Spread over the past 15 years, I have seen 11 performances at this opera house. Musical standards are high and the productions I have seen tend to be fairly "safe". Their Ring Cycle was perhaps the most satisfying that I have seen anywhere. The auditorium is of medium size, with excellent acoustics and comfortable seating. Surtitles include English. For a small country, Finland "punches above its weight" in singers. Matti Salminen, Tommy Hakala, Jorma Hynninen, Lilli Paasikivi, Jorma Silvasti and the fabulous Karita Mattila all appear from time to time. There is one huge foyer which serves all areas of the house and usually one can find a place to sit during intervals. The side of the house is mainly glass and looks out on a park and lake. The idea that one has to be formally dressed at the opera is a myth, but the audience here - while not formal - is amongst the most elegantly attired anywhere.
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