Nevalainen, who has previously served as the business director of the Tampere Hall culture and conference centre, completes the festival’s trio of directors.
Mika Nevalainen, who worked as Tampere Hall’s business director for four years, will start as the commercial director of the Savonlinna Opera Festival at the beginning of 2023. Nevalainen will be the third member of the festival’s trio of directors, which also comprises Artistic Director Ville Matvejeff, who will have overall responsibility for the festival, and Financial Director Tarja Halonen.
‘The Savonlinna Opera Festival is one of Finland’s most prestigious cultural events, which is also well known all over Europe. It is an honour to have this opportunity to work as part of this expert team to develop and expand the Savonlinna Opera Festival, one of the most important performing arts events, which moves with the times and offers great experiences to audiences in Finland and elsewhere in the world,’ says Nevalainen.
Nevalainen has extensive experience in management and development tasks in business operations, B2B and B2C sales, and marketing and communications. He has worked as the managing director of communications and marketing companies and a media and well-being company. He brings a wealth of commercial expertise to the festival.
‘Even more than before, we want to be one of Europe’s most interesting opera festivals and attract more international visitors. To execute our strategy, we need not only high-quality performances but also strong commercial expertise to increase our visitor numbers and to ensure a memorable experience in a unique castle setting,’ notes Johanna Lamminen, Chair of the Savonlinna Opera Festival Board.
The new commercial director will work in close collaboration with Artistic Director Ville Matvejeff, who bears the overall responsibility for the festival. Even though the festival has been arranged for decades and is well-known in Finland and abroad, Nevalainen and Matvejeff believe that it has plenty of potential for growth and development to tap into.
‘Aino Ackté arranged the first ever Opera Festival at Savonlinna’s historical Olavinlinna Castle in 1912. While our roots are strongly in Savonlinna, our spirit and operating environment are global and cosmopolitan – as was Ackté, one of the great opera stars of her era. Over its 110-year history, the festival has grown into a major event and a Finnish success story. In the future, the festival’s financial success will create a strong foundation for artistic excellence and vice versa. Our finances are strongly reliant on ticket sales and public aid, which, at 10%, is very low by European standards. We hope that this share will grow in the future. It is essential that in addition to our old friends, we reach new audiences and find new collaboration partners both locally and globally. We want the scope of the opera festival to expand both artistically and operationally, and I am enthusiastic about working together with Mika, our new, experienced commercial director,’ explains Matvejeff.
‘This festival, held at Olavinlinna, already offers a unique opera experience, but we can enhance it further. I will begin to build the festival’s future with my colleagues with a humble but ambitious attitude,’ says Nevalainen.
For further information, contact:
Ville Matvejeff, Artistic Director
+358 40 721 1894
Mika Nevalainen, Commercial Director (as of the beginning of 2023)
+358 400 88 2024
Johanna Lamminen, Chairperson of the Board
+358 40 848 4448