Uppo-Nalle Finds a Friend

An opera for the whole family based on the book by Elina Karjalainen, composed by Kyösti Haatanen.

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A little, angry boy throws away a teddy bear called Alfonso overboard. It drifts off to the sea nearly sinking, runs into Sober Shark and a submarine, whose captain declares it as a shipwreck. But nobody wants to be lonely and a shipwreck! The waves throw Uppo-Nalle* to the shore where it meets Reeta, Singing Bird Dog and Mother, who, after defeating her fear of bacteria, decides to make these new friends some pancakes.

Later on, all of them will sail to see the vet, as the Singing Bird Dog needs to get vaccinated and also Uppo-Nalle needs an examination of how wet he is. Friendship isn’t always easy, and sometimes your tongue is dry and says bad things, even though you don’t mean them. Reeta and Uppo-Nalle will eventually make up and then they are having fun again!

This piece by Haatanen won the national Kuopio IV composition competition in 2010, when it was first performed as a concert version. The Northern Opera Company was the first to produce the piece on stage.

The piece has been supported by the Arts Council of Norther Ostrobothnia and Kainuu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, the foundation promoting Finnish music (MES) and the Olvi Foundation.

Age recommendation: 5–11-year-olds and their parents


  • Uppo-Nalle — Antti Annola
  • Reeta — Iida Lehtonen
  • Old fisherman, Old cat and the captain of the Submarine — Jussi Juola
  • Singing Bird Dog and the co-captain of the Submarine — Tuomo Rahko
  • Mother and the sailor at the Submarine — Sari Hourula
  • Sober Shark, Vet and the captain of Faith, Hope & Love Ship — Aki Saarela
  • The co-captain of Faith, Hope & Love Ship and the pianist — Petteri Turunen
  • Director — Anna-Kaisa Järvi
  • Set — Anna-Kaisa Järvi, Jenni Kinnunen and the crew
  • Costumes – Clothing artisan students of Educational consortium OSAO, led byJohanna Pelkosen and Ritva Marttila-Vesalainen
  • Lights — Jari Haavikko, Jenni Kinnunen and the crew
  • Choreographer — Jarkko Lehmus
  • Composer — Kyösti Haatanen

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