Online community opera to be premiered

Free Will to be performed in Finland


An opera that’s been created by the public online is to be premiered this weekend. Free Will, a seven-scene opera in which Mozart, Oscar Wilde and Joan of Arc are brought back to life in order to help world peace, is to be given its first performance on 21 July, and streamed online.


The Savonlinna Opera’s Opera by You project was launched in 2010, with a competition to choose one of six storylines getting the piece underway. With hundreds of people chipping in ideas about how Free Will should unfold. ‘Then 14 flutes and 500 violins land from the heavens and amazing stuff happens’, is just one example – the creative process was ‘hectic’, said the opera’s overseeing composer Markus Fagerudd. However, he’s confident that ‘the end result is a real piece of opera. The musical quality is simply great.’


The premiere, involving a cast of professional singers, an 80-strong chorus, and a symphony orchestra, takes place in the medieval Olavinlinna Castle. With the whole event streamed live here on Saturday 21 July, rehearsals can also be followed online this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.