Commissioned jointly by the Savonlinna Festival, Finland, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the BBC
- 3(2pic)33(2bcl)3(cbn)/4331/timp.5perc/hp.cel.pf/str; 3tpt/perc (offstage)
- Baritone, Bass, 3 Sopranos, Mezzo Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, High Baritone, Spoken Role, Mute Role
- 2 hr 10 min
- Paavo Haavikko, based on his radio play. (Eng. trans. Erkki Arni and Stephen Oliver)
- English, Finnish, German
An impending ice age threatens England. The Prince and Prime Minister decide to abandon England and head for France accompanied by four ladies – two Carolines and two Annes – vying for the attention of the future king. In France they are all rejected in favour of a German princess. Nearing Crecy, the site of a famous battle, they realise they are surrounded by various aimless armies. A confused battle begins, but the English forces gain the upper hand. The King forces all to march north to lay siege to Calais. An emissary from Calais requests mercy from the King. The King reveals his three reasons for the war: to conquer Paris, capture and condemn the King of France and march south to meet the new wine. All rejoice on the march to Paris.
Sallinen, A.: Kuningas Lahtee Ranskaan (The King Goes Forth To France) [Opera]