There is again a new Finnish opera, Robin Hood; this time intended to attract a supposedly impossible audience to the opera: boys. It is full of activity and colour, showy fighting and pyrotechnics, a libretto by a well-known writer of witty song lyrics. As a whole it is entertaining.

But what is there for an adult? The music - by Jukka Linkola - reminded me of mid-20th century film music, the not-so-witty rhymes were a distraction... One can have divided opinions about the Arab maiden smuggled in by Friar Tuck - and the librettist - and portraying maid Marian as a middle-aged widow, with a son who in a mysterious way seems to be Richard the Lionheart's son and the future king... I really can't see how that could be possible.

A columnist suspected that Robin Hood is ultimately a disservice to opera, but I don't think so. The numerous children in the audience were brought in by parents with a positive attitude to opera, and it is unlikely that this one opera could turn them against it. Besides, the children, both boys and girls, didn't seem unhappy, and they actually laughed when the resourceful Arab maiden Jamila freed Robin from jail with an explosion of her "strong spice from the Silk Road." On the other hand it won't convert opera-haters' children to opera-lovers - as presumably intended - because they won't have a chance to see it.

A bit of operatic fun for middle-class children, that's all.