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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

Offstage: Music Librarian Mari Rautio

Mari Rautio

What does a Music Librarian do at the Opera House?

“As a Music Librarian, I’m responsible for sourcing all the necessary music material and preparing it for performances. My colleague and I are involved in practically every performance that has live music.”


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.

Award-winning Finnish novel Ice is adapted into an opera

In January 2019 the Finnish National Opera will host the world premiere of a new opera from Finland based on Ulla-Lena Lundberg’s bestselling novel Ice. The novel was awarded the Finlandia prize, Finland’s most prestigious literary award, in 2012.
Patrick Fourmillier

A new Principal Guest Conductor at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet

Conductor Patrick Fournillier will start as the National Opera and Ballet’s Principal Guest Conductor in the coming season.
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