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Presenting the Finnish National Opera

Founded in 1911, the Finnish National Opera is the only professional opera company in Finland. The mission of the FNO is to perform both perennial classics and new works from home and abroad. There are some 100 opera performances every year, with about a dozen works in production at any given time. The performing season runs from August to June. Domestic tours, school opera projects, TV broadcasts and online streaming distribute the FNO’s performances all over Finland.

The Artistic Director of the Finnish National Opera is Lilli Paasikivi, and Esa-Pekka Salonen is Artist in Association.

In the repertoire

Measha Brueggergosman

The Many Sides of Measha

Offstage: The chameleons of the orchestra pit


How many instruments a percussionist plays?

“If the composer wants to include more exotic sounds, it’s usually up to us percussionists to produce them. Whether it’s blowing a whistle, breaking a glass or playing a toy piano, we’ll fix it. Once I even played a wooden box with a bunch of bright red whisks.”



Edvard Fazer Prize Awarded to Étoile Dancer Eun-Ji Ha

The Finnish Cultural Foundation’s Edvard Fazer Prize has been awarded to danseuse étoile Eun-Ji Ha of the Finnish National Ballet. Ha received the cup and accompanying cheque for EUR 10,000 during the première of Giselle on the stage of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet on Friday 23 February 2018.
Don Quijote

Evli Bank and Finnish National Opera and Ballet to start co-operation

Evli Bank, which specialises in investments, started co-operation with the National Opera and Ballet at the beginning of 2018. The values shared by the two include the highest level of professionalism, as well as premium quality, Finnish origin, and strong international networks. Extraordinary experiences that can be offered to Evli’s customers, personnel and other stakeholders are central to this partnership. At the same time, Evli is proud to support Finnish culture, creativity and expertise.
Madeleine Onne

Madeleine Onne appointed Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet

Madeleine Onne has been appointed as the new Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet. The Board of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet made their final decision in a meeting held today, Tuesday October the 10th. The Board invited the personnel groups of the Opera and Ballet to share their views on the appointment, and their statements were unanimously positive. Onne will start her new position in August 2018.
More news

Performers in the introduction

Oopperan harjoitukset


Kansallisoopperan kuoro


Lilli Paasikivi

Lilli Paasikivi

Artistic Director of the Opera


Pohjalaisia 1924 loppukohtaus

A century of grand emotions

The company that evolved into the FNO was established in 1911; the associated ballet company was established in 1922. Housed in the tiny Alexander Theatre, the Opera and Ballet lived through Finland’s independence struggle, shortages, wars, reconstruction and the emergence of the welfare society. Celebrated singers and dancers made guest appearances, and Finnish opera and ballet expertise was exported. The new Opera House was completed in 1993, after decades of waiting. The FNO has been the home of grand emotions for more than a century – on stage and sometimes offstage.

Opera & Ballet in numbers

Permanent employees
Tour localities
Children visitors

*numbers of year 2016