Sneak preview of the Turku Music Festival brings top names in Baroque opera to Finland: Franco Fagioli, Luca Pisaroni and Jakub Jósef Orlińskin, and the 26-year-old mezzosoprano Samantha Hankey.

The Turku Music Festival, the oldest consecutively running festival in Finland, will be held for the 60th time next summer, from 8 to 22 Aug 2019. To celebrate this anniversary, the Festival will be giving a sneak preview by bringing to Finland a star-studded Baroque opera cast and the Venetian Baroque orchestra Il pomo d’oro sponsored by novelist Donna Leon. They will perform a concert version of Handel’s opera Agrippina at Turku Concert Hall on Sunday 2 June 2019 at 19.00.

Friends of Baroque opera are in for a treat as the Turku Music Festival presents an international-calibre production of Handel’s Agrippina. The Venetian Baroque orchestra Il pomo d’oro, returning to the Festival for their third visit, will perform a concert version of Handel’s opera Agrippina with top international soloists as part of a grand tour that will take the ensemble to the Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Théatre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and the Barbican in London.

The cast includes Franco Fagioli, one of the most acclaimed countertenors of our time; bass baritone Luca Pisaroni; countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński; soprano Kathryn Lewek; countertenor Xavier Sabata; bass Andrea Mastroni; and baritone Biagio Pizzuti. The title role is taken by American mezzo Samantha Hankey, who is only 26 years old but is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most interesting singers of her generation. Having won the Glyndebourne Opera Cup in 2018 and received 2nd prize in the Plácido Domingo Operalia competition in 2018, she made her Metropolitan Opera début in multiple productions in the 2018–2019 season (Mefistofele, Adriana Lecouvreur, Carmen, Rheingold, Götterdämmerung and Rigoletto). She also made guest appearances at the Zurich Opera and the Bavarian State Opera.

“Our Festival has a quality-conscious expert audience, and we like to give them unique experiences. We are happy to be able to bring this excellent international production to Finland. The cast is particularly brilliant. We have a special relationship with Il Pomo d’Oro, the Baroque orchestra sponsored by novelist Donna Leon, and young conductor Maxim Emelyanychev has great promise,” says Liisa Ketomäki, Executive Director of the Turku Music Festival.


Händel: Agrippina (concert version) Turku Concert Hall, Sun 2 Jun 2019 at 19.00

Samantha Hankey – Agrippina
Luca Pisaroni – Claudio
Franco Fagioli – Nerone
Kathryn Lewek – Poppea
Xavier Sabata – Ottone
Andrea Mastroni – Pallante
Jakub Jósef Orliński – Narciso
Biagio Pizzuti – Lesbo

Il Pomo d’Oro
Maxim Emelyanychev – harpsichord and conductor


The opera is performed in Italian, with surtitles in Finnish and Swedish.
Tickets for Agrippina go on sale at Lippupiste on 9 Nov at 12.00.


The Turku Music Festival will be held from 8 to 22 August 2019. The programme for this 60th festival is the first to be planned by the Festival’s new artistic director, conductor Klaus Mäkelä. The full programme will be published on 25 Feb 2019.


Further information and interview requests
Further information is available from Executive Director Liisa Ketomäki,, tel. 040 740 6200

Salome’s concert version in May 2019

Due to its daring subject and tone language, Richard Strauss’ Salome had a strong reception by the time it was released. The work is strong, dramatic and passionate. The most well-known scene of the opera is “Dance of the Seven Veils”, in which Salome is dancing for Herodes. As a service in return Salome wants Jochanaan’s head, for which she’s madly and fiercely in love. The opera culminates in the scene where Herodes has had Jochanaan executed and the head is brought to Salome.

Turku Philharmonic Orchestra will perform opera’s concert version on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th on May in 2019 at 7pm at The Concert Hall. The ticket sale will start on Monday 24th of September 2018. For the first time, the role of Salome is played by soprano Anu Komsi. In the other main roles we will see Finnish top singers, such as Tommi Hakala in the role of Jochanaan.

“I debuted my previous big Strauss-role, role as Zerbinetta, also in Turku, at Turku Music Festival with conductor Leif Segerstam in 1994. Now I’m so excited that I will finally get on stage as Salome, with one of the best Richard Strauss -conductors, Leif Segerstam” tells Anu Komsi.

”Welcome – this is a candy opera! Everyone likes this. Strauss was very good at describing women’s psychology and subconscious in his music”, tells Leif Segerstam and continues: ”Salome was my first opera in Savonlinna in 1970 – it was a pleasant task and the audience liked the interpretation of a young star. I have performed Salome in The Vienna State Opera, Zürich, Cologne, Salzburg Festival and The Royal Swedish Opera. In addition, 2019 is a Strauss year – it marks the 70th anniversary of the composer´s death.

Leif Segerstam is one of the most versatile composers in Scandinavia – a conductor, a composer, a violinist and a pianist. World-famous Leif Segerstam is officiated as a conductor and a chief conductor in numerous well-known opera houses and symphony orchestras, such as in The Royal Swedish Opera, The Deutsche Oper Berlin, The Vienna State Opera and Austria’s and Denmark’s Radio Symphony Orchestras. He has made the executive visits for The Metropolitan Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and La Scala amongst others. Segerstam’s outstanding list of compositions includes, for instance, 310 symphonies. His impressive and splendid career has received recognition with numerous awards. In 2014 the President of the Republic of Finland granted Segerstam a title of a professor.

Anu Komsi is one of Finland’s most international colorature sopranos, who has carved a name in world’s biggest opera houses and significant concert stages. During her opera career Komsi has sung on Europe’s and America’s well-known opera stages and festivals, such as La Scala in Milan, The Opéra Bastille in Paris and Salzburg Festival. In addition, Komsi is an artistic director of Kokkola Opera. For Komsi, this is the first role as Salome.

Salome in Turku Concert Hall, Thu 16th and Fri 17thof May 2019 at 7pm. Leif Segerstam, conductor, Anu Komsi, Salome, Tommi Hakala, Jochanaan, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tickets are sold at Lippupiste >