Composed in the 1890s by the German Karl Müller-Berghaus, conductor of the Music Society of Turku, Die Kalewainen in Pochjola opera has its world premiere on Kalevala's Day, 28 February. The opera is part of the festivities around the centenary of Finland’s independence.

During its time, Müller-Berghaus' opera was never performed because of its grandiosity. The opera has been included in the programme for Finland's centenary celebrations through the joint efforts of a gigantic cooperation network, which includes the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and Turku Music Festival as well as many organisations and professionals in the media and art industries.

Leif Segerstam will charm the audience as the opera’s conductor, while the roles of the strong mythical men will be interpreted by tenor Christian Juslin (as Achti Lemminkäinen) and baritone Tommi Hakala (as Ilmarinen). Soprano Johanna Rusanen-Kartano will star in the dramatic female lead role of Louchi.

‘At its most stripped down, this is a classic story about rival suitors and revenge, but with a tasteful, highly visual and modern interpretation,’ characterises Managing Director Liisa Ketomäki of the Turku Music Festival.

In addition to six shows performed in German and subtitled in Finnish and Swedish, the opera will also be available as a stream recording for those who are unable to see the show in person.

Stream recording will be visible on City of Turku’s website and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra’s website on 4 March at 19:00 Finnish time (CET+1).

More information and tickets

Photo: Seilo Ristimäki