Photo: Karoliina Pirkkanen
Composer Uljas Pulkkis

New opera to be commissioned through Finnish-American collaboration

A new opera co-production will bring together the Thornton School of Music at University of Southern California and the Sibelius Academy, Uniarts Helsinki. The new opera, titled All the truths we cannot see. A story of Chernobyl 1986, will be premiered in Helsinki in March 2021 followed by the American premiere in Los Angeles in April 2021.

Uljas Pulkkis, a Finnish composer and a doctoral student of the Sibelius Academy is composing a full-length opera based on the play by Glenda Dawn Goss, an American author and musicologist. The opera will be directed by Professor Kenneth Cazan (Thornton School of Music) and conducted by Professor Markus Lehtinen (Sibelius Academy, Uniarts Helsinki). The opera is part of the studies of the opera students in both institutions. The Sibelius Academy accepts new opera students every other year and the opera ensemble which will be admitted to the Sibelius Academy in Spring 2019 will be involved in the production as a whole.

-This project is an excellent example of institutional collaboration where students together are producing something new and unique. The Sibelius Academy is really looking forward to a great and rewarding collaboration, states Professor Markus Lehtinen.

-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.

The collaboration is supported by the Friends of the Sibelius Academy in the USA. The financial support both of this association and other organisations is essential for the projects of this large scale. Also support by individual donors will be warmly welcomed. Individual sponsors will be offered a unique chance to follow how a new opera is created, how all the elements are included and how the students grow into their roles in the production – and much more. More about the project and the possibilities to participate will be announced later.


More information

Tuovi Martinsen, Head of International Relations
Sibelius Academy, Uniarts Helsinki

Markus Lehtinen, Opera professor
Sibelius Academy, Uniarts Helsinki

Read more about opera studies at the Sibelius Academy, Uniarts Helsinki

Read more about applying to the Sibelius Academy Opera Master's programme

Thornton School of Music at University of Southern California