Sunday, 17 March 2019

Debut at the Finnish National Opera

Debut at the Finnish National Opera done! What an incredible journey it has been! From being commissioned in February one year ago, seeing Monica Vikström-Jokela create a wonderful story about sustainability and animal right from the ideas by the children at Åshöjdens Musikklasser involved in the process, composing the 45 minute opera last autumn, seeing Anna Kontek create a whole own visual world for the opera together with lights by Vesa Pohjalainen and seeing Martina Roos work with each person on the cast for making them perfect in character on stage! Two intense weeks of stage rehearsals, an OUTSTANDING premiere and two performances! How empty life feels after this wonderful emotional journey! Looking so much forward to hearing more performances next autumn again! 

Damström: Djurens planet. Photo by Heikki Tuuli

THANK YOU everyone involved! It has been such a pleasure to work with everyone in the production and in the cast! Thank you Elli Vallinoja and Katariina Heikkilä for putting your heart in the role of the child Joy! Thank you Saara Kiiveri and Hedvig Paulig for finding your inner dog for making the dog Jack as real as possible on stage! Thank you Riku Pelo and Tiitus Ylipää for making each of your three roles with as much effort and ease! Thank you Anna Schultz and Anna Nora for supervising 43 children and teaching them a whole opera of music! Thank you Martin Segerstråle and Tuomas Juutilainen for correpetition as well as outstanding shows and together with Anna Nora conducting the whole show! Thank you Taavi Kiviranta and Otto Kentala for putting yourself into my music! Thank you all 43 children from Åshöjdens musikklasser for dedicated work! Thank you Timo Mokkila, Tero Riipi and Petri Peltovako for making all technique on stage work! 

Damström: Djurens planet. Photo by Heikki Tuuli
Thank you to all my friends and family who came and saw the show and shared this important experience with me! It meant so much to me to see so many familiar faces in the audience!
Damström: Djurens planet. Photo by Heikki Tuuli
Thank you to the sponsors who have been one of the main reasons this all happened in the first place: Föreningen Konstsamfundet, Svenska kulturfonden, Svenska kulturfonden i Björneborg, Stiftelsen Brita Maria Renlunds minne, Svenska folkskolans vänner and Stiftelsen Tre Smeder. Also a big thank you to all wonderful articles and radio programmes that have been written and made about Djurens planet!

Damström: Djurens planet. Photo by Heikki Tuuli
And last but not least: a big thank you to the Finnish National Opera for this enormous opportunity to write an opera for you! Thank you Tuula Jukola-Nuorteva, Lauri Pokkinen, Lilli Paasikivi and Gita Kadambi for your trust and support! It has been a pleasure!

Damström: Djurens planet. Photo by Heikki Tuuli



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All photos by Heikki Tuuli