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Total duration 1 h 50 min
1 intermission (25 min)
6 performances
29.4.2017 – 13.5.2017
Main auditorium
15-109 €

When Sibelius found the Kalevala

Why does everything go wrong for this tormented man? In the timeless tale from the Finnish national epic, Kullervo unknowingly seduces his own sister, kills his enemies and finally falls on his own sword. When composer Jean Sibelius as a young man encountered the tragic tale of Kullervo in the Kalevala, the result made Finnish musical history. Now Sibelius’s breakthrough work is given a stage interpretation by Tero Saarinen.


A devastatingly powerful work

Tero Saarinen, a choreographer and director known for his all-embracing approach, matches his powerful movement language with music performed by orchestra, choir and soloists for a unique experience.  The set, costume and lighting design are in the hands of Saarinen’s trusted associates Erika Turunen and Mikki Kunttu.

Please note that the lighting used in this performance is brighter than usual.


Kullervo; Terhi Talo, Samuli Poutanen

“The relationship of an individual to his community, being persecuted, desiring intimacy and the breakdown of communications; these emerged as the main themes. Why does a person isolate himself and remain alone? Why does someone’s life become a hopeless existence under a dark cloud, with no space for positive things to develop?”

– Tero Saarinen, choreographer


Creative team

Choreographer, director
Tero Saarinen
Jean Sibelius
Sets, lighting and projection design
Mikki Kunttu
Erika Turunen
Screen design
Mikko Linnavuori


Kullervo's sister, dancer
Johanna Nuutinen
The Finnish National Opera male chorus.
The male choir Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat.


Kullervo forms part of the official celebrations for the centenary of Finland’s independence.

Order refreshments here

Afternoon Tea

Sweet and savoury for the season

See what you like: choose your favourites on this season’s rich menu.

Book your refreshments beforehand online or at the Opera Restaurant sales desk; you will have a much wider range to choose from, and you will not have to queue in the interval.

Opera Restaurant sales desk
Tel. +358 9 4030 2377 on weekdays 09.00–11.00 and 12.00–16.00
Service desk beside the box office in the Opera House foyer on the Töölönlahti side open from Tuesday to Friday 12.00–16.00