The Finnish National Opera and Ballet (FNOB) is governed by the Foundation of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. In adherence with regulations, the governing bodies of the foundation are the Board of Directors, the Supervisory Board, and the CEO with the title of General Director.
The Board of Directors, which is elected for a three-year term, is responsible for allocating funds, appointing directors, and setting the overall strategy and repertoire policy according to the Foundations Act. The Supervisory Board is responsible for overseeing good governance, approving the annual report and financial statements, and managing the public affairs of the FNOB.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet is responsible for allocating funds, appointing directors, and setting the overall strategy and repertoire policy. The Board of Directors has 9 members. The Ministry of Education and Culture appoints the Chair of the Board and 4 members for a three-year term. The municipalities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa appoint 4 members in total. In addition to this, there are 3 board members appointed by the FNOB personnel who have the right to attend and speak, but not to vote, at board meetings.
Board membership from the conclusion of the Annual Meeting on 6 April 2022 until the end of the Annual Meeting in April 2025.
Members appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture (5)
Leena Niemistö, M.D. Chair of the Board
Riitta Björkenheim, Development Director
Dr. Sixten Korkman, Vice Chair of the Board
Antti Mykkänen, Adviser
Kerttu Tuomas, professional board member
Member appointed by Espoo City (1)
Jaana Jalonen, Entrepreneur
Members appointed by Helsinki City (2)
Minna Lindgren, author, journalist
Tatu Rauhamäki, Director
Member appointed by Vantaa City (1)
Jukka Hako, MA
Staff representatives (3, right to attend and address, no vote)
Pasi Eskelinen, Prompter
Tuomo Järvimäki (from 6 September 2023 to 31 July 2024)
Timo Pulakka, Orchestra Musician
Presenting official (no vote)
Gita Kadambi, General Director
Secretary to the Board (no vote)
Anita Prusila, General Counsel
The Supervisory Board manages the public affairs of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, approves the annual report and financial statements, and ensures good governance. The Supervisory Board comprises 17 full members. The members and deputy members are appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the municipalities in the Greater Helsinki Area, and the Supervisory Board itself. The Supervisory Board also has three members appointed by the FNOB personnel, who have the right to attend and speak, but not to vote.
Members from the conclusion of the Annual Meeting on 6 April 2022 until the end of the Annual Meeting in April 2025.
Members appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture (8)
Pasi Kivisaari, MP, Chair of the Supervisory Board (deputy: Hanna Kosonen, MP)
Eeva-Johanna Eloranta, MP (deputy: Antton Rönnholm, Party secretary)
Ritva Elomaa, MP (deputy: Tom Packalén, MP)
Jaana Pelkonen, MP (deputy: Anne-Mari Virolainen, MP)
Noora Koponen, Member of Parliament (deputy: MP, actor, producer Pirkka-Pekka Petelius)
Veronika Honkasalo, MP (deputy: Jussi Saramo, MP)
Mats Löfström, MP (deputy: Anders Adlercreutz, MP)
Antero Laukkanen, MP (deputy: Tiina Sinkkonen, opera singer, singing teacher)
Members appointed by Espoo City (2)
Inka Hopsu, MP (deputy: Anders Portin, Special Ministerial Adviser)
Markku Sistonen, Sports Services Manager (deputy: Kristiina Karvinen, CEO)
Members appointed by Helsinki City (2)
Jan Vapaavuori, LL.M., Vice Chair of the Supervisory Board (deputy: Pia Pakarinen, Deputy Mayor)
Hilkka Ahde, City Councillor (deputy member: Dr Kimmo Sarje)
Member appointed by Kauniainen City (1)
Will serve on the board until the end of the current City Board term on 31 May 2023;
Tiina Rintamäki-Ovaska, Vice-Judge, district registrar (deputy member: Dr Sofia Stolt, Director)
Members appointed by Vantaa City (2)
Lauri Kaira, Director, Lawyer (deputy: Taruanne Lindevall)
Säde Tahvanainen, First Vice Chair of the City Council (deputy: Salla Lindblad-Palo, City Councillor)
Members appointed by the Supervisory Board (2)
Risto Murto, CEO (deputy member: Maunu Lehtimäki, CEO)
Erkki Liikanen, Chair, Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras (deputy member: Rosa Meriläinen, Secretary General)
Members appointed by staff (3)
(right to attend and address, no vote)
Anu Varjonen, Customer Service Officer (deputy: Päivi Kulo, Orchestra Coordinator)
Mikko Toukola, Stage Technician (deputy: Kalle Rannikko, Stage Technician)
Juha Moisio, Opera Singer (deputy: Nikolas Koskivirta, Dancer)
Secretary to the Supervisory Board: Anita Prusila, General Counsel
The FNOB receives government funding
The Finnish National Opera and Ballet (FNOB) receives government funding in order to bring live opera and ballet within everyone’s reach. The FNOB ended the year 2022 on a positive note, though the pandemic restrictions were still in place over the first few months. Audiences eagerly returned to the auditorium once performances were resumed in March. The commitment to providing live broadcasts and recordings of opera and ballet performances on the Stage24 platform remained a top priority.
The Finnish National Ballet celebrated its centenary in 2022. Early in the year, the premiere of the new Swan Lake, which was only seen as a live stream on TV and online due to pandemic restrictions, had more than 600,000 viewers and attracted widespread international attention. The spring season concluded spectacularly, in tandem with the pandemic restrictions, with six premieres in three months. Autumn productions were performed to full houses, and season tickets were sold in record numbers.
The Finnish National Opera and Ballet’s annual operating costs for core activities increased to EUR 72.8 million, a 10% year-on-year increase (66.0/2021). Net operating costs, taking into account central government rent subsidies, were EUR 60.6 million (55.9/2021). A total of 57% (55.9/2021) of operating costs were covered by central government grants.
Due to strong autumn season ticket sales as well as changes to COVID-19 restrictions and grants, the self-financing ratio increased to 17% (15/2021). The municipalities in the Greater Helsinki Area (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen) provided additional grant funding totalling 7% of the budget, calculated on a pro rata basis using visitor numbers from each municipality. Central government funding covered 17% of the rent on the Opera House building, which is owned by Senate Properties, along with 1% of the total running costs of the Ballet School.
Personnel costs make up 80% of our total operating costs, as creating a performance requires plenty of hands-on work. The Finnish National Opera and Ballet has almost 300,000 visitors per year.