Enter the conductor of L’Amour de loin, Susanna Mälkki. A fellow Finn and champion of the composer, Mälkki knows exactly why Saariaho’s music appeals to her. “She is one of those composers who has her own language. You recognise it immediately — the luxuriant sounds in the orchestra, and when she is describing the ocean, the ebb and flow to the music. It glimmers, it glows, it is so beautiful. This is not an opera where all you need to do is execute the sounds as well as possible. The music has such sincerity. It is generous in spirit, like its composer.”

Financial Times

Richard Fairman

At the Met, Robert Lepage’s production, already seen at the Festival d’Opéra de Québec, will reflect the music’s iridescent beauty. “The set designer told me he found so much mysticism in the music, he simply had to go with that,” Mälkki says. “The stage is filled with an ocean of small lights, like the surface of the water, constantly shifting in their colour and volume. It’s an amazingly delicate effect. You really have to see it in the theatre.”

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