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SFO Innocence


By Kaija Saariaho, Sofi Oksanen and Aleksi Barrière



June 1-21, 2024


Kaija Saariaho

Original Finnish Libretto

Sofi Oksanen

Text dramaturgy and multi-language translations

Aleksi Barrière


English, Finnish, Czech, Romanian, French, Swedish, German, Spanish and Greek


Starting at $26

Run Time

1 hour, 45 minutes (no intermission)

Resilience at the Edge of Tragedy.

A joyous wedding celebration takes a shocking turn when the darkest of family secrets is revealed and a young bride has an impossible decision to make.

Acclaimed by The New York Times as a “masterpiece,” Innocence takes us to the limits of a family’s ability to deal with tragedy. In a gripping one-act drama, Kaija Saariaho and Sofi Oksanen unfold a harrowing story of emotional shock and surprise in which our understanding of innocence and guilt is continually upended.

Premiered in Aix-en-Provence in 2021 and making its American premiere in San Francisco, Innocence makes clear the power of the opera stage to tell emotive stories impossible in any other art form. Saariaho specialist Clément Mao-Takacs leads an international cast of singers and actors in this towering work performed in multiple languages.

See a Performance

Join us 55 minutes before every performance for an engaging 20-minute overview of the opera.  Click on the below Learn More button for more information.

Pre-opera talks


OperaVision, HD video projection screens featured in the Balcony level for the first three performances.

Creative Team

Kaija Saariaho


Kaija Saariaho

Sofi Oksanen


Sofi Oksanen

Dramaturg and Translator

Aleksi Barrière


Simon Stone *

Set Designer

Chloe Lamford *

Costume Designer

Mel Page *

Lighting Designer

James Farncombe *

Sound Designer & Mixing Engineer

Timo Kurkikangas *


Arco Renz *

* San Francisco Opera Debut

June 1, 7, 12, 16, 18, 21, 2024

Co-Commission and Co-Production of Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, San Francisco Opera, Dutch National Opera Amsterdam, Royal Opera House-Covent Garden London, Finnish National Opera and Ballet Helsinki


Made Possible By

This production is made possible, in part, by the Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for New Productions; Keith and Priscilla Geeslin; Louise Gund; Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Logo for the National Endowment for the Arts