Savonlinna Opera Festival – how to convey the magic to a new target audience?
Communications and media relations,
A warm summer evening by Lake Saimaa in Finland. Drama and emotional turmoil. A choir of eighty singers, an orchestra of dozens of musicians, and the world’s best soloists on stage performing opera classics and newer works. The arena is the historic Olavinlinna castle. It was our task to take the magic they create together and convey it to new target groups.
The Savonlinna Opera Festival has been held by the beautiful Lake Saimaa since 1912. Despite the festival being a well-known event both in Finland and worldwide with an established audience, it was not reaching enough new audiences. The festival also wanted to raise its targets, not only in terms of new audiences and its international repertoire, but also artistically, when the ambitious Ville Matvejeff took over as festival director.
We approached the new target audience through influencers and the media. In the summer of 2021 and 2022, we hand-picked influencers who might be interested in opera and invited them to attend premieres in Savonlinna. In 2022, we even sailed to the castle on a handsome white steamboat directly to the backstage area.
At the start of 2023, we offered a foretaste of the upcoming summer opera season at the Alexander Theatre in Helsinki. The performance featured soloists from the summer repertoire, and the venue was packed with both old and new friends of the opera.