Content:
Einojuhani Rautavaara
Aleksis Kivi - Opera in Three Acts

Artists:
Finnish National Opera Orchestra
Mikko Franck, conductor
Aki Alamikkotervo, tenor
Jeremias Erkkilä, tenor
Jorma Hynninen, baritone
Pauliina Linnosaari, soprano
Jussi Merikanto, bass-baritone
Simo Mäkinen, tenor
Risto Pulkamo, baritone
Riikka Rantanen, mezzo-soprano
Janne Reinikainen, spoken role
Ville Rusanen, baritone
Nicholas Söderlund, bass-baritone
Olli Tuovinen, baritone
Tobias Zilliacus, spoken role

Genres:
Opera
Finnish contemporary

Features:
1 DVD Video (all regions; NTSC Colour 16:9; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround / PCM Stereo); menu in English/Finnish; subtitles in Finnish/English; extras; booklet with liner notes, written by the composer, and synopsis in English and Finnish
Format:
DVD Video

Released:
March 2011 (Finland)
April 2011 (internationally)

Catalogue No.:
ODV 4009

EAN/UPC Code:
0761195040096

Track listing

DVD 120:00
Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-)
1 Aleksis Kivi - Opera in Three Acts (1996) 95:45
2 The Making of ALEKSIS KIVI (feat. Rautavaara, Hynninen & Franck in interviews) 23:45



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Press review

Kuten monet kriitikot ovat todenneet, ooppera on erittäin tunteisiinvetoava kuvaus kansalliskirjailijan kiirastulesta. Dramaturgia on kristallinkirkas ja luontevasti etenevä, mikä todistaa sekä Einojuhani Rautavaaran että ohjaaja Pekka Milonoffin osaamisesta, ja solistitkin on moneen kertaan kehuttu loistaviksi.
Kare Eskola, YLE Radio 1, 7.4.2011

Mikko Franck dirige avec conviction et la scène, simple et dépouillée, met en valeur des chanteurs impeccables autour du baryton Jorma Hynninen - une force de la nature, un roc.
Franck Mallet, Classica, septembre 2011

Jorma Hynninen (...) ist (...) prägnant im Spiel und trotz seiner fast siebzig Jahre von ungebrochener vokaler Präsenz. Der junge Ville Rusanen setzt ihm als sein jugendliches Alter Ego einen klangschönen, schlanken lyrischen Bariton entgegen. (...) Mikko Franck arbeitet mit einem pulsierenden Dirigat der Szene wirkungsvoll zu.
Ekkehard Pluta, Klassik Heute, 25. März 2011

Complete description

This DVD Video features the three-act opera Aleksis Kivi (1996) by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara. This release pays tribute to lead role performer Jorma Hynninen on the occasion of his 70th anniversary in 2011.

Written by the composer, the libretto tells the story of Finland's national author Aleksis Kivi (1834-1872) and draws on many of Kivi's own poems and texts. Aleksis Kivi wrote the first significant novel in the Finnish language (Seitsemän veljestä / "Seven Brothers"), but during his short lifetime he suffered from moral and artistic condemnation by literary rivals. He died, insane and impoverished, at age 38.

Rautavaara composed this opera from 1995-1996 for the Savonlinna Opera Festival. The commission was instigated by Jorma Hynninen, who had been instrumental in the genesis of Thomas and Vincent too. He also created the title roles in all three operas. Aleksis Kivi was premiered in the rock cavern concert hall at Retretti Art Centre near Savonlinna on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the death of Aleksis Kivi in 1997. The premiere recording followed five years later, in April 2002 (ODE 1000-2D). Several individual numbers from this opera have since then been performed and recorded separately to much acclaim (ODE 1085-2).

This Finnish National Opera production is staged at Almi Hall by Pekka Milonoff, with Eeva Ijäs signing for the set design, Niina Pasanen for the costume design, Juha Westman for the lighting design, and Ari Numminen for the choreography. Artistic director Mikko Franck conducts the Orchestra of the Finnish National Opera, as well as the following cast of Finnish soloists:

Aleksis Kivi    JORMA HYNNINEN
August Ahlqvist    JANNE REINIKAINEN
Charlotta   RIIKKA RANTANEN
Hilda    PAULIINA LINNOSAARI
Young Alexis   VILLE RUSANEN
J.L. Runeberg    TOBIAS ZILLIACUS
Mikko Vilkastus   AKI ALAMIKKOTERVO
Uncle Sakeri    NICHOLAS SÖDERLUND

'Young Finns’ movement (also: Mythagos, Drinking fellows, Student chorus, Theatre audience):
Junki   AKI ALAMIKKOTERVO
Siivo   OLLI TUOVINEN
Kristo   JUSSI MERIKANTO
Olvi    RISTO PULKAMO
Krasse   SIMO MÄKINEN
Kuku   JEREMIAS ERKKILÄ
An old pagan    NICHOLAS SÖDERLUND

The eighth brother (dancing role)   TIMO SAARI


This recording was made in October 2010 by the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE and directed for video by Hannu Kamppila, with Timo Anttila as Director of Photography. A co-production of the Finnish National Opera and Ondine, this is the first commercial audio-video release of this opera on DVD.

This DVD includes, as a bonus addition, a making-of film featuring composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, lead role performer Jorma Hynninen, and conductor Mikko Franck in interviews.

This all-regions NTSC disc is designed for worldwide playback. In PAL regions (e.g. Europe, Australasia & Africa) ensure your DVD player and TV are PAL/NTSC compatible ("dual-standard").