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Press release

Graziano Gallo’s Free Will is the theme of Opera By You community opera project

The theme for Savonlinna Opera Festival’s internationally noticed Opera By You internet community opera project is Free Will. Idea belongs to Italian Graziano Gallo and was chosen from over a hundred theme suggestions by opera professionals, project’s operatives, with the help of the online community.

Summary of Free Will
God has had enough of all the misery that people are suffering from and calls a meeting with the angels. They decide to send a team of dead genius back to Earth to make things better. They are supposed to make a huge difference in science and art and create world peace, but events will turn to an unexpected puzzling outcome.

The community received over a hundred theme applications. Operatives chose eight out of them for people to vote over online. Operatives also made the final selection. Operatives are Savonlinna Opera Festival’s Head of Productions Jukka Pohjolainen, composer Markus Fagerudd, opera director Jere Erkkilä, libretist, scriptwriter Iida Hämeen-Anttila, production leader Sivi Uitto and project manager Päivi Salmi. Next phase is writing the libretto and composing the music.
- We were looking for a theme that is big, dramatic and multidimensional. It was also important to choose a theme that can be divided to parts for the community to work on. Gallo’s Free Will filled all criteria and won the community voting, so the decision was unanimous, tells production leader Sivi Uitto.

The Savonlinna Opera Festival has launched an unprecedented project in which anyone can contribute to the creation of an opera. For any member of the internet community can help to write the libretto, compose the music, design the sets and costumes – from beginning to end. At present 283 community members from all around the world are working on the project. The average age of members is 30 years and they are united by their love of music and will to take part in creating a modern opera.

The Savonlinna Opera Festival will be placing world-class soloists, a chorus of 80, a symphony orchestra and its entire production machinery at the community’s disposal. The community opera will be premiered at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in summer 2012.

- I am happy that the theme of the project is both modern and deals with ancient subjects. Now we will start to work on Free Will’s music and script alongside with the community. Opera By You is once again a step closer to coming true, says the man in charge of the ultimate production, Jukka Pohjolainen.

The main partners for the project are Helsingin Sanomat and Nokia. The idea is being developed and worked on in partnership with hasan & partners advertising agency, Drum Communications and online collaborative film company Wreckamovie.

Anyone can join in making an opera at www.operabyyou.com. There you will also find press material, images & trailers.

Further information:
Tiina Olkkonen, Marketing Director
+358 40 827 8844

Savonlinna Opera Festival in brief
The Savonlinna Opera Festival is internationally widely known Finnish cultural event and one of the most important tourist
attractions in Finland. Over the years Savonlinna Opera Festival has grown to become a month long international festival.
60,000 people visit the festival every year, and 10 per cent of them are international visitors. Opera in Savonlinna is a
comprehensive experience that consists of high-level opera performances and concerts, the unique atmosphere of the
medieval Olavinlinna castle and scenically beautiful summer in Savonlinna. Savonlinna has become a concept among opera
fans throughout the world. 14% of the Opera Festival’s funding comes from the Ministry of Education and the City of
Savonlinna, nearly 70% from the ticket sales and c. 12% from sponsorships. www.operafestival.fi