Politics of Equality in Finnish Opera

The research project by Liisamaija Hautsalo explores Finnish opera in the context of the core value of Finnish society, equality.


On an international scale, Finnish opera is extremely prolific. Drawing on political history, sociology, anthropology, art research and opera studies, this study suggests that the vigour of Finnish opera is based on two factors: the Finnish version of European nationalism since 1870s, and the cultural politics of the Finnish welfare society.

The central assumption of this study is that the principle of equality associates with opera is unique to Finland and impacts for instance in dramatis personae, topics, sites and geographic location(s), audiences, composer, singing style, and funding. This study suggests that in Finland practices of equality and through expanding the very concept of ‘opera’ the art form is socially and culturally legitimized as contrast to the European classic-romantic tradition. In Finland, opera is more than simply a form of high culture for the elite.

Contact information for the project

    • Liisamaija Hautsalo

    • Academy Research Fellow, opera training, MuTri-tohtorikoulu, Sibelius Academy
    • +358405323425

Project name

Politics of Equality in Finnish Opera




Academy of Finland