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Get soaked in the stories and get to know the creators. Interviews, videos, behind the scenes and the most beautiful arias – you’re welcome.

Five Reasons to See The Bartered Bride

Bedřich Smetana is considered the father of Czech music. The Bartered Bride is his masterpiece – comedic, sharp and expressive. Why should The Bartered Bride be experienced at Olavinlinna this summer? We give five good reasons.

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Bedřich Smetana – 200 years since the birth of the world-famous composer

In 2024, it will be 200 years since the birth (March 1824) of one of the most famous Czech composers, Bedřich Smetana, and also 140 years since his death (May 1884). The Year of Czech music can also be seen in Savonlinna Opera Festival, as the visiting Prague National Theatre will bring The Bartered Bride, one of Smetana's most famous compositions, to the Olavinlinna Castle. Get to know Smetana's life works and the places that have been an inseparable part of his life.

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In the seed of anger lies the greatest love

Kaija Saariaho’s opera Adriana Mater has been topical ever since it was completed. Set in an unnamed location, the story begins on the brink of a conflict that is about to erupt into war. Although the guns eventually fall silent, the experiences of evil live on in people’s minds. How does one deal with such a situation? In the seed of anger lies the greatest love.

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LA MATTILA MAKES HER DEBUT 

Finland has produced outstanding artists on the international music scene, from composers to conductors, from soloists to singers, from classical music to heavy metal. And then there is La Mattila. 

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Every action counts 

When a shared future is at stake, every action counts. Our sustainability programme has made great progress, and the results show that our actions are moving in the right direction.   

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The orchestra’s secret 

When the conductor raises his baton for the first time, Olavinlinna is filled with the sound of a large orchestra. Every nuance is finely honed and tells the story of the evening’s opera. At moments such as these, it seems extraordinary that the Opera Festival Orchestra only meets for five weeks each year. What is the orchestra’s secret? We asked clarinettist Patrik Stenström. 

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Olavinlinna, a unique opera stage

Olavinlinna Castle is one of the best preserved medieval castles in the Nordic countries and a valuable heritage site. As a setting for the Opera Festival, it is magnificent, unique – and very challenging. 

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Don Giovanni’s miraculous career path

The international opera scene is usually dominated by singers who chose a career as a musician at a very early stage. Perfect exceptions are rare – but the baritone Yuriy Yurchuk is one such case. 

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Nabucco and the greatest crisis of our time

When the most stirring choral scene in the opera Nabucco rings out next summer inside the stone walls of the Olavinlinna castle, its message will leave no one unmoved. From the very beginning, it has had a wider significance than just opera. In this rendition, it affects every one of us.   

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Find suitable accommodation for your opera trip – check out our recommendations

The historical ambiance of a old manor, cottage life near National Parks, or a hotel in the center of Savonlinna? Discover the most suitable accommodation for your opera journey from many options.

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What the audience says: why Savonlinna has one of Europe’s best opera festivals

Ever since renowned Finnish soprano Aino Ackté turned her dream into reality and launched the Savonlinna Opera Festival way back in 1912, the event has provoked a vast range of emotions amongst its visitors. Read what people from around the world said about their experience in our recent research.

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Rumours, ladders and a barber

Gioachino Rossini grew up in an opera orchestra pit, for his mother…

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Stage director Kari Heiskanen: is it ok to laugh at the opera?

“Good heavens, you should be able to laugh just anywhere,” cries Kari…

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The Savonlinna Opera Festival relies on ticket revenue

Little did the builders of the defence fortress in 1475 know that their work would one day provide a unique atmosphere and outstanding acoustics for opera.

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Over a century of opera festivals in Olavinlinna

The idea first came from the Finnish soprano Aino Ackté: ”The most wonderful castle in the world, surrounded by otherworldly lake scenery” would offer just the right backdrop for opera. Read more about the history of opera festivals in Olavinlinna.

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