Antti Puuhaara

Music Tapio Tuomela

Text and adaptation of the libretto Tapio Tuomela and Erik Söderblom

Staging Aurélie Hubeau and Damien Caille Perret

Illustrations Hannu Väisänen


At the end of long summer days, the Finnish forest loses the hot and glowing colors of the noonday sun and allows itself to be engulfed by a dark obscurity. There is no doubt that incredible beings live in it, haunt it. The forest, hitherto peaceful, becomes mysterious, fascinating and troubling. Antti Puuhaara is at the edge of this forest. To achieve his destiny, he will have to cross it. There  and back !

Tapio Tuomela’s fascinating music seems to come straight out of these immemorial forests, like a language dug out of the very ground. It is the forest itself, to the smallest bud, which tells us this story. In order to bring to life this magic and troubling universe which brings together giants, soothsayers, bird girl and witch, what could be better than the mystery of the puppets and shadows ? Thanks to a simple and playful device, storyteller, singers and puppets will tell together this story like magicians able to open doors onto worlds hitherto unknown, like the clearings where trials await Antti. Thanks to the video we are able to make the scenary move, as if it were living, as if the forest itself walked behind Antti Puuhaara. The public themselves will be taken into the labyrinth of this forest. There… and back.

Damien Caille-Perret


Antti Puuhaara is a mixture of choral cycle and melodrama inspired by a Finnish legend. The spoken dialogues are in French (and could be in any other language) ; the chorus and the soloists sing in Finnish. The story is about the adventures of a young man who remains alive in spite of danger and manages to return from Pohjola (North), the point of no return, beyond the mythical river of Tuonela.

From a philosophical point of view, the story is centered around the business man (Merchant), who adopted Antti at birth but who did not want him to become his heir.

The moral of the story is found in the Finnish saying : “you will find in front of you what you left behind”.

The narrator plays a central role and there are also the instrumental transitions performed by an ensemble made up of six instruments.

Tapio Tuomela

Where Antti Puuhaara can be seen and heard

Book with cd available

Co-production : Scène Watteau, Conseil Général du Val de Marne, Actes Sud Editions, Finnish Institut, Musicatreize,  with the support of the Orange Foundation, SPEDIDAM, Foundation for Lyric Creation (FCL), Foundation for music creation (FCM), LUSES Foundation and the "Conseil Général des Bouches-du-Rhône- Centre Départemental de Créations en Résidence".

Audio Clips

  • Antti Puuhaara


Antti Puuhaara dans la presse

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