Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Good Time To Be In Finland

I saw this article on what I believe to be a Finnish newspaper site. Since most of the site was in Finnish, I couldn't really tell, but based on some key words in English, I think that's what it was.

World's First Sign Language Opera Premiers in Åland

The world's first opera performed in sign language premiered on Monday in the Mariehamn, the capital of the Åland Islands. Performers presented the first Finnish opera The Hunt of King Charles.

The opera is part of the national deaf cultural days organised in the Åland Islands, an autonomous province of Finland. The opera was performed in sign language, and while songs were not performed in Finnish, Finnish and Swedish texts were provided.

"Finding the right expressions was very challenging," performer Dawn Jani Birley told YLE's Sign Language News.

Finland's only regularly operating sign language theatre, Teatteri Totti, was responsible for putting on the opera.

The opera, composed by Frederik Pacius, premiered in Helsinki in 1852. The libretto by Zacharias Topelius tells of the adventures of the young King of Sweden, who arrived in Åland for a hunting trip with his entourage.

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