The libretto of the PALACE OPERA is loosely based on the overthrow of the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie in Addis Ababa in 1974, where the rigid rule of the monarchy collapsed and was replaced by modern tyranny. There were strange characters in Haile Selassie’s court, such as the Pillow Carrier (Selassie was a small man and needed a pillow under his feet, his feet could not reach the ground from the chair), the Guardian of Treasure Chest, and the Cuckoo, who announced the passage of time in the court.
The librettists asked the Finnish composer Aulis Sallinen to create the music for the opera. I had become acquainted with Aulis Sallinen and his music already during the the IRON AGE movie, the KING GOES TO FRANCE at Savonlinna Opera Festival and later the BARABBAS DIALOGUES oratorio, which was performed at the Naantali Music Festival. In the PALACE, the visual interpretation of his music, for my part, continued again.
Composer: Aulis Sallinen
Libretto: Irene Dische ja Hans Magnus Enzesberger
Conductor: Okko Kamu
Directed By: Kalle Holmberg
Assistant Director: Vilppu Kiljunen
Costume Design: Riitta Riihonen (Rask)
Make-up and Hair: Teuvo Loman
Set Design: Juha-Pekka Kiljunen
Lighting Design: Claude Naville
Roles: Veijo Varpio, Jaana Mäntynen, Ritva-Liisa Korhonen, Sauli Tiilikainen, Jorma Silvasti, Tom Krause, Antti Suhonen, Pertti Mäkelä, Lassi Virtanen, Sami Luttinen, Mart Mikk, Matti Siitonen, Pertti Mutka
Savonlinna Opera Festival Orchestra
Savonlinna Opera Festival Choir / Kyösti Haatainen
Photos: Savonlinna Opera Festival / Matti Koho