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Audience outreach

Opera and ballet are about much more than just performances in the main auditorium. Our aim is to provide you with opera and ballet experiences on your terms – which often works best by doing things yourself and learning about them that way.

This page lists several opportunities for exploring opera and ballet for a variety of groups – schoolchildren, senior citizens, teachers, adolescents or children in daycare.

Would you like to see more but cannot find anything here that you would enjoy?
Tell us about your wishes and ideas at yleisotyo[at]
Further information on audience outreach work is available here.

Schoolchildren at the Opera & Ballet

Full runthrough rehearsals

Before a production is performed for an audience, it requires a lot of preparation. The great moment is bringing the production from the rehearsal rooms to the stage. The final rehearsals before performances are called full runthrough rehearsals. We offer schools and other special groups the opportunity to attend final runthrough rehearsals as ‘test audiences’. Having an audience present gives the performers the feel of an actual performance.

Special pricing tickets

The Finnish National Opera and Ballet offers groups of schoolchildren affordable tickets to opera and ballet performances at EUR 23 per pupil/student. This price also applies to one adult supervisor per each 10–15 schoolchildren. The price includes the service fee. Please quote the code ‘school group’ when booking. Tickets may be booked at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet group sales, tel. (09) 4030 2210, Mon to Fri 09.00–16.00. Limited seats are available for school groups.

Special pricing tickets are available for these performances in autumn 2016:

Le nozze di Figaro, 3 Nov
The Snow Queen, 17 Nov
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, 7 and 15 Dec
Die Fledermaus, 8 Dec

School groups who purchase tickets to these performances may take a guided tour of the Opera House or attend an artist meeting at no extra charge. Further information: yleisotyo[at]

Projects for children of school age

School operas

A school opera is a project organised at your school, with pupils in 5th and 6th grades working with professional musicians and singers to create an opera production. The FNOB has been producing school operas for 14 years. You can read about the most recent school opera, Jannen salaisuus (Janne’s Secret), here. The seventh school opera project will be launched in the 2016–2017 season. The opera Ihmepoika A (Wonder Boy A), to be premiered on 7 Apr 2017, is composed by Timo Hietala to lyrics by rap artist Paleface, aka Karri Miettinen. Further information on how to participate in a school opera project is available from senior producer Tuula Jukola-Nuorteva: tuula.jukola-nuorteva[at]

Ballet energy for boys

This workshop for boys in 1st grade proves that ballet is not just for girls. Workshops are organised in the gym at participating schools and led by members of the Finnish National Ballet. Further information: yleisotyo[at]

So You Think You Can Muuv?

A workshop combining classical ballet and street dancing to get pupils from 5th to 9th grades moving and developing their own moves under professional guidance. This energetic joint project by the FNOB and the Finnish Ballet Company has toured dozens of schools around Finland, inspiring numerous young people to move it. Further information: yleisotyo[at]

In the Limelight

A music theatre group for young people where they design and create a production that is their own interpretation of one of the productions being performed in the main auditorium. Adolescents aged 12 to 16 may apply for the group through auditions held in early autumn. Further information: tuula.jukola-nuorteva[at]

For daycare centres

Art Breaks for Toddlers

Art breaks for toddlers and children in daycare

Art breaks for children in daycare reveal the secrets of opera and ballet through performances and workshops. The condensed operas featured in the art breaks for toddlers are suitable even for small children in daycare. Preschool pupils can get involved in productions from the main auditorium through music, drama, dance and make-up. Art breaks participants will also receive a souvenir to take home.

Daycare groups may sign up for art breaks free of charge. Further information: yleisotyo[at]

For nursing homes

Oopperan teetanssit

Teatime Dance streamed

The Teatime Dance at the opera is a feelgood event inviting senior citizens to take a turn dancing to evergreens in the main foyer. If you cannot get to the Opera House, you can listen to the orchestra and watch the dancing on our streaming webcast – and of course organise your own dance in your care home. Every care home and sheltered accommodation institution in Finland can receive our stream free of charge. We wish to encourage people to organise communal dances and thereby increase the wellbeing of residents.

If you wish to organise a dance at your care home, contact Audience Outreach and Social Responsibility Manager Lauri Pokkinen, lauri.pokkinen[at] or tel. 044 262 7699.

