I practically never dream of anything I've seen on TV, stage, or screen, but last night I dreamt of the opera Purge (Puhdistus), and now I notice that the composer's, Jüri Reinvere's, blog starts with a dream, too.

In the beginning of the opera I was very unimpressed. It seemed like any average contemporary opera - even a bit lame and provincial. The reviews had been enthousiastic, but I failed to see why. As it progressed, I was captivated by the drama, which almost drowned the music in its intensity. Yet I had still time to wonder how a person who hasn't read the novel or seen the play by Sofi Oksanen can follow the events, or what is the meaning of the use of Estonian and Finnish languages... But with time the intensity becomes almost unbearable, and there's no longer any sense trying to separate the drama from the music.

It beats Kaija Saariaho's Adriana Mater any day as a portrayal of human suffering in the whirlpool of history.


I saw the composer Aulis Sallinen sitting on the first row of the dress circle. To my shame I must admit that my first thought was surprise: "But isn't he dead!?"