Magazine article Musical Opinion

Mikko Heiniö's the Hour of the Serpent in Helsinki

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Mikko Heiniö's the Hour of the Serpent in Helsinki

Article excerpt

How often do you have the chance of being present at the first performance of a new opera which actually works and you would like to see again? The Hour of the Serpent is such an opera and the title does not refer to an obscure Nordic mythology but instead to the renewal associated with it, the work ending more or less where it starts. In between the spectator realises how important it is to control reality; if you do you have the power to control lives as well. Sounds familiar?

If Alice Löf thinks her husband Jonas has been killed during an expedition at the turn of the 19th-Century, at the end of the opera she is in for a very nasty surprise. In fact, nobody who was in Helsinki's National Opera House on 15 September could avoid goose pimples at the close.

Better not to reveal the end because it was a thriller, an opera in a cinematographic style, very fast, 2 Acts and 19 scenes which left us all spellbound with mystery and suspense and after three hours nobody was tired or bored. …

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