The FINNISH NATIONAL OPERA (Finnish : Suomen Kansallisooppera;
Swedish : Finlands Nationalopera) is a Finnish opera company based in
Helsinki . Its home base is the
Opera House on
Töölönlahti bay in
Töölö , which opened in 1993, and is state-owned through Senate
Properties . The
Opera House features two auditoriums, the main
auditorium with 1,350, seats and a smaller studio auditorium with
* 1 History
* 2 Personnel
* 3 Productions
* 4 References
* 5 External links
Regular opera performances began in Finland in 1873 with the founding
of the Finnish
Kaarlo Bergbom . Prior to that, opera had been
performed in Finland sporadically by touring companies, and on
occasion by Finnish amateurs, the first such production being The
Barber of Seville in 1849. However, the Finnish
Opera company soon
plunged into a financial crisis and folded in 1879. During its six
year's of operation, Bergbom’s opera company had given 450
performances of a total of 26 operas, and the company had managed to
demonstrate that opera can be sung in Finnish too. After the
disbandment of the Finnish Opera, the opera audiences of
to confine themselves to performances of visiting opera companies and
occasional opera productions at the
Finnish National Theatre
Finnish National Theatre .
The reincarnation of the Finnish opera institution took place about
30 years later. A group of notable social and cultural figures, led by
the international star soprano
Aino Ackté , founded the Domestic
Opera in 1911. From the very beginning, the opera decided to engage
both foreign and Finnish artists. A few years later the Domestic Opera
was renamed the Finnish
Opera in 1914. In 1956, the Finnish
in turn, taken over by the Foundation of the Finnish National Opera,
and acquired its present name.
Between 1918 and 1993 the home of the opera was the Alexander Theater
, which had been assigned to the company on a permanent basis. The
home was inaugurated with an opening performance of Verdi’s Aida .
When the first dedicated opera house in Finland was finally completed
and inaugurated in 1993, the old opera house was given back its
original name, the Alexander Theater, after the
Tsar Alexander II .
The Finnish National
Opera has some 30 permanently engaged solo
singers, a professional choir of 60 singers and its own orchestra of
120 members. The Ballet has 90 dancers from 17 countries. All
together, the opera has a staff of 735.
Past music directors and chief conductors have included Armas
Tauno Pylkkänen (1960-1967), Okko Kamu
Muhai Tang (2003–2006), and Mikko Franck
(2006-2013). With the 2013-2014 season, the Finnish mezzo-soprano
Lilli Paasikivi became artistic director of the company, and the
Michael Güttler became principal conductor with the
company. The initial contracts for both Paasikivi and Güttler are for
3 years. Since 2008, Kenneth Greve has served as artistic director of
Finnish National Ballet. His current contract is through 2018.
The Finnish National
Opera stages four to six premieres a year,
including a world premiere of at least one Finnish opera, such as
Einojuhani Rautavaara . Some 20 different operas in 140
performances are found in the opera's schedule yearly. The Ballet
arranges some 110 performances annually. The Finnish National Opera
has some 250,000 visitors a year.
* ^ Vesa Sirén (28 May 2002). "
Muhai Tang the unanimous choice at
National Opera". Helsingin Sanomat. Archived from the original on 27
June 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-30.
* ^ "Eight premieres at the Finnish National
Opera in the
2013–2014 season" (Press release). Finnish National Opera. 8 May
2013. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
* ^ "Kenneth Greve to continue as Artistic Director of the Finnish
National Ballet until 2018" (Press release). Finnish National Opera. 1
March 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-08.