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Aulis Sallinen – Paavo Haavikko

The Horseman

2 h 30 min, incl. interval (estimated duration, specified during the premiere week)
9.5.2025 – 28.5.2025
Main Stage
On sale date
Tickets will go on sale on 2 October at 12 p.m.
Price range
21–138 €
Finnish. Surtitles in Finnish, Swedish and English
Age recommendation

When all that’s left is love

Imagine a future where every conceivable horror has come to pass: a nuclear disaster, extinct species, oceans filled with plastic, and superpowers oppressing weaker nations. There’s no more mail, press, or data networks. Rumours and beliefs thrive. This is the reality in which Antti and Anna live. What happens to love in the shadow of oppression?

Seen for the first time at the Finnish National Opera, Aulis Sallinen’s (b. 1935) The Horseman takes audiences on a journey to a dystopian future. Jussi Nikkilä’s direction featuring Finland’s top singers promises a compelling interpretation of one of the country’s landmark operatic works.


In the midst of a war between Sweden and Russia, Finland finds itself caught as a battleground between the two powers. Here, people must either live in near enslavement or collaborate with the occupiers as bureaucrats or tradesmen. This is the world in which Antti and Anna find themselves. What happens to love in the face of oppression?

Full synopsis and other background information can be found in the programme leaflet.

creative team

Aulis Sallinen
Paavo Haavikko
Hannu Lintu
Jussi Nikkilä
Lighting and projection design
Mikko Linnavuori
Mirva Mäkinen


Mika Kares
Merchant of Novgorod
Johannes Vatjus
Merchant's wife
Anna Danik
Ville Rusanen
Matti Puikkanen
Markus Nieminen

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