CELLO MUSIC HALL FINNISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA 2006
Bus number 11 by Peter Maxwell Davies
Finnish Chamber Opera, Cello music hall, 2006
Conductor Benjamin Vary
Korrepetitor Harri Karri
Director: Kristiina Helin
Essi Luttinen (mezzosopraano), Petri Bäckström (tenori), Jussi Merikanto (baritoni),
Reijo Kela (tanssi), Esko Mäkelä (mimiikka)
Set design: Kaisa Rasila
Costume design: Emilia Eriksson
Producer: Risto Hirvonen/Finnish Chamber Opera
Salmela Annmari, HESA 17.9.2006
British composer Peter Maxwell Davies offers all the possibilities of pagan mixing in his opera The No. 11 Bus, according to the winding bus line 11 through London. Finnish director Kristiina Helin has tamed a diverse work for understanding.
The composer has set in motion on the basis of Tarot cards, but the current expenditure itself offers such forms of humanity that even the fortune teller disappears into realism. The fine production of the Finnish Chamber Opera reveals man's many possibilities, and impossibilities, to be himself.
Finnish translation, carried out in the spirit of Finnish everyday life, is of great importance. Although Petri Bäckström, Jussi Merikanto and Essi Luttinen each sing wonderfully and articulate their English clearly, the nuances reveal the text projected on the wall.
Reijo Kela dances the roles of both the bus and the wheel of destiny.
Esko Mäkelä brings the characters of the cards to the stage, alternately having fun, taking stops.
The opera is marked K18. Even though children see worse on TV, understanding takes years.
The final scene is intentionally sugary, and - characteristic of the nature of the whole work - just a moment before it has been laughed at in the glow of paradise.
Benjamin Vary leads a skillful little instrumental ensemble, and the skill characterizes every detail of the work, from the elements to the great solutions of the staging.