Author: Austin Flint

Death of a poet

Issue 4/1989 | Archives online, Articles

Over the last two decades, contemporary Finnish opera has not only become popular at home but has emerged as a significant force on the international music scene. Aulis Sallinen’s The Horseman, The Red Line and The King Goes Forth to France, and Joonas Kokkonen’s The Last Temptations all had their premieres in the 1970s and 1980s and have already earned respected places in the repertory of the Finnish National Opera and the Savonlinna Opera Festival, where performances are sold out months in advance.

The visit by the National Opera to New York’s Metropolitan Opera House in 1983 attracted widespread attention from press and public alike, and its productions of The Red Line and The Last Temptations were for the most part enthusiastically received. Finnish opera earned further international prestige from the joint commissioning of Sallinen’s The King by the Royal Covent Garden Theatre in London and the Savonlinna Festival, and from later performances by companies in Germany and the United States. More…

Encounters with the real

Issue 3/1987 | Archives online, Authors

Kirsti Simonsuuri. Photo: Pertti Nisonen / Tammi

Kirsti Simonsuuri. Photo: Pertti Nisonen / Tammi

When one mentions Kirsti Simonsuuri to literary people in Finland, one is likely to get the response, ‘Ah, yes, very interesting, of course, but you know she’s not really a Finnish writer. Her themes are more international, more intellectual, more European.’

Looking at her career, one can see why she has acquired such a reputation. While she took her MA degree in English and Classical Studies from the University of Helsinki in 1971, since then she has spent most of her productive literary years outside Finland, studying for the PhD which she received from the University of Cambridge, England in 1977 and doing additional research in Paris, London, Strasbourg, and Bonn. More recently, in addition to teaching at the Universities of Oulu and Turku in Finland, she has held positions as Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at Columbia University in New York, where she has taught a course on Finnish literature in the European context. More…