International Media Attention for Gustav Vasa

Mario Zeffiri in Gustav Vasa. Photo: Maarit Kytöharju

Helsinki Baroque Orchestra’s production of Leopold Koželuch’s opera Gustav Vasa attracted international media attention. Bringing this forgotten work back to life was seen as a bold and important move, and the utilisation of video technology in the staging was pronounced a success.

According to the Swedish magazine Tidskriften Opera the green screen technology worked seamlessly, and the humour in the visual elements was a welcome counterbalance to the patriotic pathos of the story.

Boris Klepal of the Czech Radio commented on how Aapo Häkkinen highlighted the romantic in the music, leading a deeply-felt performance and strongly emphasising the music’s contrasts. Main soloists Martina JankováHelena Juntunen and Mario Zeffiri garnered praise, and the overall excellence of the whole ensemble was noted.

The German music publication Orpheus was especially complimentary of the tenderness of the tenor arias, placing Helsinki Baroque Orchestra firmly in the top league of period music in Europe.

The performances ran from March 3–10 in Musiikkitalo (Helsinki Music Centre). A video of the performance is available internationally in YLE Areena until April 2019.

”Everything works splendidly”
Hannu-Ilari Lampila, Helsingin Sanomat 5.3.2018

”A real gem of an opera”
Jan Granberg, Opera 2/2018

“The Helsinki Baroque Orchestra has a remarkably high level that enabled it to cope with the score, already boasting many features of romantic discourse.”
Boris Klepal, Český rozhlas 5.3.2018

”Mit sympathischer Zurückhaltung und zugleich elektrisierender Energie leitet Aapo Häkkinen das fulminante Helsinki Baroque Orchestra und den Helsinki Kammerchor. Es stellt sich an diesem Abend heraus: Dieses Ensemble spielt in der ersten Liga der europäischen ”Alte Musik”-Orchester. Sie interpretieren Koželuchs Musik derartig interessant, gestalten die dramatischen Rezitative farbenreich, impulsive und zugleich absolut präzise, dass man sich nur wundern kann, warum diese Musik 200 Jahre auf ihre Wiederentdeckung warten musste.”
Nastasia Tietze, Orpheus 3/2018

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