All the Truths We Cannot See is an opera composed by the world-famed composer Uljas Pulkkis, who is a doctoral student at Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy. His work is based on a libretto by the American author and well-known music scholar Glenda Dawn Goss, who is an adjunct professor at the Sibelius Academy.
The new opera will be produced as a collaboration between the Sibelius Academy and the USC Thornton School of Music. The opera will premiere at the Helsinki Music Centre on 26 March 2021, while the American premiere will take place in Los Angeles on 21 April 2021.
The opera will be directed by Professor of Opera/Resident Stage Director Ken Cazan from the USC Thornton School of Music. The conductors will be Professor of Opera Markus Lehtinen from the Sibelius Academy and Associate Professor of Opera Brent McMunn from the USC Thornton School of Music.
Creating something new and unique through an international collaboration
The collaboration project is part of the studies of the opera students in both institutions, and the students will get to perform both in Helsinki and Los Angeles. A group of students from the USC Thornton School of Music will also come to the Sibelius Academy for an exchange period in spring 2021.
“Being internationally active is an important part of developing into an opera singer and drawing influence from new places to build up one’s artistic identity and career. This project will bring together the various players and phases contributing to a complete opera piece: the students and the team of professionals from various fields all engage in close cooperation, starting from the first brainstorming sessions all the way to the finished work”, says Markus Lehtinen.
Commentary on global environmental themes
The human relationship with nature has a strong thematic presence in the opera through animal characters and nature topics. Opera can be used as a platform for discussing the subject of environmental disasters in a touching way and for initiating a social debate on the matter.
“It is exciting for two of the world’s leading music schools to cooperate on a production of such musical, political, and social importance. The event this opera explores had international implications and happened before most of our current students were born. This collaborative project has the potential to make a life changing impact on our students and audiences. Working in international partnership will amplify that message”, says Dean Robert Cutietta of the USC Thornton School of Music.
An increased awareness of energy efficiency, reuse and recycling is transforming the world of opera as an art form. That is why the production will use as much recycled material as possible both in costumes and stage settings.
“This opera production will reinforce the whole Uniarts Helsinki community’s critical understanding of ecological sustainability and its role in the arts”, summarises Dean of the Sibelius Academy Kaarlo Hildén.
The Finnish premiere of the opera in Helsinki will also serve as a backdrop for an international conference on opera research titled Opera and The Environment, viewing opera for the first time from the perspective of environmental disaster.
Opera (Helsinki): Professor of Opera at Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy Markus Lehtinen, tel. +358 40 565 1547, firstname.lastname@example.org
Opera (Los Angeles): Professor of Opera/Resident Stage Director at the USC Thornton School of Music, Ken Cazan, tel. +1 213 740 6451, email@example.com
Conference (Helsinki): Dr and Docent Liisamaija Hautsalo, tel. +358 40 5323 425, firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Communications at Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy Nelli Kuokka, tel. 040 822 7130, email@example.com
Director of Communications at USC Thornton School of Music Evan Calbi, firstname.lastname@example.org
All the Truths We Cannot See: A Chernobyl Story is an opera by Uljas Pulkkis and Glenda Dawn Goss, which will premiere in Helsinki in March 2021 and in Los Angeles in April 2021. It will be produced as a collaboration between Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy and the USC Thornton School of Music. The opera production and related international cooperation have been sponsored by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.