Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival showcases the latest performances from independent opera companies.
The festival brings together a wide variety of artistic teams and productions at the Alexander Theatre, with a focus on contemporary chamber opera and musical theatre. The first ever Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival takes place from 19 August – 5 September 2021, and it’s also part of the Helsinki Festival’s program.
The three-week festival program consists of seven chamber operas, two musical comedies, a cocktail concert, introductory talks and video presentations. The festival features both premieres and performances from previously premiered productions. A similar event or an equally extensive review of works and artists has never been organized in Finland before.
The main purpose of the Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival is to present the most interesting performances in the domestic opera and musical theatre field to the public, as well as to offer international visits in the future.
The festival will be organized annually at the Alexander Theatre. The introductory talks are given 1,5 hours before the first performance of each opera production in the upper foyer of the Alexander Theatre. The six introductions explore the world around the work being performed as the artistic group and composer will give background information about the origins of the work and the production. The introductory talks last about 30 minutes and are in Finnish. Admission to the events is free.
In addition to the official festival program, video recordings from past opera performances will be screened at the Alexander Theatre ‘Secret Bar’. More detailed information about the screenings and their schedules will be published on August 2, 2021. Admission to the events is free. For festival and theatre organizers looking to include new performances in their repertory: please head to the Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival website for more detailed information on each performance available for touring. Touring information links can be found below the performance details.
The artistic director of the Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival is Reetta Ristimäki and the event is produced by Greta Productions. Each company participating in the event is responsible for their own performance production and this year six companies will take part in the festival: Opera Box, Opera Skaala, Greta Productions, Finnish Chamber Opera, The Fabulous Bäckström Brothers, and a pop-up-group “The Box”.
The partners and supporters of the festival are Helsinki Festival, Music Finland, Theatre Info Finland, Theatre Centre, Sibelius Academy, Musiikin edistämissäätiö, Finnish Musicians’ Union, The Society of Finnish Composers, and Fennica Gehrman.