An opera festival in the Finnish summer is an opportunity to enjoy not only high-quality opera performances but also wonderfully light July nights and Nordic nature. The small town of Savonlinna is full of life in July. The medieval Olavinlinna castle on the shore of the famous Lake Saimaa plays host to the festival, which can be reached from Helsinki by train and plane. Visiting artists at Savonlinna Opera Festival in summer 2023 include Lisette Oropesa, Frédéric Antoun, and conductor Sakari Oramo.
Lisette Oropesa in Romeo and Juliet
The month-long Savonlinna Opera Festival presents five to six different operas each year. The premiere of summer 2023 is Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet. Director Amy Lane has set the events on the dangerous streets of 19th century New York, creating fascinating tension against Charles Gounod’s love-filled music.
Two renowned couples have been cast in the lead roles: Lisette Oropesa and Frédéric Antoun alternate with the Finnish soprano Marjukka Tepponen, who recently debuted at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, and Antonio Poli. Lisette Oropesa will also give her own solo recital concert in Olavinlinna.
Romeo and Juliet is a Malmö Opera production, which will premiere in Malmö, Sweden, in November 2022.
What is the secret of Savonlinna Opera Festival’s The Magic Flute?
Three, even four generations have already marvelled at The Magic Flute at the Savonlinna Opera Festival. It’s an opera phenomenon and by far the most requested wish in our audience feedback.
Summer 2023 will see the 50th anniversary of its premiere. In 1973, The Magic Flute was directed by August Everding (1928–1999), with sets and costumes by Toni Businger (1934–2019). They first visited Olavinlinna by rowing boat in the middle of winter. The Finnish language production is considered a particularly accomplished introduction to the world of opera. It has already been seen by an audience of more than 200 000 people.
The Magic Flute of summer 2023 has been slightly revised from the original. The performances will be conducted by Sakari Oramo and the cast features leading Finnish opera names from Tuuli Takala to Anu Komsi, Tuomas Katajala, and Mika Kares.
Steam ships, national parks and lake scenery
The lake scenery of the Savonlinna region is spectacular, and its national parks rival Lapland in beauty. Accommodation in Savonlinna often combines stunning lake views and a town centre location. Olavinlinna, too, is within walking distance, and cruise ships stop at the castle jetty before performances.
The Savonlinna Opera Festival is a tantalising experience for the body and the mind, a day of activities followed by world-class opera. Besides Romeo and Juliet and The Magic Flute, the summer 2023 repertoire also comprises The Barber of Seville. The final week will feature visiting performances by Theater Hagen from Germany: Fiddler on the Roof and a double bill of Finnish Outi Tarkiainen’s new opera A Room of One’s Own and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle
Next year’s Savonlinna Opera Festival will take place from 1 to 30 July 2023. The summer 2022 festival starts on 1 July 2022.
Buy tickets for summer 2023 here.
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