MARQUETTE –  The Marquette Arts and Culture Center will present a Finnish children’s opera, Heinähattu ja Vilttitossu ja Suuri Pamaus (Heinähattu and Vilttitossu and the Big Burb), at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 11-12, in the Community Room of the Peter White Library as part of the Finn Grand Fest 2005 activities taking place here Aug. 10-14.

The performance is free, but donations will be accepted to help defray the cost of the production.  

The opera lasts about 35 minutes and is one based on two characters from a series of Finnish children’s books written by Tiina and Sinikka Nopola.  The story centers on the reaction of two sisters, Heinähattu (Strawhat) and Vilttitossu (Feltslipper), to the impending arrival of a new little brother into the family.

In an ironic role reversal, the sisters will be portrayed by adult women and their parents by Marquette area children in the Finn Fest production.  Minnesota performers Eeva Savolainen, a Finnish native, and Julie Geist, a Finnish-American, take on the primary roles.  Savolainen is also serving as musical director for the production. 

Local children have the remaining roles.  They also have worked on set and costume design.   Jeff Bruning of Marquette will provide the musical accompaniment.  

This production is made possible by several grants from several sources, including the Carroll Paul Memorial Trust Fund administered by the Peter White Public Library, the Reijo Aho Fund administered by the Marquette Community Foundation, and the Finlandia Foundation.  The Finlandia Foundation grant will make it possible to take the production to the Minneapolis, Minn. area this fall.

Prepared By
John Kiltinen