Veitsi (‘The Knife’)
- Erkki Arni
Opera in two acts by Paavo Heininen to a libretto by Veijo Maeri after his dramatic poem Runoilijan kuolema (‘The Death of a Poet’); Savonlinna, Olavinlinna Castle, 3 July 1989.
Veitsi was commissioned as a part of the celebrations of the 350th anniversary of the city of Savonlinna. The central character, a young Poet (tenor), earns his living as a pianist in a sleazy Turkish café frequented by a gang of dubious characters. He is in love with Hildur (mezzo-soprano), a middle-aged saleswoman and former beauty queen who encourages his poetry, although he is spurned by the literary establishment. Thinking his love for Hildur hopeless, the Poet commits suicide by cutting his throat....