Madama Butterfly, La Traviata, Der Rosenkavalier and Don Giovanni are world-famous operas. Along with the fine music, a part of the magic in operas are the magnificent stage settings. In Finland, many of the treasures that create the scene on the stage for several operatic productions are stored in the Ilvesvuori area in Nurmijärvi, where the Finnish National Opera has its warehouse, as Jussi Lehmusvesi describes in the Helsingin Sanomat daily (HS 9.4.2018).
Ilvesvuori is one of the biggest opera warehouses in Europe
Jussi Lehmusvesi has interviewed Anders Mattson, warehouse manager for the Finnish National Opera. Mr. Mattson explains that the total area of the Ilvesvuori warehouse comes up to 25 000 square metres, which equals that of altogether five soccer fields. Ilvesvuori is one of the biggest opera warehouses – and it was built in Nurmijärvi six years ago. Prior to this the props for the settings were stored in several different warehouses around the Finnish capital area, which considerably slowed down the logistic process.
The Helsingin Sanomat daily informs that during one season the Finnish National Opera produces up to 16 different operas. The flexibility and ease of warehousing as well as logistics is of vital importance, for all props will in most likelihood be used again.
The world opera houses co-operate more and more
The number of mutual productions and co-operation between different opera houses increases all the time. The Helsingin Sanomat daily describes that last year the Finnish National Opera co-operated in production with the Gothenburg opera and the Slovakian national theatre – and sold four of its own productions to Tokyo, Japan. For instance, the opera Elektra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, travelled from Aix in France to La Scala of Milan, and further to the Metropolitan in New York – and finally to Helsinki in 2016.
The props may remain for a while in Ilvesvuori, one of the biggest opera warehouses in Europe, until they leave it again, for example, for Berlin or Barcelona to the delight of the opera fans internationally. The change in the field can be described by saying that previously the performers toured the opera houses, whereas today the creator’s artistic view and the props travel around.
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