Kullervo is based on an early masterpiece by iconic Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and a timeless story featured in the Finnish national epic, The Kalevala. In his contemporary take on the tale of a young man who seduces his sister, kills his enemies, and falls on his own sword, director-choreographer Tero Saarinen fuses dance with opera and live music.

Commissioned by the Finnish National Opera, Kullervo features nearly 100 performers on stage. The FNO and Tero Saarinen Company co-production premiered on February 13, 2015.

”Phenomenal work --- fit to be called a total work of art of the 21st Century.”
– The Yomiuri Shimbun, 2017 (Japan)
1h 50minutes, inc. intermission
13 February 2015, Finnish National Opera, Helsinki, Finland
Finnish National Opera in collaboration with Tero Saarinen Company. Tero Saarinen Company's contribution to Kullervo was supported by Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation and the Ministry of Education and Culture.


Choreography Tero Saarinen
Music Jean Sibelius: Kullervo (Symphony Op. 7)
Lighting, Set and Screen Design Mikki Kunttu
Screen Graphics Mikko Linnavuori
Costume design Erika Turunen
Choreographer’s Assistants Henrikki Heikkilä, Sini Länsivuori
Principal Ballet Mistress Francis Guardia
Ballet Master Joseph Kerwin

Number of performers: 92 (27 dancers, 65 singers)

”…modern, exciting and timeless. --- a definite triumph.”

- Hufvudstadsbladet, 14 February 2015 (Finland)

“Finland has truly gained its own national dance monument --- The story is transformed into a universal, timeless myth, one that is uncannily topical.``

- Helsingin Sanomat, 30 April 2017 (Finland)

”…the intensity reaches monumental proportions.”

- Helsingin Sanomat, 15 February 2015 (Finland)

“The most wonderful performance I have seen! It gave me shivers and took my breath away.”

- Facebook comment, 2017

“You have reached something usually unattainable from the core of a human’s unconsciousness in Kullervo. Because of that, the work has immense power that raises emotions in the viewer.”

- Email feedback, 2017

“Gorgeous and valiant this Kullervo. Tero Saarinen’s creativity is never ending.”

- Audience feedback, 2015