Karita Mattila’s Gala Highlights Savonlinna Opera Festival’s 2020 Season

By Sebastien Turgeon

(Credit: Marica Rosengård)

The 2020 Savonlinna Opera Festival has announced its season featuring several classics, from July 3 to July 31, 2020.

Bizet’s “Carmen” opens the festival in a production directed by Marianne Mörck and conducted by Stephan Zilias. Ève-Maud Hubeaux and Tuija Knihtilä alternate in the title role, opposite Amadi Lagha as Don Jose. Aurora Marthens will sing Micaela while Yuriy Yurchuk and Tapani Plathan will split duties as Escamillo.

Performance Dates: July 3-21, 2020

Young Polish director Krystian Lada will present a new production of Karol Szymanowski’s “King Roger.” The title role will be sung by Swedish baritone Fredrik Zetterström, along with Helena Juntunen, Sam Furness, Karol Kozłowski and Päivi Nisula. Ville Matvejeff will be the conductor.

In 2019, director Kristian Lada was the first recipient of the Mortier Next Generation Award, in commemoration of the late Belgian director Gérard Mortier.

Performance Dates: July 4-15, 2020

A production of Verdi’s “La Traviata” by Mariusz Treliński will star Ida Falk Winland, alternating with Marjukka Tepponen in the title role. Alfredo will be sung by Pavel Petrov while Vladislav Sulimski and Arttu Kataja will alternate as Germont, under the baton of Finnish conductor Eva Ollikainen.

Performance dates: July 6-23, 2020

Italian conductor Evelino Pido and Finnish director Kari Heiskanen will offer a production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia,” with Annalisa Stroppa in the title role. Tuomas Katajala, Roberto de Candia, and Michele Pertusi round out the strong cast.

Performance Dates: July 11-24, 2020

The great Finnish soprano Karita Mattila will celebrate her 60th birthday with a grand festive gala featuring arias and scenes from her great roles, including Ariadne, Sieglinde, and Jenůfa. The Opera Festival Orchestra will be conducted by Hannu Lintu.

Performance Date: July 25, 2020

The festival will conclude with two productions from the National Croatian Opera.

Director Fabrizio Milano will offer his take on Jules Massenet’s “Werther.” Aljaž Farasin and Ivana Srbljan will sing the roles of Werther and Charlotte, respectively. The cast is completed by Domen Križaj, Vanja Zelčić, Giorgio Surian, Robert Kolar and Marko Fortunato. The performances will be conducted by Yordan Kamdzhalov.

Performance Dates: July 26-31, 2020

Two performances of Handel’s “Julius Caesar” will be performed with a cast including Diana Haller, Anamarija Knego, Renata Pokupić, Dubravka Šeparović Mušović, Sonja Runje and Slavko Sekulić. The conductor is Ville Matvejeff, in a production by Marin Blažević.

Performance Dates: July 28-30, 2020

The details for the current 2019 season were published earlier by Operawire. The highlight of this season is a visit by Teatro alla Scala for an all-star opera gala and three performances of “I Masnadieri” which will open on Monday, July 15 and will star American soprano Lisette Oropesa.