This double CD contains the three-act opera Thomas by Finnish cult composer Einojuhani Rautavaara who also wrote the libretto. It tells the story of Thomas, Bishop of Finland 1230-1245 (died 1248), under whom Finland attained an independent church organization - a first attempt in Finnish history towards the nation's independance.
Rautavaara wrote the opera from 1982-1985 for the Joensuu Song Festival, dedicating it to its then Artistic Director Jorma Hynninen who performed the title role. One year after its world première, the opera was recorded live at the Joensuu Song Festival in June 1986.
The cast includes
Jorma Hynninen: Thomas, Bishop of Finland
Peter Lindroos: Johann von Gobyn, Knight of the Sword
Matti Piipponen: Mäster Styver, a merchant from Gotland
Sini Rautavaara: Maiden
Marko Putkonen: Doberanus, a Dominican
Antti Suhonen: Manhard, a Dominican
Anssi Hirvonen: Magus I
Hannu Sokka: Magus II
Jaakko Hietikko: Magus III
Anitta Juhala-Jolkkonen: Mother's voice.
This recording is the fourth in Ondine's history and was released in 1986 on LP and three years later on CD. The Finnish Broadcasting Company voted it 'Record of the Year 1986', which prompted Koch International to become Ondine's distributor for North America. Recording the music of Einojuhani Rautavaara has ever been one of Ondine's greatest successes.