16. 10. 2020, 5 pm

Orlí Street Theatre

Daniel Šimek / Otto Kauppinen

Finnish mythology tells of a mythical artefact called Sampo which ensures the well-being and continuity of the world. Contemporary science can trace the genetic footprint of humans thousands of years into the past via research into the human genome. In the near future, two neuropharmaceutical corporations are competing with each other: one of them manages to combine two achievements: to create a substance that can transfer a person into an ancient myth, and to let them experience the story of their mythical ancestors. However, this may not be as “perfect” in all its truthfulness as the stories we use to shape our identity on social networks today. Is a contemporary person prepared to know the truth about themselves?

The Kalevala is a collection of Finnish – Karelian mythology whose purely oral form was collected during visits to villages by the Finnish physician and linguist Elias Lönnrot (1802–1884). These were individual stories that Lönnrot combined into an epic narrative. The opera S.A.M.P.O. takes The Kalevala as a source of inspiration and updates its motifs and characters to create a story set in the near future. The opera was made to order by the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts for the Janáček Brno festival. It is the first collaboration of both faculties of the Janáček Academy on a project of such a type, and at the same time, it is the opera’s world premiere.

Otto Kauppinen graduated from the Faculty of Theatre, Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts, specializing in theatre dramaturgy. In 2015 -2016 he worked as a dramaturge for Brno’s Divadlo Feste Theatre. In 2017-2018 he worked closely with the Continuo Theatre in Malovice as a dramaturge and director. Otto is half Finnish and is bilingual. He has been translating contemporary Finnish drama into Czech since 2012, and has translated 13 theatre plays so far. He has won, among other things, the first prize at the 2014 Evald Schorm Awards for his translations. He is currently a doctoral student at the Faculty of Theatre, Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts. He presents the topic of his dissertation thesis, the search for a non-hierarchical relationship between the production form and the spectator, at international conferences as well as in professional journals.

Daniel Šimek studied the piano at the Brno Conservatory. In June 2019 he completed his follow-up Master´s degree in composition at the Faculty of Music, Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts. He has been studying orchestra conducting since 2018, and since 2016 he has worked as a piano teacher and accompanist at a music school in Velké Opatovice. He has been a keyboard player in the band Universe B since 2017. In 2018 he became the leader of the Mirror Ensemble, which focuses on contemporary music. He composed the pieces Shapes of Time (2018), Waves (2015), Questioning, and Head Echoes (2016–2019). He has composed music for stage projects as part of Devítka Studio and the Chamber Opera of the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts: Master (2016), the background music for a production of the Magic Flute (2017), and Unknown (2018, performed at the Janáček Brno 2018 festival).