The ballet classic "Swan Lake" will mark the beginning of the Opera and Ballet season on September 9th, following an extended summer break due to renovations at the Opera House. "Swan Lake" holds a significant place in the history of the National Ballet, as it initiated the ballet group's activities over a century ago in 1922. It also graced the opening program of the current Opera House exactly 30 years ago in 1993.
The rendition by David McAllister, making its return to the repertoire, premiered in January 2022 to commemorate the National Ballet's centenary. Due to the gathering restrictions imposed by the pandemic at the time, the performance was presented through a live broadcast on Yle Teema and Opera and Ballet's Stage24 service, without a live audience. The initial performances in April and May 2022 sold out rapidly.
David McAllister, the former Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet, crafted a version that pays homage to the ballet's long-standing traditions while incorporating elements inspired by the cold North. "It was a tremendous honor to create 'Swan Lake,' which also celebrates the group's century-long history. That's why I wanted this version to be specifically Finnish, something that Finns can take pride in," McAllister shared.
The set and costumes for the production are designed by Gabriela Týlešová, with lighting by Kalle Ropponen. This season, the dual role of Odette-Odile will be portrayed by Hanako Matsune, Violetta Keller, and Yuka Masumoto, while Michal Krčmář, Jun Xia, and Florian Modan will take on the role of Prince Siegfried. The music composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky will be performed by the Finnish National Opera Orchestra under the baton of conductor Benjamin Pope.
Performances at the Opera House are scheduled closely in September and May. Additionally, the National Ballet will visit Tampere Hall in October, where "Swan Lake" will be presented three times. The Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra will provide the musical accompaniment.