The much-anticipated world premiere of Sebastian Fagerlund’s new opera Höstsonaten took place on September 8 at the Finnish National Opera. Höstsonaten – Autumn Sonata is the meeting of a story by cinema legend Ingmar Bergman and the music of Fagerlund, one of the most highly acclaimed Finnish composers of his generation.
Gunilla Hemming adapted the libretto from Bergman’s film of the same name, reflecting on human choices, hidden conflicts in families and the possibility of forgiveness. The role of Charlotte has been specially composed for Anne Sofie von Otter, one of the most highly esteemed mezzo-sopranos of our time. This is the first time Von Otter has been seen on the Finnish National Opera stage. The orchestra and choir of FNO are conducted by John Storgårds.
Fagerlund commented on his work: “Höstsonaten – Autumn Sonata is a multilayered and powerful relationship drama. Its protagonists meet up in the dark hours of the night and end up having to question the choices they’ve made and their consequences. Underlying the drama, we have the eternal themes of forgiveness and the ability to accept other people as they are. Even as I was starting out the work, I felt as if the story and its characters were waiting for me somewhere in the depths of my mind.”
Operawire included Höstsonaten on its list of “10 Must See Opera Productions Of The Fall 2017–18 Season” and New York WQXR wrote about the premiere. In reviews of the premiere, music of the opera has been described as emotional – strong and powerful yet sensitive and delicate.
Höstsonaten will be available as video on demand to watch at the Opera Platform from 23 September at 18h00 CET.
The first special feature of the newly updated FMQ focuses extensively on Sebastian Fagerlund and his works. Read more here.