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The first ever large-scale puppet opera in the Nordic countries premieres on March 9, 2018

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

The opera Croak – Or The Unexpected Joys And Perils of Singing will premiere at Promenadi Hall in Pori on Friday 9th of March at 7 pm. The opera was written by composers Markku Klami and Maria Kallionpää, and the Pori Sinfonietta orchestra will be led by conductor Nils Schweckendiek. All in all, five soloists, seven puppeteers and thirty puppets along with the Pori Opera Choir will take to the stage during the shows.

Croak is a tragic musical fantasy about love, the gift of song, and about the responsibility brought on by talent. Mikhail Brashinsky’s libretto draws its inspiration from the wisdom of classic fairytales. Croak is directed by Anna Ivanova-Brashinskaya, who has worked extensively both as a director and a teacher to promote the art of puppeteering in Finland. The puppets, costumes and the set are designed by Viktor Antonov.

The composers Markku Klami and Maria Kallionpää, director Anna Ivanova-Brashinskaya and conductor Nils Schweckendiek were all intrigued by the many layers concealed within the realm of the puppet opera. When working on the score, the composers considered the unique voice qualities of all the soloist, and the musical landscape and the set visuals were created in close interaction with all the artists. In the rehearsals earlier this year, there was a palpable spirit of enthusiasm and curiosity, which came in handy resolving the surprises of the cross-disciplinary collaboration. Croak is set to renew both the opera tradition and the art of puppeteering. The music, the visuals and the choreography have all been made for a contemporary audience. The dialogue between the art forms brings fresh and expressive perspective to the ancient theme of longing for love.

The Croak soloists are soprano Anna-Kristiina Kaappola, tenor Joonas Eloranta, countertenor Teppo Lampela, mezzosoprano Merja Mäkelä, and bass-baritone Jouni Kokora. The puppeteers on stage are Johanna Kultala, Maria-Elina Koivula, Anna Nekrassova, Jenni Rutanen, Riina Tikkanen, Lotta Virtanen, and Paula Vilmi. The assistant diretor is Roosa Halme, and the opera was choreographed by Tatiana Gordeeva.  The rehearsals of the Pori Opera Choir were led by Ognian Vassilev. The Croak Opera is produced in cooperation with the Pori Opera and the Mixed-Art Association Poike, with Heli Latvala and Tuuli Penttinen-Lampisuo as executive producers.

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