Finnish Civil War Opera: My Brother's Keeper

February 13, 2018

The premiere of VELJENI VARTIJA, an opera by noted Finnish composer Olli Kortekangas, is this Friday, February 16, in Tampere, Finland, at Tampere-Talo. Set in 1918, the opera is "about hate and mercy," focusing on a brother and sister who end up on opposite sides of the Finnish Civil War.


The title translates as "My Brother's Keeper."Librettist and stage director Tuomas Parkkinen says, "The opera is thematically anti-war, and it hardly contains any ideological discussion or political pleas. The name comes from the bible, when Cain, after taking his brother’s life, asked God 'Am I my brother’s keeper?' The answer is yes. We must all look after one another."


Olli Kortekangas has written many operas as well as other vocal works. The opera is in Finnish, with subtitles in both Finnish and English. There will be six performances.


Many thanks to Lakehead University professor emeritus Dr. Raija Warkentin for alerting us to this exciting premiere. Now, if only we were in Finland! 

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