Sibelius was by no means the only composer to draw inspiration from the Kalevala in the late 19th century. Karl Müller-Berghaus’s (1829–1907) opera Die Kalewainen in Pochjola was composed in Turku more than 120 years ago, to a libretto by Franz Spengler. This recently rediscovered work is the first through-composed opera based on the Kalevala, but it has never before been staged anywhere. In late February/early March 2017 the Turku Music Festival and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra will bring the opera to Turku’s LOGOMO cultural centre.
The composer, conductor and violinist Karl Müller-Berghaus was born in Braunschweig, Germany, and served as conductor of the Turku orchestra from 1886 until 1895.
The production features leading soloists including Tommi Hakala, Johanna Rusanen-Kartano, Christian Juslin and Susanna Andersson. It will be directed by Tiina Puumalainen and conducted by Leif Segerstam.
The performance lasts approximately 3 hours and the opera is sung in German.
This major cultural event is also part of the official ‘SuomiFinland100’ programme on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence.