Performances Begin June 1
By Kaija Saariaho, Sofi Oksanen and Aleksi Barrière
Original Finnish Libretto
June 1-21, 2024
English, Finnish, Czech, Romanian, French, Swedish, German, Spanish and Greek
Starting at $26
1 hour, 45 minutes (no intermission)
Healing at the Edge of Tragedy.
A joyous wedding celebration takes a shocking turn when the darkest of secrets is revealed and a young bride faces an impossible decision.
Stela, Lilian Farahani, believes she’s found love with her new husband, played by Miles Mykkanen. But amid the joy of their wedding reception, a waitress recognizes the groom as the brother of a gunman in a school shooting ten years ago. And the bride doesn’t know.
Among the community of surviving students, teachers and families is the waitress, Ruxandra Donose, haunted by the memory of her slain daughter, ethereally rendered by Finnish multi-genre artist Vilma Jää.
Acclaimed by the New York Times as a “masterpiece,” Innocence takes us into the complex emotional journey of a group of people recovering from inconceivable trauma. In a gripping drama, the work of Kaija Saariaho, Sofi Oksanen and Aleksi Barrière unfolds a harrowing story of emotional shock and surprise in which our understanding of innocence and guilt is continually upended.
Saariaho’s score, rich in translucent textures, is an extraordinary arc from the raw and visceral, to the otherworldly in which time moves in altered states. Simon Stone’s cinematic production propels us through our response to tragedy, leaving us with hope for the resilience of the human spirit.
Premiered in Aix-en-Provence in 2021 and making its highly-anticipated American premiere in San Francisco, Innocence makes clear the power of the opera stage to explore critical stories in uniquely impactful ways. Saariaho specialist Clément Mao-Takacs leads an international cast of singers and actors in this towering work sung and spoken in nine languages, co-commissioned by San Francisco Opera.
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.
OperaVision, HD video projection screens featured in the Balcony level for the first three performances.
In connection with the production of Innocence, San Francisco Opera is working with local and national partner organizations to create opportunities for discourse about the effects of gun violence on individuals and communities. More information will be announced closer to the performance period.