Helsinki Festival premieres new Finnish contemporary music

For those interested in Finnish contemporary music, this year's Helsinki Festival is a must. Here are three brand new works that are worth seeing and hearing at Helsinki Festival in August.

Wunderbar! is a “sensual and surreal short opera” composed by Lotta Wennäkoski, a declared a national musical lyricist. It is a story of a young girl who loses her twin sister as the Berlin wall is falling down. The story captures the girl reconstructing her past using random documents, her mother’s recollections and her own imagination. The piece is based on an award-winning radio play by Riikka Pulkkinen and it is directed by Hilkka-Liisa Iivanainen. The premiere nights of Wunderbar! will be at the Helsinki Festival on 26.–27. and 29.8. at Ateneum Hall.

Religious violence, the relationship between an individual and a community, marginalization and the frailty of the mind are the main themes on Autuus, a new work by composer Antti Auvinen, author Harry Salmenniemi, director Teemu Mäki and performers defunensemble and the Helsinki Chamber Choir. Autuus is based on a story from the 19th century, where a chaplain murdered his brother with a mallet. The stage production is a compilation of video footage, together with soloists, a choir and a live ensemble. The first renditions of Autuus will take place in Helsinki Music Centre Sonore on 16.–18.8.2015.

Composer Juha T. Koskinen and artist-author Hannu Väisänen have joined forces to create Lusia Rusintytär, an opera about Lusia Korhonen, a Finnish shaman and healer who lived in the 17th century. Lusia Korhonen was the first well-known Finnish Kalevala rune singer. The chamber opera based on a true story is directed and choreographed by Jorma Uotinen. The world premiere will take place in Utajärvi on August 7th and the Helsinki Festival dates for Lusia Rusintytär will be at Sello Hall on 23.8.2015.