Opera Prize
Shortlist 2020


12 / 14


United Kingdom
Royal Opera House



The Royal Opera, Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Dutch National Opera, Finnish National Opera and San Francisco Opera are commissioning a major new work from renowned Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.

Innocence tells the story of the impact of a high school shooting, exploring the effects on the characters who have witnessed and been complicit in the horrific act. An outstanding cast of seven singers and seven actors will bring the opera to life.

Innocence will be Saairaho’s first opera since 2016 and brings together a truly exceptional creative team of Sofi Oksanen (librettist), Simon Stone (director and dramaturg), Chloe Lamford (set design), Mel Page (costume design) and James Farncombe (lighting design) and Susanna Mälkki.
The opera will be sung in nine languages and premiere at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

Artistic Team

Kaija Saariaho

Kaija Saariaho


Sofi Oksanen

Sofi Oksanen


Chloe Lamford

Chloe Lamford

Set Designer


James Farncombe

Lighting Designer

Simon Stone

Stage Director

Mel Page

Costume Designer

Co-producing Partners

San Francisco Opera

United States

Outdated browser

For a better experience,
keep your browser up to date.

Learn more