The Savonlinna Opera Festival is probably the most well-known Finnish cultural event abroad. For over a century, St. Olaf’s castle in Savonlinna has been hosting the Finnish opera during the summer, the medieval fortress becoming a music theatre and drawing crowds from around the world.
The Finnish Opera Experience
A crowd flows along the paths of the lakeside. Some have sturdy shoes and blankets while others come in suits and evening dress. Between them, musicians hurry along with their cased instruments, all towards the island fortress of Olavinlinna.
The towers reach towards the blue summer sky as the spectators stroll across the two bridges before the walls spring up on sides, the passages leading into the enormous courtyard. The auditorium’s 2,264 seats await. The walls offer excellent acoustics while the awnings protect from any chance of summer rain.
The Opera Festival’s success in Savonlinna’s summer season
Savonlinna’s Opera Festival is set in the backdrop of Saimaa’s sprawling lakes and idyllic archipelago. While there are many attractions on offer in the town and its surrounding area, the opera festival is particularly popular, bringing around 60,000 visitors annually, around 10% of whom are from abroad.