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Covid fan tutte with Karita Mattila opens the autumn season at the Finnish National Opera

In this article you will find updated information about the effects of the coronavirus at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet (updated 27.5.2020)

The Finnish National Opera and Ballet is prepared for potential restrictions on mass gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic this autumn. This will result in a number of changes to the 2020–2021 season. The first opera in the autumn repertoire will be Covid fan tutte, featuring soprano Karita Mattila and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. The new libretto to the score of Mozart’s Così fan tutte will be written by Minna Lindgren.

The premiere of Covid fan tutte, conducted by Salonen, will take place at the end of August. Jussi Nikkilä will direct the production, which will star leading Finnish opera soloists from Karita Mattila to Miina-Liisa Värelä, Tommi Hakala, Johanna Rusanen, Tuomas Katajala and Waltteri Torikka. Minna Lindgren will write a topical libretto to the score of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, combining elements of political satire and reality shows.

”We had a rare opportunity to get this incredible team together at such short notice, with most artists sitting at home and waiting for work to resume. This idea was like a champagne bottle that suddenly popped: everyone was immediately and enthusiastically on board this wacky project, which deals with experiences we’ve all shared in these absurd times. This is a unique production for unique circumstances,” Artistic Director of the Opera Lilli Paasikivi says.

Die Walküre to replace Innocence in January 2021

Innocence, the new opera by Kaija Saariaho and Sofi Oksanen, will not be seen at the Finnish National Opera in the 2020–2021 season. The world premiere of this collaboration of five opera companies at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in July has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, so Innocence cannot be performed in Helsinki in January 2021 as planned. However, Innocence will be part of the Finnish National Opera’s repertoire in the near future.

Innocence will be replaced by Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre, earlier scheduled for August and September 2020. The premiere will be on 29 January 2021. Other performance dates will be informed later. The Finnish National Opera wants to perform Die Walküre in all its glory with a full orchestra, as well as to ensure that visitors following the entire Der Ring des Nibelungen, or the Ring cycle, can see the productions in the right order. The performances of Die Walküre in January 2021 will be conducted by Susanna Mälkki.

Siegfried, the third part of the tetralogy will be performed in spring 2021 and the final part Götterdämmerung in autumn 2021. Also the last ballet premiere of the spring COW will be postponed to autumn 2020. Explore the productions of season 2020-2021 here.

If you have tickets and/or refreshment orders related to the cancelled performances, read the following text on how to get a refund.

Ticket sales for the 2020–2021 season will start in August

The start of ticket sales for the new season at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet has been postponed. Contrary to earlier announcements, all individual tickets for season 2021–2021 performances will be available from Friday 7 August at 12 p.m. Sales for individual tickets were originally meant to start at the beginning of June.

The schedule changes for the 2020–2021 season are due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the repertoire. Their aim has been to ensure the safety of the audience and staff.


If you have tickets and/or refreshment orders related to the cancelled performances, we will credit the value of your purchases to your customer account for later use. You will receive a refund in the manner you prefer.

The easiest and most affordable way is to utilise the balance on your account to buy a ticket for a future performance. You may use the balance and purchase a ticket and/or refreshments for season 2020–2021. Exceptionally, you may also use your balance to buy a season ticket or gift voucher. The easiest way to do so is to go to our online store. Log onto your customer account here.

Another alternative is to request that we credit the value of your purchases to your own credit card. To allow us to do so, send us an e-mail to:

If neither of these alternatives suits you, we can credit the money to your bank account. Click here to complete a form. Please note that there are currently some delays in processing the returns and it may take up to a couple of weeks for you to receive the payment.

E-mail is the best way to reach our customer service

Have you got any questions? At the moment, the FNOB Customer Service is extremely busy. The surest way to get a reply is to send a message by e-mail to We will process all the messages and get in touch with you as soon as we can.