Track listing Awards Press review Complete description Also recommended...

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Aulis Sallinen
The Red Line - Opera in Two Acts


Finnish contemporary


1 DVD Video (all regions; NTSC Colour 16:9; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround / PCM Stereo); menu in English/Finnish; subtitles in Finnish/English; extras; booklet with liner notes and synopsis in English and Finnish

DVD Video

August 2010 (Finland)
October 2010 (internationally)

Catalogue No.:
ODV 4008


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Track listing

The Red Line (Punainen viiva) - Opera in Two Acts, Op. 46

Interview with Aulis Sallinen

Interview with Pekka Milonoff

Interview with Mikko Franck

Interview with Jorma Hynninen

Also recommended...


La Clef

Press review

Aulis Sallinen gelang (...) eine moderne, über weite Strecken emotional packende Oper ganz im Stile eines Janáceks, der zwichen den (klanglichen) Härten der Welt immer auch Schönheit und Wahrhaftigkeit zeigt. (...) Mikko Franck arbeitet diese Kontraste am Pult der Finnischen Nationaloper gekonnt heraus, der nicht unwesentlich beteiligte Opernchor weiss seine Szenen eindrucksvoll zu gestalten. Jorma Hynninen (...) ist ideal besetzt.
Markus Wilks, Das Opernglas, November 2011

Die Neuinszenierung des eindrucksvollen Werks an der Finnischen Nationaloper liegt nun in einer technisch makellosen Aufnahme vom Mai 2008 auf DVD vor. Sallinens wandlungsfähige Musiksprache unterstützt die Handlung mit kraftvoller, aber nie aufdringlicher Expressivität und färbt sie mit einem dunklen Tonfall ein. Die Inszenierung fügt die dialogreiche Bilderfolge zu einer kompakten Großform.
Max Nyffeler, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, 1/2011

La mise en scène et l'excellence des chanteurs finlandais contribuent à faire de cet opéra l'une des grandes œuvres des trente dernières années.
Pierre-Jean Tribot,, 22.9.2010, La Clef

Die sehr dichte Neu-Inszenierung am Ort der Uraufführung (...) belegt die theatralische Lebenskraft des Werkes und seine Zeitlosigkeit trotz des historischen Sujets. Man kann nur staunen über die hohe Leistungsfähigkeit des Ensembles. Voran Jorma Hynninen, der Topi der Uraufführung, der die Partie nun dreißig Jahre später mit ungebrochener stimmlicher Kraft und mit knappsten gestischen und mimischen Mitteln bezwingend gestaltet. Mikko Franck zieht mit dem Orchester der Finnischen Nationaloper alle Register.
Ekkehard Pluta,, 5.11.2010, 9 • 9 • 9

Complete description

This DVD Video features the two-act opera The Red Line ("Punainen viiva"; 1976-78) by Finnish composer Aulis Sallinen. This release pays tribute to the composer's 75th anniversary in 2010.

Aulis Sallinen started a new wave of Finnish opera in the 1970s. His second opera, The Red Line, played a fundamental part in establishing him - and Finnish opera in general - on the international scene. Reproductions of The Red Line in Moscow, London, and at the Met in New York (1983) led to numerous rave reviews ("Aulis Sallinen’s Red Line is the best new opera I have heard in many a year (...) it proved as gripping in its way as Wozzeck or Jenufa” - The New York Times).

Written by the composer, the libretto is based on a 1909 novel of the same name by Ilmari Kianto (1874-1970), which has become a classic in Finland. Set in the North Finnish backwoods region, its story centers on the fate of a poor woodsman, Topi, and his wife, Riika, and deals with the Finnish quest for social justice at the first free elections in 1907, prior to Finland becoming independent in 1917.

This live recording was made in May 2008 at the Finnish National Opera and features legendary baritone Jorma Hynninen, who already headed the Finnish National Opera ensemble in the work's world première performance thirty years earlier. This production is staged by Pekka Milonoff, with Eeva Ijäs signing for the set design, Erika Turunen for the costume design, and Juha Westman for the lighting design. The Tsuumi Dance Company performs a choreography by Ari Numminen. Artistic director Mikko Franck conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Finnish National Opera, as well as the following cast of Finnish soloists:

Topi – a Crofter   JORMA HYNNINEN
Riika – his Wife   PÄIVI NISULA
Sake – First Child   TUOMO NISULA
Raakeli – Second Child   SANNI VILMI
Iita-Linta Maria – Third Child   OLIVIA AINALI
Puntarpää – the Agitator   AKI ALAMIKKOTERVO
Simana Arhippaini – a Pedlar   HANNU FORSBERG
Raappana – the Cobbler   TAISTO REIMALUOTO
Kunilla – his Wife   REA MAURANEN
Constable Pirhonen   KAI VALTONEN

The recorded production has been hailed by the international press ("The Red Line is a work of both national and universal significance" - Opera Magazine; "The sold-out performances and the warm reception of the audience in Helsinki cannot be attributed merely to national pride; the audible sobs and charged stillness as the curtain fell were testament to a musical drama that hits at the very core of the human condition" - Opera News).

This recording was directed for video by Aarno Cronvall, with Teuvo Karhu as Director of Photography. A co-production of the Finnish National Opera, the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, and Ondine, this is the first commercial audio-video release of this opera on DVD.

This DVD's bonus features include interviews with composer Aulis Sallinen, stage director Pekka Milonoff, conductor Mikko Franck, and lead role performer Jorma Hynninen.

This all-regions NTSC disc is designed for worldwide playback. In PAL regions (e.g. Europe, Australasia & Africa) ensure your DVD player and TV are PAL/NTSC compatible ("dual-standard").

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