There has been so much talk about the operatic qualities of heavy metal music that it was only a matter of time before a metal opera was made. Now there is one at the National Opera, Indigo. The composers, Eicca Toppinen and Perttu Kivilaakso of Apocalyptica, have had a classical education, and some help from Jaakko Kuusisto, so one could have hopes.

In the programme they say that they wanted to make it the most beautiful opera after Turandot. However, in my ears much of it sounded more like South Pacific. There were also "heavier" parts and even one modernist bit. The orchestra had lots of cellos - hardly surprising. They also say that they wanted to write comic book music, whatever that means.

I thought the libretto would have made a fascinating graphic novel. It tells about a company that has developed a stimulant with side effects. In order to fix the problem a test person must be taken to "level indigo." The first test person dies before reaching it, his friend feels guilty and offers himself as the next, dies, then his girl friend does the same. The company apologizes and promises compensation to the victims, who go away satisfied. That in a nutshell, but there is social criticism, romance, violence and encounters in the beyond. It would have deserved more interesting music.

The singers did well with the material they had - even the stand-ins that were called to sing for the two suffering from flu in the second act - but Koit Soasepp as Propaganda Minister, WOW! Pity there was so little of him.

The reviews have been lukewarm, but the applause, apparently by their young fans, was furious.