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Tiedote: Finnish National Opera presents Janácek’s Cunning Little Vixen and Tero Saarinen’s Kullervo

This winter’s opera premiere at the Finnish National Opera is the fairy-tale opera The Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janá?ek, in a production designed by celebrated Finnish designer Klaus Haapaniemi. The FNO’s contribution to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius is Tero Saarinen’s new work Kullervo to music by Sibelius.

The Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janácek will be premiered at the FNO on 23 January 2015. Internationally celebrated Finnish designer Klaus Haapaniemi, who is now based in London, designed a fantastical production for the opera together with set and costume designer Mark Väisänen. Directed by Immo Karaman, the production showcases an encounter between wild nature and human society. Fabian Posca’s choreography brings the colourful animals of the forest to life. The performances will be conducted by Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska. The cast will include Jaakko Kortekangas and Ville Rusanen as the Forester, Mari Palo and Hanna-Leena Haapamäki as the Fox, and Hanna Rantala and Kaisa Ranta as the Vixen. With this production, the FNO will have staged all of Janá?ek’s principal operas in the 2000s: Katya Kabanová, Jen?fa and The Makropulos Affair. Unlike these great tragedies, The Cunning Little Vixen will be performed in a Finnish translation and is suitable for the whole family.

 Celebrating Sibelius with Tero Saarinen’s Kullervo

The Finnish National Opera and the Finnish National Ballet will be taking part in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius. The major effort is the world premiere of the expansive Kullervo by choreographer Tero Saarinen on the main stage on 13 February 2015. Sibelius’s massive work based on a tragic tale from the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, will spring to life as Saarinen, well known for his powerful movement language and compelling staging, tackles the story of the conflict-ridden Kullervo. Members of the FNB and the Tero Saarinen Company will join forces with the men of the Chorus of the FNO and the Helsinki Philharmonic Choir, with vocal soloists from the FNO. Performances will be conducted alternately by Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Pietari Inkinen. Mikki Kunttu is the set and lighting designer, and the costumes are by Erika Turunen. Kullervo is a joint production by the FNO and the Tero Saarinen Company.

 FNO is one of the principal organisers of the Musica nova Helsinki festival

The FNO is one of the principal organisers of the Musica nova Helsinki festival along with the Helsinki Festival, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Sibelius Academy of the University of Arts Helsinki, the Finnish Broadcasting Company and the Tapiola Sinfonietta. This biennial festival is one of the most significant contemporary music events in Europe. An evening of music inspired by the mysterious writings of Edgar Allan Poe, entitled Dreamland & The Raven, will be performed at Almi Hall on 10 February 2015, featuring Danish composer Poul Ruders’s setting of the poem Dreamland and a monodrama by Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa based on the poem The Raven. This chamber opera will be conducted by Diego Masson and directed by Zaida Bergroth, a film director making her début in opera.


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