TRAVEL CuLTuRE compiled and written by Pia Hyvönen high culture in wintry helsinki FINNISH NATIONAL OPERA / HEIKKI TUULI CENTRAL ART ARCHIVES / HANNU AALTONEN Naturalistic masterpieces A Helsinki landmark, the Ateneum Art Museum, teams up with Holland's Van Gogh Museum to stage a major exhibition called Illusions of Reality Naturalist Painting, Photography and Cinema 1875-1918. Works are on loan from more than 40 museums, including the Scottish National Gallery and the Musée d'Orsay, as well as from private collections in the US. The show also features Finnish classics from the Ateneum's collection, which is the country's biggest. Before arriving in Helsinki, the show is on display in Amsterdam through January 16. Feb 18may 15 Opera singers Jorma Hynninen and Timo Torikka in Aleksis Kivi. i www.ateneum.fi coNtemporary tideliNes The Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art spotlights cutting-edge work from Finland and around the globe in the landmark building by Steven Holl. Exhibitions are accompanied by concerts, films, workshops, seminars and lectures. Inspired by Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf, the cross-disciplinary exhibition Tidelines involves music, images and words. The show is put together by visual artists Raija Malka and Melek Mazici along with acclaimed Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, who frequently collaborates with Maalouf. Jan 28mar 13 n 2011, the Finnish national opera begins its 100th birthday celebrations with the premiere of Robin Hood (Jan 14mar 19), an opera by composer and jazz pianist Jukka linkola. The sheriff 's role is sung by bass matti Salminen, who has been one of the most acclaimed exports of the Finnish classical music scene since the 1970s. This winter and spring the opera stages another Finnish work, Aleksis Kivi (Feb 15 apr 8), by the legendary einojuhani rautavaara, who was born in 1928. The opera about Finland's ill-fated national author has been hailed as one of the country's finest. passionate about richard wagner? The apex of his life's work, Parsifal (apr 922), is rich in christian and pagan symbolism as well as philosophies from the east and the west. Spanning more than five hours, the production will star Swedish tenor michael weinius. SEVERAL Top-noTCh CuLTuRAL offERingS in hELSinki hELp kEEp ThE SpiRiTS wARm duRing ThE CoLd SEASon.. contemporary dance showcase Beneath the Dancing Sky 2.0 (Feb 1126) presents intensive modern works by three of today's leading choreographers: william Forsythe of the US, Johan inger of Sweden and ohad naharin of israel. Sir Kenneth macmillan's ballet version of Manon (mar 11apr 8)has been described as one of the world's most sensual, and become a modern classic since its debut in 1974. www.ooPPera.fi symphoNic delights Next fall will mark the long-awaited opening of Helsinki's new Music Centre, which will be home to the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO). Until then, the orchestras will perform at the Finlandia Hall and other venues. Highlights of the RSO's spring season include two Finnish premieres: a violin concerto by conductor-composer Esa-Pekka Salonen and a piano concerto by Olli Kortekangas. This spring, the HPO plays under the baton of well-known conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Karl-Heinz Steffens and Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Soloists include soprano Emma Bell, violist David Aaron Carpenter and pianist Henri Sigfridsson. www.kiasma.fi Eng 10 Blue WiNgs JAnuARY 2011
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