OPERA IN FIVE ACTS
ORIGINAL FINNISH LIBRETTO BY SOFI OKSANEN
MULTILINGUAL LIBRETTO BY ALEKSI BARRIERE
COMMISSIONED AND COPRODUCED BY FESTIVAL D'AIX-EN-PROVENCE, FINNISH NATIONAL OPERA AND BALLET, DUTCH NATIONAL OPERA, ROYAL OPERA HOUSE COVENT GARDEN, SAN FRANCISCO OPERA
EN PARTENARIAT AVEC LE METROPOLITAN OPERA
WITH THE SUPPORT OF KAROLINA BLABERG STIFTUNG, JEAN-FRANÇOIS DUBOS, CLAUDE AND TUULIKKI JANSSEN, AMMODO
Editor Chester music Ltd
Aren’t you always guilty from the moment you run off?
Sofi Oksanen: Purge, 2008
It is a typical wedding for a cosmopolitan city, in present-day Finland. The fiancé is Finnish, the bride Romanian, and the mother-in-law French. But suddenly, during the wedding banquet, the Czech waitress feels ill… Ten years earlier, these characters were struck by a tragic event. Ghosts revive their memories of the trauma, which occurred in a school; there is a guilty haze, a lost innocence. Kaija Saariaho’s new opera is the result of a meeting between this great composer and another Finnish artist, the novelist Sofi Oksanen, who is unrivalled in her ability to force today’s reality to confront the past. Innocence—multiplot opera for soloists, chorus and orchestra— is a contemporary tragedy made radiant through its powerful music and the intermingling of words from different languages. With this world premiere, conducted by musical director Susanna Mälkki and staged by the Australian theatre director Simon Stone, the Festival d’Aix writes a new page in the history of opera.