Croak – or the Unexpected Joys and Perils of Singing


Abstract / About the project


The opera Croak – Or The Unexpected Joys And Perils of Singing premiered at Promenadi Hall in Pori on Friday 9th of March 2018. The score of the opera was written by composers Maria Kallionpää and Markku Klami, and the Pori Sinfonietta orchestra was led by conductor Nils Schweckendiek. All in all, five soloists, seven puppeteers and thirty puppets along with the Pori Opera Choir took the stage during the shows.

Croak, the puppet opera in two acts, is a tragic musical fantasy about love, the gift of song, and about the responsibility brought on by talent. Mikhail Brashinsky’s libretto draws its inspiration from the wisdom of classic fairytales. Croak is directed by Anna Ivanova-Brashinskaya, who has worked extensively both as a director and a teacher to promote the art of puppeteering in Finland. The puppets, costumes and the set are designed by Viktor Antonov.

The composers Maria Kallionpää and Markku Klami, director Anna Ivanova-Brashinskaya and conductor Nils Schweckendiek were all intrigued by the many layers concealed within the realm of the puppet opera. When working on the score, the composers considered the unique voice qualities of all the soloist, and the musical landscape and the set visuals were created in close interaction with all the artists. In the rehearsals, there was a palpable spirit of enthusiasm and curiosity, which came in handy resolving the surprises of the cross-disciplinary collaboration. Croak is set to renew both the opera tradition and the art of puppeteering. The music, the visuals and the choreography have all been made for a contemporary audience. The dialogue between the art forms brings fresh and expressive perspective to the ancient theme of longing for love.

Croak is commissioned by Pori Opera and Mixed-Art-Association Poike