opera in Finland


I’ve suspected for some time that Charles Downey of Ionarts is “quite a Finnophile”, as he admits in a great post about Finnish opera and the Savonlinna Opera Festival.

For me, Savonlinna is a special town in the beautiful lakes region of eastern Finland, the region where I come from. On two different visits to Finland with my family, we stayed with an uncle there. The first visit he treated us to a performance of Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” at Olavinlinna Castle, where the Savonlinna Opera Festival has been held every summer since 1967. The opera was magical and memorable with the magnificent setting of stone walls and open sky.

In 2000 we went again and saw Gounod’s “Faust”, again a truly great experience, now with a permanent cover over the courtyard. I’m sure that on our next visit to Finland someday we shall go back, and also it’s not far from my favourite art gallery Retretti.

Charles Downey “harbor(s) dreams of going one day to the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland” perhaps in 2007 – and perhaps we shall meet there! Thanks for jogging some happy memories, Charles.

July 28, 2005 in Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music by Marja-Leena