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Reija Wäre – Jukka Nykänen

Édith Piaf – La vie en rose

2 h, Incl. interval (estimated duration, specified during the premiere week)
28.2.2025 – 27.5.2025
Main Stage
On sale date
Tickets will go on sale on 2 October at 12 p.m.
Price range
21–138 €
Age recommendation

Take flight with the Little Sparrow

Édith Piaf’s (1915–1963) extraordinary life has left a lasting musical legacy that continues to be cherished decades later. Life is not something that happened to Piaf, it’s something that she made. She embraced life to the full, from the greatest raptures to the deepest sorrows. Despite her fame and fortune, she always lived on her own terms, choosing her company regardless of societal norms and expectations.

This new ballet offers a caleidoscopic portrait of Édith Piaf’s life. It tells a true story while exploring the depths of the protagonist’s emotions. Though the choreography embraces the beauty and precision of classical ballet, it also incorporates the flow of contemporary dance to reflect Piaf’s unique gestures and movements.

Love is a battlefield, and I fight every day to win.

– Édith Piaf


Édith grows up with her grandmother, who runs a brothel and shields Édith from the clients with the help of her workers. Young Édith becomes blind, but she is cured by her patron saint, St. Thérèse. As a teenager, she performs on the streets of Paris with her stepsister Simone, but the Great Depression dims the vibrancy of the city. Édith falls deeply in love with Louis Dupont, takes a factory job, and starts a family with him. However, motherhood proves too much for her, and their child dies.

After Édith and Simone end up in Louis Leplée’s nightclub, Édith wants to become more than just a street performer. Leplée turns her into the iconic star, La Môme Piaf, the little sparrow.

Now a celebrated singer, Édith is surrounded by fans and lovers. The world around her is ravaged by the Second World War. In America, she is snubbed by the elite, but Marlene Dietrich comes to her rescue and introduces her to the boxer Marcel Cerdan. Their passionate romance comes to an end as Marcel has an accident. Édith is tormented by drunken visions of Marcel, and her life crumbles as her friends drift away. She seeks comfort from her young assistant. In her final performance, Édith takes to the stage to sing La vie en rose.

Full synopsis and other background information can be found in the programme leaflet.

Creative team

Reija Wäre
kooste / collage
Musical arrangement and composer
Jukka Nykänen
Aliisa Neige Barrière
Jani Uljas
Erika Turunen
Lighting Design
Joonas Tikkanen
Reija Wäre, Melissa A. Thompson


Cast will be published later.

Listen to Piaf’s music

Composer Jukka Nykänen’s score has been inspired by Édith Piaf’s repertoire. Get in the mood for the performance in advance or listen out for familiar melodies afterwards.

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