Where does this sudden intensity spring from in a relationship between two strangers? It’s a question soprano Johanna Rusanen has been asking herself. As Kullervo’s sister, she embodies an independent, confident woman who unwittingly commits incest, then plunges to her death.
In KULLERVO, the dance performed by the Finnish National Opera to the symphony of the same name by Jean Sibelius, Johanna Rusanen sings the part of Kullervo’s nameless sister. Separated as children, the siblings become lovers. When Kullervo’s sister discovers the true identity of her sweetheart, she takes her own life in despair.
Sibelius gave this soprano part a deep, dark timbre. The role poses an unusual musical challenge, says Johanna Rusanen.
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