The pandemic outlook for this July in Finland is still so uncertain that opera performances and the orchestral galas with Karita Mattila will be cancelled. Other concerts and the national Timo Mustakallio Singing Competition will go ahead as planned. Karita Mattila’s new concerts, in which she performs with a pianist, will complete the summer’s concert repertoire. The festival will be in touch with all ticket holders, and the new repertoire for summer 2022 will be announced on 31 May.
“We have collaborated closely with the authorities and worked hard until the very last minute to build and ready ourselves for the summer’s festival. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic situation and the uncertainty around mass events in the coming summer, we must now give up on our opera performances”, says Jan Strandholm, the General Director of the Savonlinna Opera Festival.
Any significant further limits on audience numbers would not be financially feasible for the festival, which depends heavily on ticket revenue. The capacity of the medieval Olavinlinna was already halved to approximately 1200 seats earlier to ensure safe distancing.
”Both our audience and us artists are hungry for new live performances, but we will now turn our eyes to next year. We have a highly attractive repertoire in store, along with premieres worth waiting for”, says Strandholm.
Ticket holders can reserve seats for summer 2022 first
The concerts are moved from Olavinlinna to Kerimäki Church, one of the world’s largest wooden churches. The venue of the Timo Mustakallio Singing Competition for young Finnish singers will also change from Olavinlinna to Savonlinna Hall. In addition to this, the visit of the YL Male Voice Choir has been rescheduled, and the concert of the Norwegian group Wardruna was already moved to next year earlier on. All concerts will adhere to any limits on audience numbers and safe distancing restrictions.
The following concerts will take place this summer:
- Marjukka Tepponen, Waltteri Torikka and Jukka Nykänen Kerimäki Church 14 July 2021
- YL Male Voice Choir Kerimäki Church 16 July 2021 (rescheduled from the original date of 8 July)
- Timo Mustakallio Singing Competition Savonlinna Hall 18 July 2021
- Karita Mattila’s recital, Kerimäki Church 24 and 26 July 2021 (ticket sales to start later)
Any tickets already bought or reserved for summer 2021 will still be valid. Opera tickets reserved for this summer can already be exchanged for any performance in summer 2022, before sales officially start for the new season. The Opera Festival will reach out to everyone who has reserved a ticket, whether for the above concerts or for opera performances.
”Our customers have been tremendously patient, which has been truly heart-warming. As a token of our appreciation, we want to serve each ticket holder personally and ensure they can be the first to reserve tickets for the much-anticipated repertoire of summer 2022. We have truly wonderful performances in store. I am also pledging for anyone who has the opportunity to keep their reservation until next year to do so. That would make a huge financial difference to the future of the Opera Festival”, Jan Strandholm elaborates.
Grave concern for artists’ livelihoods and the entire events industry
For the second year running, the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the livelihoods of artists and other festival employees, partners, and the local entrepreneurs of the Savonlinna region.
”We are deeply concerned about the wellbeing and livelihoods of our staff and other professionals in our field, along with the entire performing arts scene. The pandemic has had a devasting effect on the events industry as a whole. Hopefully it will soon be possible for people to carry on their work and for the audience to share extraordinary experiences”, the General Director of the festival says.