Laura

laura_akerlund[1]Laura Åkerlund (b. 1987, Helsinki, Finland) is CEO & Artistic Director of Comic Opera Helsinki and opera stage director. Next Premiere Stanislaw Moniuszko’s opera “Halka” at the Helsinki Opera Festival 22th August 2018 in Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki.

Åkerlund has worked as stage director, assistant stage director, and stage manager in Finland, Sweden, Russia, England and Germany. For her Masters Thesis about opera directing she received grants from Finnish Cultural Foundation and Tellervo & Juuso Waldén Foundation.

Education: Master of Arts, (M.A., Helsinki University), Sibelius-Academy (Opera directing), Helsinki University (Bachelor of Arts in Musicology. Also studies in Art history, Aesthetics, Russian, French), Freie Universität Berlin (Theater studies, German), Helsinki Conservatory (Piano, Lied accompaniment), also studies at the Theater Academy in Helsinki.
Leader of Cultural Committee of Helsinki University 2010-2011, Secretary of the Cultural Committee 2009-2010.

Language skills: Finnish, English, German, French, Swedish, Russian, Italian.

In 2009 she made her TV-debut in a television programme for Finnish TV-channel Yle Teema, in “Talo Ranskassa”. It was a language learning programme, suited to people who study or would like to study French.

Åkerlund also lectures about opera and opera directing. She has held lectures at Helsinki University, Toimela-opisto and at the Finnish Wagner Society.

Her own stage directions include Tchaikovskys “Eugen Onegin” (Club Dacha, St. Petersburg, Russia 2015), Verdis “La Traviata” (Putikon Hovi, Punkaharju and Mäntsälä, Finland 2015). “Himmerrä ja Valo” (Musica Nova Helsinki 2011) and “Aallonharjalla” (Helsinki University 2011). Åkerlund’s stage direction of “La Traviata” won the prize for best opera production at the International Opera Tournament “La Traviata” at Putikon Hovi, Finland, 2015.

Recently she has been working as assistant stage director in productions at the Oper Stuttgart “Salome” (stage director: Kirill Serebrennikov), Komische Oper Berlin “Gianni Schicci & Herzog Blaubarts Burg” (stage director: Calixto Bieito), Deutsche Oper Berlin “LoveAffairs” (stage director: Tilman Hecker) and Helsinki Festival “Tristan und Isolde” (stage director: Peter Sellars).

In 2016 Åkerlund assisted in Bayerische Staatsoper in the production of “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” (stage director: David Bösch) and ”La Juive” (stage director: Calixto Bieito) in the Season 2015/2016. In July 2016 Åkerlund staged the reprise of “Ahti Karjalainen – elämä, Kekkonen ja teot” (stage director: Juha Hurme) at Kokkola Opera.

Åkerlund was a guest in a live broadcast “Kantapöytä” of Yle in 2. March and her part on the program can be viewed from this link.

Recent article of Laura Åkerlund in YLE Klassinen (in Finnish) is available here.

Åkerlund is also Bayreuth-Stipendium holder of the Finnish Wagner Society in 2016.

From August 2016 Åkerlund is the Leader of Helsingin Koominen Ooppera, a new operahouse in Finnland.

Finnish Nationalopera streamed The Flying Dutchman on 24. November 2016. Åkerlund & bassbaritone Juha Uusitalo were commentator during the interval and after the show. To watch The Flying Dutchman, click here.

Stage Directions:

  • 2018: Stanislav Moniuszko: Halka. Helsinki Opera Festival, Comic Opera Helsinki.
  • 2018: Aulis Sallinen: The Red line. Kemi City Orchestra.
  • 2015: Tchaikovsky: Eugen Onegin. Performances in St. Petersburg and Punkaharju (FIN).
  • 2015: Verdi: La Traviata. The 3rd International Music Festival Putikon Hovi. Winners had been chosen in the following categories: Best Opera Production, Best Leading Role, Best Supporting Role, Best Male Role, Best Female Role. The Finnish team had been honoured with the award in all categories.
  • 2011: Humanistispeksi: Aallonharjalla. Malmitalo, Helsinki.
  • 2011: Heta Aho: Himmerrä ja Valo, Musica Nova Helsinki.

