Turku in the 1660s, the age of witch-hunts. How on earth is graduate student Henricus Eolenius able to learn Arabic so quickly? It must be magic – the Devil must be helping him. The narrow-minded Bishop Terserus condemns the young graduate student and his Professor to death for witchcraft. What’s wrong with these people? Enter the Governor-General, Count Per Brahe.
Henrik and the Hammer of Witches is a folk opera on black magic, religious songs and fundamentalism. The libretto will highlight the themes of power, fear and love. Folk ballads and dramatic scenes will carry the story and the choir will sing about the dark times in our history. Contemporary guidelines were found in the Hammer of Witches, the guidebook describing witchcraft during the inquisition.
The grand folk opera will gather over 100 performers and participants to the historical Turku Castle courtyard. The key roles will be carried out by the choirs who were behind the initiative for the commissioning of the piece.
The opera was composed by Ulf Långbacka. Dan Henriksson will act as the librettist and director. The opera will be conducted by Sauli Huhtala.
The performers include the Åbolands Kammarkör choir, Student Choir Brahe Djäknar, Akademiska Orkestern and soloists Petter Andersson, Thérèse Karlsson, Dan Karlström and Mats Lillhannus. The opera will be performed in Swedish, Latin and Finnish.
The folk opera will be produced by Åbolands Kammarkör in cooperation with Åbo Svenska Teater.
Premiere 27 August 2011, other performances: 28 August, 3rd and 4th of september 2011, at Turku Castle courtyard