Care institution concerts

Soloists and musicians from the FNOB are pleased to visit care institutions to entertain residents with opera classics. Further information: Malla Vanhanen, malla.vanhanen[at]

For those in need of a Culture Buddy

Culture Buddy at your service

Would you like to go to a full runthrough rehearsal at the FNOB, but going alone feels boring or too much of a challenge? Would you like to go dancing at the Teatime Dance but have no one to dance with? Never mind, help is available. A Culture Buddy will accompany you or guide you to your desired event. Culture Buddies are available free of charge. Culture Buddies operate in Helsinki and Espoo; in Vantaa, they are called Culture Pilots.

Teatime Dances with Culture Buddies in autumn 2016

Wed 7 Sep at 15.00 Opera House, with Aki Alamikkotervo and the Kimmo Leppälä orchestra
Tue 4 Oct at 14.00 Lumo-sali, Vantaa
Wed 5 Oct at 15.00 Opera House
Thu 6 Oct at 15.00 Iso Omena, Espoo
Wed 2 Nov at 15.00 Opera House
Wed 7 Dec at 15.00 Opera House

Full runthrough rehearsals with Culture Buddies in autumn 2016

Wed 24 Aug at 11.30 Romeo and Juliet, duration 1 h 55 min, 1 interval
Tue 13 Sep at 11.00 CircOpera, duration 2 h 10 min, 1 interval
Wed 12 Oct at 11.00 Le nozze di Figaro, duration 3 h 20 min, 1 interval
Tue 15 Nov at 11.00 Der fliegende Holländer, duration 3 h, 1 interval

NOTE! There are still seats available for Espoo Culture Buddies and Vantaa Culture Pilots at the full runthrough rehearsals this autumn, but unfortunately no more for Helsinki Culture Buddies.

Full runthrough rehearsals with Culture Buddies in spring 2017

Tue 24 Jan at 11.00 Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District, duration 3 h 15 min, 1 interval
Thu 23 Feb at 11.00–14.30 Il barbiere di Siviglia, duration 2 h 45 min, 1 interval
Tue 14 Mar at 11.00–14.30 Eugene Onegin, duration 3 h, 1 interval
Thu 23 Mar at 11.30 Seven Brothers, duration 2 h 20 min, 1 interval
Thu 27 Apr at 11.00 Kullervo, duration 1 h 50 min, 1 interval
Fri 12 May at 19.00–22.00 Tango! – From Buenos Aires to Seinäjoki, duration 2 h 30 min, 1 interval (NOTE! Evening rehearsal)
Wed 17 May at 11.30 Force – four Finnish choreographers, duration 2 h 30min, 2 intervals

Booking for rehearsals in the spring will begin on Monday 12 Dec 2016.

Would you like to have a Culture Buddy in Helsinki? Do this:

Phone (09) 310 58237 (Mon to Thu, 11.00–14.00) or leave a contact request at
Give the time of the rehearsal or Teatime Dance you would like to attend.
Your Buddy will phone you to agree when and where to meet.
Have a nice cultural outing!
Culture Buddies provided by the City of Helsinki are intended particularly for those who do not like to go to cultural functions alone or have difficulty doing so. Culture Buddies are particularly intended for the elderly and for immigrants. Culture Buddies are volunteers who are provided training by the City; they accompany you to a cultural event, book the tickets and assist or guide you as required.

Would you like to have a Culture Buddy in Espoo? Do this:

Contact our Culture Buddy coordinator, Mon to Fri 09.00–16.00, by e-mail at helena.sarjakoski[at] or by phone at 050 381 4033.
Say which event you would like to go to or ask us for a suggestion.
The Culture Buddy coordinator will book the tickets.
The Culture Buddy coordinator will find a volunteer Culture Buddy.
The Culture Buddy will contact you to agree when and where to meet.
Travel is principally by public transport, using your own ticket(s).

Would you like to have a Culture Pilot in Vantaa? Do this:

Contact the Culture Pilot coordinator at tel. 040 548 3443 or annikki.alku[at]
Say which event you would like to go to.
The Culture Pilot coordinator will ask you for your contact details and pass them on to the Culture Pilot.
The Culture Pilot will contact you to agree where to go, then book the tickets and agree where to meet.
Further information on Culture Buddies at the FNOB: malla.vanhanen[at]


We consider it important for everyone to have access to the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. We want to make visits to the Opera House effortless and performances enjoyable. Further information is available here.