Assistant Stage Director & Stage Manager

  • 2016: Richard Wagner: Nürnbergin mestarilaulajat. Director: David Bösch. Fromental-Halévy: La Juive. Director Calixto Bieito.  Bayerische Staatsoper.
  • 2015: Richard Strauss: Salome. Director: Kirill Serebrennikov. Oper Stuttgart. Richard Ayres: Peter Pan.
  • 2015: Puccini: Gianni Schicci & Béla Bartók: Bluebeard’s castle. Komische Oper Berlin. Director:  Calixto Bieito.
  • 2014: Miika Hyytiäinen: Aikainen 3D Opera. Grimeborn Festival for New Opera, London. Director Jaakko Nousiainen.
  • 2014: Birke J. Bertelsmeier: Querelle.  Deutsche Oper Berlin. Stage Director Tilman Hecker.
  • 2013: Mozart: Don Giovanni. Assistant Director & Stage Manager. New Generation Opera, Helsingin Juhlaviikot. Director Erik Söderblom.
  • 2013: Miika Hyytiäinen: La Figure de la Terre. Assistant Director & Stage Manager. Sophiensaele Berlin. Director Jaakko Nousiainen.
  • 2012: Richard Wagner: Tristan ja Isolde. Assistant Stage Manager. Helsingin Juhlaviikot & Baltic Sea Festival. RSO, Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. Director Peter Sellars.
  • 2009: Haydn: Il mondo della luna.  Kulttuuritalo Gloria.
  • 2009: Gustav Holst: The Planets. Stage Manager. Helsingin Juhlaviikot. Helsinki City Orchestra. Conductor John Storgårds. Video Artist Petri Ruikka.
  • 2008: Ilkka Kuusisto: Risto Ryti – vapauden vanki. Studio Director for DVD-release. Suomalainen kamariooppera.
  • 2008: Händel: Acis ja Galatea. Assistant Director & Stage Manager. Suomalainen kamariooppera. Director Vilppu Kiljunen.
  • 2007: Ilkka Kuusisto: Risto Ryti – vapauden vanki. Production Assistant. Suomalainen kamariooppera.
  • 2007: Seppo Pohjola: Kaksi kamarioopperaa rakkaudesta. Assistant Director & Stage Manager and wardrobe assistant. Helsingin Juhlaviikot & Turun Musiikkijuhlat.
  • 2006: Haydn: L’Isola disabitata. Suomalainen kamariooppera. Assistant Director & Stage Manager.
  • 2006: Aulis Sallinen: Punainen viiva, Fredrik Pacius: Kung Karls Jakt & Tchaikovsky: Jevgeni Onegin. Stage manager and assistant stage director trainee Finnish Nationalopera.

Jury and expert work

  • 2018: Jury member of the Wagnerstimmen finals at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. Åkerlund was the competitions youngest and first Finnish jury member of Wagnerstimmen’s history.
  • 2018: Jury member of Theaterfestival GRA competition’s finals in Kyiv Ukraine. The competition awards yearly the best productions in for example in opera, musical theater, chamber theater and experimental theater. in the first rounds of the competition more than 50 ukrainian theaters and opera houses took part. Only 16 performances were granted a place in the finals.

TV and film

  • 2008: Studio Director for DVD-release. Ilkka Kuusisto: Risto Ryti – vapauden vanki.  Suomalainen kamariooppera.
  • 2009Talo Ranskassa tv-show performer. Production YLE Teema and Broadcasters.

 

 

photo © PŠivi Karjalainen Rehearsal photo, harjoituskuva Kokkolan oopperakesŠ 2016, Ykspihlajan toimitalo  Heinz-Juhani Hofmann: ÓAhti Karjalainen-elŠmŠ, Kekkonen ja teotÓ, libretto Juha Hurme, Kapellimestari: Erkki Lasonpalo Ahti Karjalainen: Herman Wallen Urho Kekkonen: Anu Komsi Kraut: Piia Komsi Viina: Annika MyllŠri Kokkolan Opera Ensemble

photo © PŠivi Karjalainen
Rehearsal photo, harjoituskuva
Kokkolan oopperakesŠ 2016, Ykspihlajan toimitalo
Heinz-Juhani Hofmann: ÓAhti Karjalainen-elŠmŠ, Kekkonen ja teotÓ, libretto Juha Hurme, Kapellimestari: Erkki Lasonpalo
Ahti Karjalainen: Herman Wallen
Urho Kekkonen: Anu Komsi
Kraut: Piia Komsi
Viina: Annika MyllŠri
Kokkolan Opera Ensemble

 

photo © PŠivi Karjalainen Rehearsal photo, harjoituskuva Kokkolan oopperakesŠ 2016, Ykspihlajan toimitalo  Heinz-Juhani Hofmann: ÓAhti Karjalainen-elŠmŠ, Kekkonen ja teotÓ, libretto Juha Hurme, Kapellimestari: Erkki Lasonpalo Ahti Karjalainen: Herman Wallen Urho Kekkonen: Anu Komsi Kraut: Piia Komsi Viina: Annika MyllŠri Kokkolan Opera Ensemble

photo © PŠivi Karjalainen
Rehearsal photo, harjoituskuva
Kokkolan oopperakesŠ 2016, Ykspihlajan toimitalo
Heinz-Juhani Hofmann: ÓAhti Karjalainen-elŠmŠ, Kekkonen ja teotÓ, libretto Juha Hurme, Kapellimestari: Erkki Lasonpalo
Ahti Karjalainen: Herman Wallen
Urho Kekkonen: Anu Komsi
Kraut: Piia Komsi
Viina: Annika MyllŠri
Kokkolan Opera Ensemble