Lux Musicae’s major investment is Einojuhani Rautavaara’s (1928-2016) Aleksis Kivi Opera in three acts. The opera was first performed in 1997 and its new version in 2007. The composer also wrote the libretto.
Aleksis Kivi and Sjundeå belong together. Kivi wrote all of his most significant works in Fanjunkars in Sjundeå where he was a resident of Charlotta Lönnqvist. Lux Musicae commissioned a series of Kivisongs by the composer Kimmo Hakola and they were premiered at the festival in 2007. At the festival in 2017 we heard Lauri Kilpiö’s commissioned work Mustan veden yli (Over black waters) which is based on Kivi’s long poems and for which the poet and prose writer Johanna Venho wrote the libretto to.
Helena Juntunen was a little over twenty years old when she jumped into the unforgettable production. “Aleksis Kivi’s wonderful stanzas and Einojuhani Rautavaara’s indescribably beautiful music enchanted oneself,” she says. She carries eternal memories from the production, such as the trips in Lasse Pöystis’s (August Ahlqvist) blueberry colored Citroën 2CV to the performances in Italy.
The opera performance in Sjundeå is carried out in collaboration with Lohja city orchestra. The Sjundeå premiere is in honor of the new cultural campus and the second performance is in Lohja.
Rautavaara’s interpretation of Aleksis Kivi is both poignant and tragic. In his search for happiness, peace and acceptance Kivi got ill. Lintukodon ja oravanpesän kaipuu (yearning for the bird’s and squirrel’s nest) deeply touched Rautavaara.