Finnish National Opera
Helsinki Chamber Music Festival (July 4th–6th, 2017) is an interesting newcomer in the Helsinki festival scene.
It brings classical music to the historical city centre with three days of high quality concerts in idyllic settings.
The youngest and most visible happening is URB, an independent urban youth gathering.
This particular event, with a strong leaning towards street arts and dance, is held a few weeks before the festival proper (August 2nd–10th, 2017).
It also invites in schoolkids during their summer vacation for breakdance courses and graffiti workshops.
During the summer the theatres and symphony orchestras that have been active throughout the winter and spring seasons are also officially on vacation, but every year the fortress island of Suomenlinna serves tourists and the Helsinki locals with theatre productions, concerts, exhibitions, and restaurant soirées.
Opera for a song
The Finnish National Opera located on the shores of Töölönlahti Bay, has around 500 employees with an 80-strong ballet company and a 110-member orchestra.
The National Ballet is a high-class ensemble and its repertoire provides a mix of classical and contemporary works.
Opera in Finland has shrugged off its elitist label, since it would be hard to find another country anywhere in the world where around 30 new operas have been composed in the last three decades.
The opera and ballet seasons continue until the beginning of June and the new round starts again in August.
Tickets for both genres are generally cheaper in Finland than in Central Europe, as the government subsidises the National Opera’s activities very generously.
The National Opera and Ballet celebrates the centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017 with performances created and performed by top Finnish artists.
There will also be two world premieres of Finnish works in 2017: the opera Autumn Sonata and the ballet extravaganza Kalevalanmaa, a major effort that will be premiered in November.