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”A poignant production”
“Touching, shaking and thoughtful”
”When we come out, we can all probably sense that we have changed a little”
Kaija Saariaho, one of Finland’s most successful contemporary composers, will be the guest composer for Tampere Hall’s spring season. The In Focus Kaija Saariaho event, taking place in early March, brings to Tampere Hall two concerts built around Saariaho’s music, free public events and artist meetings as well as cooperation with educational institutions. The main concert is the Finnish premiere of the chamber version of one of Saariaho’s most well-known works, the oratorio La Passion de Simone. The concert will be held on Sunday, 10th of March. Tickets can be bought at the ticket sales desk in Tampere Hall or through the Lippu.fi service. The programme for the event will be finalised during late 2018.
Kaija Saariaho’s La Passion de Simone will feature Avanti! chamber orchestra from Helsinki and a musical theatre company La Chambre aux echos from Paris. The soloist for the performance is the Japanese soprano Sayuri Araida and the actress is Isabelle Seleskovitch from France. The piece will be performed in French with Finnish surtitles.
La Passion de Simone is based on the French philosopher Simone Weil’s (1909–1943) life and ideas, which Saariaho has admired from the time she was a teenager. The oratorio, consisting of 15 stations, has been influenced by the 14 Stations of the Christ’s Cross, the 15th station being the end of the journey.
“Weil was an incredibly empathetic person who was looking for answers both as a philosopher and through action. She wanted to experience the hard life of a factory worker, and, despite her frailty, she did things such as working as an ambulance driver during the Spanish Civil War. Weil is a thought-provoking example of a person who searches for the meaning of existence both through words and through action, and I have dedicated this work that means a lot to me to my children,” says Saariaho.
Clément Mao-Takacs, a Saariaho specialist, will be the conductor, and Aleksi Barrière is in charge of stage direction. Saariaho’s compositions directed on stage have not been performed in Tampere before.
According to Saariaho, the themes of La Passion de Simone, which revolve around fundamental questions of humanity, have become even more current in recent years. The production, which premiered in 2013, has been performed ten times and has, according to Saariaho, matured into a fine work of art.
“In my opinion, this chamber version, or at least this exact production, is stronger than the original, which was composed for a symphony orchestra; this version has more humane power and more individualised voices, and it is richly staged,” says Saariaho.
Affordable combined tickets for La Passion de Simone and From the Grammar of Dreams can be bought here.
In addition, In Focus Kaija Saariaho brings to Tampere free public events and artist meetings as well as cooperation with educational institutions. The programme for the event will be finalised during late 2018.
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