Karita Mattila & Annalisa Stroppa Lead Savonlinna Opera Festival 2021

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credits: Lauri Eriksson / Victor Santiago)

The Savonlinna Opera Festival has announced its 2021 slate, which will include several opera productions and a recital by famed Finnish soprano Karita Mattila.

Bizet’s opera “Carmen” will feature Amadi Lagha as Don José, Andrei Kymach and Tapani Plathan alternating in the role of Escamillo, and Tuija Knihtilä in the title role.

Performance dates: July 2 – July 22, 2021

Verdi’s “La Traviata” will spotlight Marjukka Tepponen as Violetta Valéry, Antonio Poli as Alfredo Germont, and Arttu Kataja as Giorgio Germont. Pier Giorgio Morandi will conduct the production by Mariusz Treliński.

Performance dates: July 5 – July 17, 2021

Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” will showcase Tuomas Katajala in the role of Count Almaviva, Annalisa Stroppa as Rosina, Waltteri Torikka as Bartolo, Michele Pertusi as Don Basilio, and Roberto de Candia in the title role. Michele Gamba conducts the production by Kari Heiskanen.

Performance dates: July 10 – July 23, 2021

Massenet’s “Werther” will star Ivana Srbljan as Charlotte, Domen Križaj as Albert, Vanja Zelčić as Sophie, and Aljaž Farasin in the title role. Kalle Kuusava conducts the production by Fabrizio Melano.

Performance dates: July 25 – July 30, 2021

Handel’s “Giulio Cesare” will feature Anamarija Knego as Cleopatra, Michaela Selinger as Sesto, and Diana Haller in the title role. Ville Matvejeff conducts the production by Marin Blažević.

Production dates: July 27 – July 29, 2021

Famed Finish soprano Karita Mattila will give a recital featuring works by Respighi, Verdi, Richard Strauss, Busoni, Ponchielli, and Wagner. Hannu Lintu conducts.

Performance dates: July 24 – July 26, 2021

A presentation by the group Wardruna will close the festival. Along with traditional Scandinavian drums, harps, and wind instruments, the soundscape includes whispering voices, melodic vocals, and choral singing.

Performance date: July 31, 2021

The organizers of the festival also announced that due to ongoing concerns over COVID-19, they were forced to cancel three performances of Karol Szymanowski’s opera “King Roger.” All performances will be organized as the series of socially distanced events. Implementing safe distancing means that the medieval castle of Olavinlinna can only accommodate an audience of approximately 1,200 people, rather than the usual 2,200.

“Although July is still some time away and the coronavirus situation will continue to evolve, organizing a month-long international festival requires decisions to be made now. The wellbeing of our audience, staff, partners, and local residents is paramount,” said General Director Jan Strandholm.