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Kaija Saariaho – Sofi Oksanen – Aleksi Barrière


1 h 45 min, No interval
21.10.2022 – 24.11.2022
Main Stage
Price range
20-129 €
Several languages. Surtitles in finnish, swedish and english
Age recommendation

All [family celebrations] have their secrets

The world premiere of the new opera by Kaija Saariaho, Sofi Oksanen and Aleksi Barrière at Festival d’Aix-en-Province on 3 July 2021 was a major success. The premiere at the Finnish National Opera will take place on 21 October 2022.

Innocence is a ravishing opera that takes place in two parallel periods of time. It deals with the wounds of the past, the passing of time, and the act of letting go. A wedding party is underway in Helsinki, but the groom’s family has a dark secret. When the events from a decade ago begin to unravel, the guests face a moment of truth.

The opera includes scenes about a school shooting.

Innocence is a co-production of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Finnish National Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, the Dutch National Opera, and the San Francisco Opera. In partnership with the Metropolitan Opera.

Artists’ photos: Toni Härkönen.

”A thriller, a triumph, a breakthrough” -Helsingin Sanomat

”The most anticipated new opera of the year” -The New York Times

”A masterpiece” -Le Figaro

watch trailer

A collaboration between Saariaho, Oksanen and Barrière


An international group of guests are celebrating a wedding in Helsinki. The fiancé is Finnish, the bride Romanian, and the mother-in-law French. But suddenly, during the wedding banquet, the Czech waitress feels ill…

The groom has a dark secret and the wedding banquet is haunted by tragic events that took place years earlier. Ghosts revive their memories of the trauma, there is a guilty haze, a lost innocence.

The full synopsis can be found in the programme leaflet.

creative team

Kaija Saariaho
Sofi Oksanen
Dramaturg and translator
Aleksi Barrière
Clément Mao-Takacs
Direction and Dramaturgy
Simon Stone
Arco Renz
Chloe Lamford
Mel Page
Lighting design
James Farncombe
Sound design
Timo Kurkikangas


Waitress (Tereza)
Jenny Carlstedt
Mother-in-Law (Patricia)
Anu Komsi
Father-in-Law (Henrik)
Tuomas Pursio
Bride (Stela)
Iida Antola
Bridegroom (Tuomas)
Markus Nykänen
The Teacher
Lucy Shelton
Markéta (Student 1)
Vilma Jää
Lilly (Student 2)
My Johansson
Iris (Student 3)
Julie Hega
Anton (Student 4)
Simon Kluth
Jerónimo (Student 5)
Camilo Delgado Diaz
Alexia (Student 6)
Olga Heikkilä

performances and tickets

see also

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    External Venue 6.5.2023 – 25.5.2023

  • Opera


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  • Opera

    The Magic Flute

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