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Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho (*1952) draws listeners into her soundscape: From the brooding darkness of the opening bars, the audience finds itself dragged into the unfolding nightmare. The libretto by Sofi Oksanen interweaves two narratives of a school shooting. One focuses on the students and
their teacher who were present at the time of the massacre. The second is set in the present day at a wedding with the family of the shooter celebrating their innocent son’s marriage. A thriller-like intensity shifts time levels and a mixture of nine languages. “The most powerful work Saariaho has written
in a career now in its fifth decade” (The New York Times). Director Simon Stone approaches this multi-layered subject with sensitivity and empathy, supported by Susanna Mälkki’s fine reading of the score on the rostrum of the London Symphony Orchestra and a great cast including Magdalena Kožená and Sandrine Piau.

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Female Composers