Ulla-Maija Rouhiaisen ope-blogi

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We have been walking around on our lessons, learning English and Helsinki . Two weeks ago we got together at the entrance of the National Opera at the Töölönlahti bay. It was a dark and rainy morning,with  strong wind from the south. Richard took the shift in the Sibeliuspark, but before that we discovered a number of things and learned how to cross Mannerheimintie street with a group.

The Finnish National Opera has been celebrating it´s  100 years birthday this year. In 2013 it will be the Ballet´s turn for 100 years parties. Here is more information of the opera http://www.opera.fi/en.It is worth a while to click the video there and listen a few bars (tacts) of La Traviata-theme by Verdi and view the coming performances.

To describe the Finnish operalife to our guests it is good to tell of the great Finnish singers in the world: Karita Mattila, Soile Isokoski and Monica Groop are very well known to international audiences. The great stars have been Martti Talvela, Jaakko Ryhänen, Matti Salminen – all bass singers and Jorma Hynninen with the baritone voice. The modern Finnish opera composers are also known in the world, Joonas Kokkonen of The Last Temptations – opera, Aulis Sallinen with many works and latest Kaija Saariaho, whose work is performed all over the world. The Savonlinna Opera Festival is known also to many visitors – then it is good to know where Savonlinna and Olavinlinna are situated.

Finnish National Opera in a nutshell

There are some 300 performances each year in the Finnish National Opera. The repertoire in any given season includes on average 15 operas and 9 ballets. The Opera also organizes recitals, matinee concerts with free admission, events for kids and teens, and audience briefings where opera and ballet production teams discuss their work.

Finnish National Opera today


Korjaamo was introduced by Säde. Korjaamo is an important venue of contemporary art performances, art exhibitions, concerts, theatre and cross art projects. Korjaamo also makes a nice meeting place with restaurants. And there is also a tram museum.


We took our way past the Töölö library and in fromt of the building there is a statue that we did not recognize:


This statue is called Lukusali – the reading room. It is a work by Kari Juva. An the story is fascinating:

” kaksi tyyliteltyä figuuria esittävät kirjastossa sattumalta toisensa kohdanneita henkilöitä, joita yhdistää lukuharrastus” And freely translated: two people sharing the same hobbies (passions…?) accidentally meeting in the library. Now that would be a nice story to tell to our visitors. There is always room for some romance, no matter how old or young your clients are. More info of the statues of Helsinki:


Then we continued to Sibelius Park, one of the musts to see in Helsinki.


and there Richard took over and told an interesting story of the guy from Iceland who happened to participate twice in Sibelius´s party in the Kämp Hotel.The same party took more than a week… he got to the party on his way to London and a week later the party was still on when he was getting back.

Sibelius is important to learn – and the best way to learn is to listen and fall in love of his work: The Violin Concerto, The Seven Symphonies, Finlandia, Valse Triste, Lemminkäinen, Swan of Tuonela, Kullervo etc. Here is the finale of the 2nd ymphony – it will make you cry.


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