von Otter, the opera is starred by Erika SunnegårdhHelena JuntunenTommi Hakala and Nicholas Söderlund.

Sebastian Fagerlund: Höstsonaten – Autumn Sonata
World premiere at the Finnish National Opera 8.9.2017
Other performances 13.9., 16.9., 19.9., 23.9., 26.9., 30.9. and 5.10.

The Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle will stream and record Höstsonaten – Autumn Sonata, which can be seen on the Yle Teema television channel and online at on Saturday the 23rd of September. The opera will also be featured at The Opera Platform online showcase.


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