The visionary tales of the American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe have been inspiring artists for over a hundred years. Among the most recent composers to turn to his tales of mystery have been Poul Ruders and Toshio Hosokawa.
The celebrated Danish contemporary composer Poul Ruders (b. 1949) chose to set to music Poe's poem Dreamland describing a journey beyond space and time. The images evoked by the poem of a land of dream and human wandering between life and death are captured in Ruder's beautifully undulating music.
The Raven, possibly Poe's best-known poem, tells of a speaking raven that tapped and rapped on the door of a love-sick young man one bleak December night. In 2012, the Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa (b. 1955) used the words to create a tense monodrama, with the scale of expression ranging from a whisper to a scream. The chamber opera The Raven will be directed by Zaida Bergroth, famous for her films but now making her debut as an opera director.
The perfomance is part of the Musica nova Helsinkifestival programme. The Finnish National Opera is one of the main organisers of the festival.