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Total duration 2 h 30 min
1 intermission (25 min)
5 performances
15.11.2019 – 12.12.2019
Operas
Main Stage
tickets
15-119 €
Performed in Swedish
Surtitles in Finnish, Swedish and English

The cinema classic as an acclaimed opera

Höstsonaten; Anne Sofie von Otter

Höstsonaten – Autumn Sonata is the meeting of a story by cinema legend Ingmar Bergman and the music of Sebastian Fagerlund, one of the most highly acclaimed Finnish composers of his generation. Gunilla Hemming adapted a libretto from Bergman’s film of the same name, reflecting on human choices, hidden conflicts in families and the possibility of forgiveness. The role of Charlotte in Höstsonaten – Autumn Sonata was specifically composed for Anne Sofie von Otter, one of today’s most highly renowned mezzo-sopranos. Höstsonaten – Autumn Sonata was the first ever Finnish National Opera production to feature Von Otter in an opera role.

Recommended for children over the age of 12.

Höstsonaten; Anne Sofie von Otter

Praised by critics and the audience alike, Höstsonaten – Autumn Sonata has also been performed at the Baltic Sea Festival in Sweden. It was nominated for the World Premiere of the Year at the International Opera Awards 2018.

#höstsonaten #autumnsonata

Sebastian Fagerlund; Höstsonaten; Syyssonaatti

”Höstsonaten – Autumn Sonata is a multilayered and powerful relationship drama. Its protagonists meet up in the dark hours of the night and end up having to question the choices they’ve made and their consequences. Underlying the drama, we have the eternal themes of forgiveness and the ability to accept other people as they are. Even as I was starting out the work, I felt as if the story and its characters were waiting for me somewhere in the depths of my mind. The tidal surges of the opera’s music still have an unusual pull on me.”

– composer Sebastian Fagerlund

Höstsonaten; Anne Sofie von Otter; Erika Sunnegårdh

Daughter turned mother, mother turned daughter

Get inspired by the main theme of Autumn Sonata.

See composer Sebastian Fagerlund's interview

From a film into an opera: as told by librettist Gunilla Hemming

Autumn Sonata is supported by Svenska kulturfonden.

Svenska_kulturfonden_logo

Höstsonaten; Anne Sofie von Otter; Erika Sunnegårdh

“A mother and a daughter, what a terrible combination.” – Eva, Autumn Sonata

Synopsis

Act I

It’s autumn and the parsonage is anticipating Charlotte’s visit. Charlotte, a celebrated pianist, has been touring concert halls and has not seen her daughters Eva and Helena in seven years. Helena is sick and mute, and Eva and her husband Viktor have lost their three-year-old son Erik. Charlotte is also bereaved: her partner Leonardo has died.

Charlotte arrives and immediately starts talking about her new clothes. Soon she finds out that Helena, whom she had put in a care home, now lives at the parsonage. Charlotte is left alone, with only her imaginary concert audience for company, to which she laments the uncomfortable situation. When Eva takes her to see Helena, Leonardo appears, too, and hints at something that happened while they were in Bornholm together. Charlotte doesn’t understand what Helena is trying to say. She is resolved to cut her visit short, and her admiring audience backs the decision.

In the evening Charlotte asks Eva to play the piano, but it’s obvious she doesn’t appreciate her daughter’s performance. The audience seems to be bored by it, too. The next day, Viktor tells Charlotte how the arrival of Erik changed their life. Then, just before his fourth birthday, Erik drowned. Why had God taken everything away? Charlotte doesn’t know what to say. Eva thinks Erik is still with her: thoughts and feelings can reach beyond death.

As Charlotte is getting ready for bed and takes her sedatives, a scream breaks the silence of the house. Eva hurries to calm down Helena and meets Charlotte. Their heated discussion brings repressed emotions to the surface. Eva can’t decide which was worse –Charlotte being away on tour or being at home. ”Mother and daughter, what a terrible combination of emotions,” Eva says.

Act II

Eva describes how she felt when her mother would always leave for her concert tours. Charlotte remembers the fear of losing her career. Helena screams again and Eva leaves to attend to her sister.

Charlotte tells her admiring audience she wasn’t prepared for such a conversation. Little by little, the conflict between mother and daughter unravels the secrets of the past: when Eva was pregnant at the age of 18, Charlotte pressured her to abort the unborn baby. “Can a daughter never break free from her mother”, Viktor wonders.

Helena begins to speak, recalling how one Easter in Bornholm, years ago, Leonardo kissed her and she felt at peace. Charlotte had then asked Leonardo to stay, as his presence was good for Helena. Now Eva, Viktor and Leonardo all blame Charlotte for Helena’s illness. Once left alone with her audience, Charlotte apologises for everything she has done wrong. She wants to change.

In the morning, Viktor tells Helena that Charlotte has gone. Helena starts to scream and. Eva regrets their argument and writes to Charlotte that she has wronged her. At the same time elsewhere, Charlotte speaks to her agent about the visit and asks why the sick Helena shouldn’t be allowed to die. “There’s an opportunity for us to take care of each other, I don’t think it’s too late,” Eva writes.

Gallery

Creative team

Music
Sebastian Fagerlund
Libretto
Gunilla Hemming
Director, sets
Stéphane Braunschweig
Costumes
Thibault Vancraenenbroeck
Lighting design
Marion Hewlett

Cast

Erik
NN

Performances and tickets

2 h 30 min
1 intermission (25 min)
5 performances
15.11.2019 – 12.12.2019
Operas
Main Stage
tickets
15-119 €
Performed in Swedish
Surtitles in Finnish, Swedish and English
Fri 15.11.2019
at 19:00
Päänäyttämö
on sale
Fri 22.11.2019
at 19:00
Päänäyttämö
on sale
Wed 27.11.2019
at 19:00
Päänäyttämö
on sale
Tue 10.12.2019
at 19:00
Päänäyttämö
on sale
Thu 12.12.2019
at 19:00
Päänäyttämö
on sale

You can buy individual tickets for season 2019–2020 performances in our online store at a 10% discount until 15 June. This discount only applies to normal priced tickets (not the H price category) to Main Stage performances. The discount is not given for tickets to visiting productions. Refreshment sales will start later in April.

Order refreshments online

Afternoon Tea

Sweet and savoury treats

Choose your favourite refreshments from this season’s tasty menu. You can easily add refreshments to your shopping basket while selecting tickets in our new online store. Refreshment sales for season 2019–2020 will start later in April.

The services of the Opera Restaurant are available before performances and during the interval. Order beforehand and avoid the queues.

Please note that we cannot guarantee a specific table for orders made via the online store. We may also seat several parties at the same table. You may be assigned a bar height table for enjoying refreshments standing up.