Den svarte munken
The black monk
”The Black Monk is based on an Anton Chekhov’s short story. In some texts he has told that this is a very selfbiographical work. Both Kovrin, the main character, and Chekhov suffered from the same desease, tuberculosis."
”In the short story and in the opera the Black Monk is a fantasy character. He appears to Kovrin who has travelled to the countryside in order to rest and do some distant work as a guest at old family friend’s home. There he meets his childhood friend Tanja and her father, a heavy drinker. Kovrin gets to hear stories about the monks. The Black Monk begins to live in his imagination and gets little by little the total power of Kovrin’s thoughts. That’s how Kovrin thinks that he has found out the secret of the Eternal Truth. Kovrin’s disease becomes crazier and creazier. In the end of the opera the Black Monk says goodbye to Kovrin: Now it is Your time to die.”
Composer Pehr Henrik Nordgren (1944 – 2008) was one of the most important symphonic composers of his generation in Finland, having written 8 symphonies and 28 concertos. The first of his two operas, Den svarte munken (The Black Monk) was premiered in 1984. The libretto was written by the composer. Even Dmitry Shostakovich was thinking of composing the same story for several decades, but he never set to work.
Kristian Lindroos (Andrej Kovrin)
Johanna Isokoski (Tatjana Pesotski)
Pekka Kuivalainen (Jegor, Tatjana´s father)
Niklas Spångberg (The Monk)
Eeva Semerdijev, Fanny Henn (Two girls)
Margit Westerlund (Nurse)
Conductor: Teemu Hämäläinen
Director: Ville Saukkonen
Sets and costumes: Reeta Tuoresmäki