Press release June 30, 2011
Savonlinna Opera Festival strikes up with two new productions
The 2011 season of the Savonlinna Opera Festival strikes up with two new productions: W.A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin. The premiere of Don Giovanni begins at 19.00 on Friday July 1 and that of Lohengrin at 18.00 on Saturday July 2, both in Olavinlinna Castle. Continuing in the repertoire is last season’s highly popular Tosca.
Further electrifying the atmosphere of the opening weekend will be the Timo Mustakallio Competition. Hoping for victory in the first round and finals on Saturday July 2 and Sunday July 3, respectively, are 16 Finnish singers.
Once again audiences can enjoy some first-class concerts in addition to opera. Taking the Olavinlinna Castle stage will be star tenor José Cura from Argentina, with Tarja Turunen as his guest. Artist of the Year Juha Uusitalo and winner of the 2008 Timo Mustakallio Competition Marjukka Tepponen will be giving a joint concert in the Castle. Like Cura, they will be accompanied by the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jari Hämäläinen. Giving a recital at the Savonlinna Hall will be Carlo Colombara, whose magnificent voice can also be heard in the title role in Don Giovanni. Running riot in the exciting children’s concert in the Castle will be Mr Clutterbuck in a jungle adventure.
The visiting opera house this year is the Hungarian State Opera, which is bringing along its production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo. Representing the guest’s own musical tradition is a Hungarian Evening featuring Zoltán Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus and Béla Bartók’s one-act opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle.
All in all the members of the Festival ensemble will number 500 artists. Among those from Finland will be Jaakko Ryhänen, Juha Uusitalo, Tuija Knihtilä, Tuomas Pursio and Gabriel Suovanen. The visiting conductors are Will Humburg, Philippe Auguin and Srboljub Dinic. The many singers from abroad include José Cura, Carlo Colombara and Massimo Giordano, all stars of the New York Metropolitan, the leading couple in Lohengrin (Richard Crawley and Amber Wagner), the singer of the title role in Tosca (Maria José Siri), Jennifer Rowley as Donna Anna, and the winner of the Savonlinna Opera Festival’s 2010 International Singing Competition, Michele Angelini.
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