Music News

Estonian Sinfonietta celebrates the 100th anniversary of the autonomus Åland Islands with international opera production

On April 21 and 22, the opera Lisbeta – thou shalt not suffer a witch to live by Icelandic composer Karólína Eiríksdóttir will be staged at the Alexander Theatre in Helsinki. Opera was commissioned by the cultural association Katrina and it is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Åland’s autonomy. Lisbeta is an opera about misogyny and superstition. This is a musical celebration in which 17th-century women accused of witchcraft take power over the logic of hate rhetoric. For Åland’s 100th anniversary of autonomy, Lisbeta and her sisters in woe have been given a voice through a newly written, modern opera. It premiered last summer in Mariehamn’s Alandica Cultural & Congress Centre, Åland with the participation of Estonian Sinfonietta.

The soloist ensemble includes Swedish and Finnish as well as Åland’s foremost opera singers such as Sofie Asplund (Lisbeta), Philip Björkqvist (Psilander), Joonas Eloranta (Kjellinus), Jenny Carlstedt (Karin), Therese Karlsson (Ebba), Aarne Pelkonen (Per). The most unexpected role as the Magpie will be played by accordionist Veli Kujala. The conductor of the opera is Anna-Maria Helsing, directed by Ida Kronholm.

Lisbeta is based on the novel book Märket (The Mark) by Åland author Carina Karlsson. It is about the 17th-century witch trials in Åland where Lisbeta Skarp was one of the women who was beheaded and burnt at the stake.