Scan Magazine, Issue 99, April 2017

Page 60

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Our Favourite Finnish Festival Experiences

Left: Olavinlinna Castle proudly hosts the Savonlinna Opera Festival. Photo: Tom Röllich. Right: The castle can also be accessed by boat. Photo:Timo Seppäläinen/ Itä-Savo. Bottom right: Kerimäki church. Photo: Soila Puurtinen, Itä-Savo.

The castle full of opera Savonlinna Opera Festival in the medieval Olavinlinna Castle will again be brimming with opera and its devoted fans from all over the world. By Taina Värri

Aulis Sallinen’s world premiere of 2017’s The Castle in the Water is inspired by Finland’s 100 years of independence. Kullervo, also by Sallinen, is a gloomy saga that is part of the Finnish national epic Kalevala: “Love may be a possibility in the world of a man cursed from birth and with a thirst for revenge, but can he see even a chink of light...?” Founded in 1883, the YL Male Voice Choir is a pioneer in Finnish male choir singing. The Tapiola Choir is an award-winning Finnish children’s choir of youngsters, aged from eight to 19 years, with an international reputation. These two choirs unite into a super choir to perform music from the Finnish national-romantic era. Pasi Hyökki will be conducting the evening in the Kerimäki church, the biggest wooden church in the world. The new production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, staged by a Finnish team, combines the Turkish instrumental tradition with a German singspiel to a fully 60  |  Issue 99  |  April 2017

fledged opera in German; suitable for audiences of all ages.

Inside the music There will be prominent guest productions celebrating the Suomi Finland 100. Teatro Real Madrid brings Bellini’s I puritani and Sibelius’s Kullervo Symphony on the stage, the latter in collaboration with the Savonlinna Opera Festival Choir. The Bolshoi Theatre presents two works by Tchaikovsky: the opera Iolanta and a concertante version of Eugene Onegin. On top of all this there will be a new version of Verdi’s Rigoletto, based on the direction of Sir David McVicar for the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London. Beethoven’s Missa solemnis honours 50 years of unbroken chain of Savonlinna Opera Festival performances, although the festival itself was founded over 100 years ago. The setting in the medieval Olavinlinna castle is a unique experience in itself,

but the real treat is the fact that you will be inside the natural sound system. The stone walls produce an astonishing, unique acoustic sound without any electrical equipment in between. However, on the last weekend of 2017 the Savonlinna Opera Festival will be electrified by three front-line Finnish heavy metal bands: Amorphis, Stratovarius and Stam1na.They will really rock the stones of the Olavinlinna stage.

The Savonlinna Opera Festival will run from 7 July to 4 August 2017.

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