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Children at a rehearsal with sunflowers  

Projects and Activities

These are examples of our art education projects and activities in 2012. 

School operas

Kerjäläiset (Beggars), Noitasapatti (Black Sabbath) and Sotajoulukuu (War December) have been a great success in schools all over Finland. A new school opera was introduced in autumn 2009, Auringonkukat (Sunflowers), composed by Atso Almila to a libretto by Jukka Itkonen. School opera productions feature pupils in grades 5 and 6 performing together with professional singers.

Participating schools are sent a teaching package before the performances, containing the music to be rehearsed and a large body of background information on the subject of the opera. This material can be discussed in environmental studies, science, history, Finnish, arts, handicrafts and music classes. At the preparatory stage, one of the performers and the conductor will visit the school to assist the teachers in their work.

On the day of the performance, the production team will arrive at the school with the sets and costumes. The opera is rehearsed during the day and then performed for parents and the rest of the school. A school opera production can accommodate 30 to 60 pupils at one time. School operas are performed in Finnish.

Workshops preparing for performances

Groups can book a preparatory workshop for any opera or dance production. These workshops are free of charge for daycare, school and student groups that have purchased tickets for the performance. We can also customize themed workshops, for instance focusing on sets, costumes or dance.

Opera and ballet days for teachers

Opera and ballet days are for introducing teachers to the work of the National Opera or Ballet and learning about the evening's performance. Artists can also be met behind the scenes. The day of introduction culminates with attending the actual performance.

We also provide customized training for teachers, for example in the form of training to maintain working capacity. This may include creativity and social interaction workshops. The purpose of this is for teachers to find new methods and opportunities for integration and cross-discipline teaching at the National Opera.