The Finnish National Opera is up to the standard of the best opera houses in Europe. I saw the new 2013 staging of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde on May 25th 2013. A really great performance it was. The staging was simple but very imaginative and the cast was absolutely top-class. Robert Dean Smith, one of the greatest "Heldentenors" at present, sang Tristan, Marion Ammann was Isolde, Lilly Paasikivi sang Brangäne and the great Matti Salminen (still going strong) was in the role of King Marke. Pinchas Steinberg conducted the whole thing. A special mention must be made of the Finnish National Opera's orchestra. What a massive band of players! I would also like to mention the really pleasing telephone service when I ordered my ticket (the very last available!) by phone in April. There was no problem making a reservation by phone. They would keep it until the day before the performance and no need to pay in advance
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