Järvenpään Yhteiskoulu

Watching Opera JÄÄ (Ice) /Erasmus

We went to see opera Ice at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki the 27th February. The opera is a libretto based on Ulla-Lena Lundberg'snovel Ice (2012). There are three student reviews on the opera below.

A vicar moves to island in the Turku archipelago with his family after the war. He has a wife and a young child. They arrive with a post boatwith postman Anton and the islanders welcome them very warmly. They settle in a lovely pink house and eat bread. They start their life as islanders and they are very happy. The vicar must come up with a preach and he is worried that the islanders won't like his speech. Thechurch service goes well and the islanders think that the vicar is very good at preachingand singing. The islanders argue about wheter or not build the bridge between the eastern and western islands, which is one of the main themes in the story.

Jää 1 The vicar lives his normal life with his family and they later have two more children. His wife is not very happy in the current situation, wherethe vicar is too busy to be at home and they both have too much work to do. The vicar hasn't got his degree yet and he must study veryhard. He travels to Porvoo to get the degree and he has to take the boat to get to land. The postman-Anton has a special gift and he is able tosee spirits that guide him through the sea. The vicar, Petter, is amazed. The degree doesn't go very well because Petter's old mistress appears in the hotel and wants to talk to him all night. Petter is very tired andworried when he answers the questions but he passes and becomes a priest officially.

The ordinary life in the island continues and the seasons of the year change. The islanders are happy about the ice in the sea, because the iceworks as a bridge between the two islands. Sadly a young child dies in the western island. The vicar goes to the remembering ceremony to help the child's family. Petter decides to take a shortcut on his way home. He doesn't see that the ice is very thin on the shortcut and hedrowns there. Some islanders hear him crying for help but they don't find him early enough.

After Petter's death his wife is very melancholic and mournful, but she doesn't cry in front of the other islanders. She decides to move outfrom the island with the children.




The set in the opera was fantastic. There were two cliffs and ice between them. There was also a church and the home of the vicar. Whenthe vicar drowned the ice was lifted up and the vicar left under it. They also had a bridge between the islands in the second act. The lightingwas icredible and very beautiful. There were 3 curtains, one of them was see-through and the others not. When they needed to show wateror ice, the see-through curtain was in front of the choir and we were able to see the people behind the waves. There was also a boat thatmoved on the stage.

We liked the costumes and make-up very much. They matched to the time and were really colorful and nice. The music with the orchestraand the opera singers was really powerful and effective and suited well with the story and the scenes. The actors/singers did a very goodjob.

We liked the opera very much. Most of us saw an opera for the first time ever so it was an interesting experience too. The story was movingand the actors very talented. The whole experience was great.

A young priest moves to an southern island with his family. The island has parted into south and west and they don't get along at all. There is no bridge between the south and west parts of the island, but during the winter, the ice brings them together. The priest, Petter, decideswith his wife that this is where they want to stay. Straight after his first sermon, Petter becomes loved by the islanders. Petter gets his finaldegree and he's inaugurated. Finally the islanders start to build a bridge and everything's going well. Winter comes and Petter doesn'tunderstand the dangers of the ice.



The music was enchanting. It was a mix of classical and modern music played by an orchestra. The music conveyed the emotions and reallycompleted the scenes.

The actors were very talented singers and they caught the characters well. Some of the singers had very deep and powerful voices. All thecharacters were well played.

The set was impressing. Especially the boat was a nice detail and the way it moved made it realistic. A video of almost completely frozensea was mirrored to a screen. It really made you feel like you were on top of a sea, on the way to an island.

Overall the opera was a nice experience. We really enjoyed the music. We thought the set and costumes were realistic and nice. At first itwas a bit hard to understand what they were saying and we had to read the subtitles, but over time understanding the words got easier. Wewere missing the 'wow feeling' and thought it could be because this was the first opera we saw.


Jää-oopperan lavastus oli luova, koska maiseman pohjana olivat laivan rungot. Lavalla oli myös jäätä ja laituri. Lavastus oli kaunis ja sen eteen oli nähty vaivaa. Puvustus oli kaunis ja vanhanaikainen. Erityisen hienoa oli, millaisiin valkoisiin huntuihin oopperan "haamut" olivat pukeutuneet. Musiikki sopi oopperaan hyvin, koska aina kun jotain erityistä tapahtui, musiikki meni kovemmaksi ja jännittävämmäksi. Orkesteri teki hyvää työtä! Oli mahtavaa päästä kuulemaan aitoa orkesterimusiikkia paikan päällä. Musiikki loi oopperan kohtauksiin tunnelmaa. Näyttelijät ilmaisivat erilaisia tunteita ja tunnelmia hienosti. Osa näyttelijäntyöstä oli vähän ylidramaattista, mutta se sopi oopperan tarinaan ja tunnelmaan. Vaikka Jää-oopperan pohjana ollutta Ulla-Lena Lundbergin romaania ei ollut lukenut, oopperassa tarinaa oli helppo seurata. Tarinassa oli aika paljon surullisia aineksia, koska erään henkilön lapsi oli joutunut jäämään sodan jälkeen toiseen maahan ja oopperan päähenkilö kuoli tarinan lopussa. Oopperan saaristomiljöö oli mielenkiintoinen.