A night at the opera again yesterday: Kaija Saariaho's latest, Adriana Mater.

The story is very simple. It is war. Adriana is raped by a fighter supposedly defending her, becomes pregnant. The child grows up to be a young man who wants revenge, meets his father and isn't able to kill him. All is well. The music is beautiful but monotonous. My first reaction was that I wouldn't want to listen to it at home, but then I thought: why not, in a suitable mood it might be just right...

But actually I liked the sets and lighting best, which in this case are inseparable as the light comes from the structures - houses in the beginning, ruins in the end. The intensity of the light and colour emphasizes intense emotions in a way one might consider too obvious, but I enjoyed the bright incandescent colours almost naively.


I wonder if Kaija Saariaho realizes how much her music resembles the 1970s Finnish 'fur cap operas' scorned by the young generation of composers at the time, of which she was one?