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Total duration 2 h 15 min
1 intermission (25 min)
5 performances
12.4.2017 – 29.4.2017
Operas
Main auditorium
tickets
15-119 €
Performed in English
Subtitles in Finnish and English

Kaija Saariaho and Peter Sellars to co-operate again

All of the operas of composer Kaija Saariaho have achieved international success. The FNOB has previously staged L’amour de loin, Adriana mater and Émilie, and now features Saariaho’s most recent stage work. In two operas based on old Japanese plays and directed by Peter Sellars, there is little external action but much rich content.

A co-production of De Nationale Opera (The Netherlands), Opéra National de Paris, Canadian Opera Company, Teatro Real of Madrid and Finnish National Opera.

#FNOsound #OtSR

Kaija Saariaho

“These stories are interesting and ambiguous, leaving a lot of room for music. […] The subject matter and the extremely concise texts offer scope for a new kind of vocal texture and use of electronics.”

– Kaija Saariaho in Rondo Classic

Synopsis

Always Strong
Sodzu Gyokei, a priest serving at the temple of the royal court, is praying for Tsunemasa, who died in the battle of the Western Seas. Tsunemasa was a favourite of the Emperor, who had given him a lute named Seizan (Blue Mountain). Gyokei now offers the instrument at the altar of the deceased, performing a service for the salvation of his soul. While the prayers and music for Tsunemasa to become a Buddha resonate, the faint shadow of a man appears. Gyokei asks who it is, and the shadow replies that he is the ghost of Tsunemasa, lured there by the sound of the prayers. Then the shadow vanishes and only the sound of his voice remains, telling the priest how it misses the old days. This happy moment, however, is short-lived. Tsunemasa’s ghost is tormented by visions of the battle in which he fought. He wants the lights to be extinguished and disappears.

Feather Mantle
One spring morning, as the fisherman Hakuryo sets out to go fishing with his companions, he finds a beautiful feather robe hanging on a pine branch. When he plans to take it home, a Tennin (angel) appears and asks him to return the robe to her. At first Hakuryo refuses. But he is moved by the angel’s lament that she cannot go back to heaven without it. He will give her the robe in return for seeing her perform a celestial dance. When the fisherman again expresses distrust, she responds: ‘Doubt is for mortals; with us there is no deceit.’ The Tennin dances in the feather robe; one of the dances represents the waxing and waning of the moon. Eventually she disappears in the haze beyond the peak of Mount Fuji.

Gallery

Creative Team

Conductor
André de Ridder

Director
Peter Sellars

Sets
Julie Mehretu

Costumes
Robby Duiveman

Lighting design
James F. Ingalls

Choreography
Nora Kimball-Mentzos

Sound design
Christophe Lebreton

Cast

Always strong
Spirit of the young man
Anthony Roth Costanzo
A priest
Davone Tines
Soprano
Tuuli Lindeberg
Meta4; Only the Sound Remains
String quartet
Feather mantle
Fisherman
Davone Tines
Angel
Anthony Roth Costanzo
Soprano
Tuuli Lindeberg
Dancer
Nora Kimball-Mentzos
Meta4; Only the Sound Remains
String quartet

Tickets

2 h 15 min
1 intermission (25 min)
5 performances
12.4.2017 – 29.4.2017
Operas
Main auditorium
tickets
15-119 €
Performed in English
Subtitles in Finnish and English
Wed 12.4.2017
at 19:00
Sat 15.4.2017
at 14:00
Sat 22.4.2017
at 19:00
Thu 27.4.2017
at 19:00
Sat 29.4.2017
at 13:00
Töölönlahti

Only the Sound Remains 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
ravintolapalvelut[at]opera.fi