Opera lovers who didn’t have the opportunity to see one of
the eight productions of Kaija Saariaho’s L’AMOUR DE LOIN
can rejoice. The Finnish National Opera’s 2004 production
is now available on DVD from Deutsche Grammophon. Conducted
by Esa-Pekka Salonen, it stars soloists soprano Dawn Upshaw
(for whom the heroine role of Clémence was written), mezzo-
soprano Monica Groop, and baritone Gerald Finley. Peter
Sellars directs. The DVD includes interviews with Sellars,
Saariaho, and Salonen.
Named "Best New Work of the Year" by THE NEW YORK TIMES,
L’AMOUR DE LOIN premiered at the 2000 Salzburg Festival.
The opera was inspired by 12th-century troubadour Jaufré
Rudel’s famed story of tragic longing, "La Vida breve."