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5/15/2012 Jan Strandholm General Director and Jorma Silvasti Artistic Director to lead the Festival into its second century

The Savonlinna Opera Festival is adopting a new operational model consisting of a General Director and an Artistic Director. The Board of Directors has accordingly appointed Jan Strandholm General Director and Jorma Silvasti Artistic Director to lead the Festival into its second century.

The Board of Directors of the Savonlinna Opera Festival has appointed Jan Strandholm General Director of the Savonlinna Opera Festival and Managing Director of Savonlinna Opera Festival Ltd. He will begin working at the Opera Festival on September 1, 2012 and take over as General Director on October 1, 2012, when the present General Director, Jan Hultin, vacates the post.

As the next Artistic Director the Board has appointed opera singer Jorma Silvasti for a four-year term beginning on September 1, 2013, when the term of the present Artistic Director, Jari Hämäläinen, ends.

Jan Strandholm (38) comes to the Savonlinna Opera Festival from the Finnish National Opera, where he has been Communications Manager. He also has substantial marketing, sales and communications experience from his previous positions, having been responsible for experience services at the Svenska Teatern (Swedish Theatre) in Helsinki and the Viirus Theatre.

Jorma Silvasti (53) is one of the most highly-acclaimed Finnish singers in the international arena and brings to the Opera Festival his experience and contacts with the world’s leading opera houses. He already has a long history with the Savonlinna Opera Festival, having been involved with all aspects of opera in Savonlinna under the direction of Martti Talvela way back in the 1970s: as a member of the Choir and the technical team, and as a soloist.

“The Board of the Savonlinna Opera Festival is extremely satisfied with the outcome of the exhaustive recruiting process,” says Sari Baldauf, Chairman of the Board. “We are pleased at the interest in the challenge offered by the Savonlinna Opera Festival that was shown by a number of worthy applicants with a wide range of competencies. We have selected two directors whose fields of expertise well complement each other and excellently cover the requirements for the successful direction of the Opera Festival. Best of all, Jorma Silvasti and Jan Strandholm both have a passionate relationship with opera, the core of the Savonlinna experience. The appointments will ensure the natural transition from the present, highly functional management to the Opera Festival’s second century.”

Further info: Sari Baldauf, via the Savonlinna Opera Festival, tel. +358 40 521 2101, helena.kontiainen@operafestival.fi.
Requests for interview: Kari Vainio, tel. +358 50 431 8338,  email k.j.vainio@kolumbus.fi

Jan Strandholm

1/2011– Finnish National Opera, Communications Manager
In charge of marketing, head of the Communications Department, corporate partnership 

8/2006–12/2010 Finnish National Opera, Marketing Manager
Marketing, sales and related matters

8/2002–8/2006 Svenska Teatern, Marketing Manager
Sales, marketing, communications and corporate partnership
1/2000–8/2002 Viirus Theatre, Sales and Communications
Overall sales and marketing, corporate partnership

1994–2000 Svenska Handelshögskolan i Helsingfors
MSc in Economics and Business Administration, majoring in service marketing
Topic of thesis: Sponsor relations of the Finnish National Opera

1998 Ecole Supérieure de Commerce, Rennes, France.
Post Graduate Certificate (PGC)

1993 Helsinge Gymnasium  
Matriculated student

1990–1991 Randolph High School   
San Antonio, Texas. Student

Board member, W&T Comedy Ab 2005–
Member of governing body, Helsinge Gymnasium 1992–1993

Married, two children

Jorma Silvasti

opera singer (choir), Finnish National Opera, Helsinki  1980-1981
opera singer (choir), Oper Frankfurt, Frankfurt a. M. 1981-1982
opera singer, Ver. Städtische Buehnen Krefeld-Mönchengladbach 1982-1985 
opera singer, Badische Staatstheater, Karlsruhe 1985-1988
opera singer, Wiener Volksoper, Vienna  1988-1990
opera singer, Finnish National Opera, Helsinki 1991-

Guest appearances at, among others, the Metropolitan Opera New York, Vienna State Opera, National Theatre, Munich, State Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opéra Bastille, Paris, Teatro Real Madrid, ROH Covent Garden, London, Bayreuth Festival and Savonlinna Opera Festival

Talvisalo High School, Savonlinna 1975-1978
Savonlinna Music Institute 1974-1978
Sibelius Academy, Helsinki 1980-1981
Private voice studies in Helsinki 1978-1980 and Frankfurt a. M. 1981-1982
Winner of the prize for solo singing at the Youth Art Event in Kotka, 1978
Winner of the Timo Mustakallio Competition at the Savonlinna Opera Festival, 1982
Grammy Prize for best opera recording 2004, Jenufa (Janacek), cond. Bernhard Haitink
Chairman of the Jury of the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition 2009 and 2014
Member of the Board of the Timo Mustakallio Foundation
Member of the Board of the family business Okabex Oy (culture services)
Order of the Finnish Lion, First Class, 2011

Married to Chieko Okabe-Silvasti