Friday, 25 January 2019

Today : world première of 'Jää' ('Ice') by Jaakko Kuusisto in Helsinki

Today, the Finnish National Opera presents the world première of Jää (Ice), an opera in three acts composed by Jaakko Kuusisto, with a libretto in Finnish by Juhani Koivisto based on the novel written by Ulla-Lena Lundberg.

Jaakko Kuusisto has composed several opera, including The Canine Kalevala (2003), The Bed Chamber Opera (2009), The Camping Opera (2012) and Elämälle (2015).
A young priest settles on a remote Finnish island with his family, and ever since his first sermon, everyone loves and respects him. This where they’ll stay, where their children will grow up, Petter and Mona decide. Petter completes his degree, he is inaugurated, a bridge is built between islands, life is getting better and all is well. But the ice is treacherous, and Petter doesn’t know how to watch out for it. (reproduced from the Finnish National Opera website)
The cast includes baritone Ville Rusanen (Peter Kummel), soprano Marjukka Tepponen (Mona Kummel), bass baritone Jussi Merikanto (Lukkari), mezzo Jenny Carlstedt (Irina Gyllen), soprano Jenni Lättilä (Adele Bergman), tenor Pekka Kuivalainen (Elis Bergman) and baritone Hannu Niemelä (Artur Manström). The composer conducts the orchestra and chorus of the Finnish National Opera. Anna Kelo directs.

The required orchestra is the following (reproduced from the composer's website) :

- 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 3 clarinets, 3 bassoons ;
- 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba ;
- percussion (3 players) ;
- harp, piano, synthesizer ;
- strings.

The performance should last 2 hours and 40 minutes, including a 25 minutes intermission.

The score is published by Tactus.

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