How it all came together

This online version is the second incarnation of Omnivore. Originally, the idea came to the writer/director Jaakko Nousiainen and composer Miika Hyytiäinen in the spring of 2007 - What would an opera be like in mobile media?

At that time mobile phones were still clumsy devices with inadequate internet connections and severe limitations in delivering high quality audiovisual content, so the thought of making an opera for the mobile platform seemed almost ridiculous at first. However, after the launch of the first generation smartphones into the consumer market later that year, it was obvious that the mobile media would fast develop into a powerful content channel, and it would only be a matter of time for opera to become mobile too.

The production of Omnivore was a joint effort that gathered together a large team of musicians, technicians, opera professionals, mobile media experts, video makers, user experience and user interface designers and food specialists. The opera would not have been possible to make without their open and curious attitude towards the idea.

Omnivore made history by being the first opera that was written and conveived to be distributed as a mobile application. The journey of creating Omnivore took five years. When the work was finally released for iOS and Android operating system phones in autumn 2012, mobile media had already developed to be all about location specific, reality augmenting and social connectivity enhancing services, again calling for new kinds of opera experiemnts.

Here are some moments from along the way.

Music rehearsals

The score of Omnivore was completed in autumn 2009. The musicians rehearsed a few days together before heading into the studio.

Essi Luttinen and Lauri Sallinen make new friends with stopwatches that were needed for certain parts of the intricate score.

Eva Alkula and her Japanese koto, which has a prominent role in some of the arrangements.

Recording sessions

The music of Omnivore was recorded at the Sibelius Academy studios in Helsinki in the end of 2009.

Lauri Sallinen's tour de force: playing not just one but three bird whistles simultaneously!

Eva Alkula and the wonders of playing the kantele. In the background Lauri Sallinen is now playing the clarinet instead of bird whistles.

Essi Luttinen rehearsing before a take.

Miika Hyytiäinen had to get behind the microphone too. After all, he was the one who had composed this!

Video shoot

After a production pause of almost two years, the filming of the opera finally took place in the premises of the Finnish National Opera in autumn 2011.

Essi Luttinen kicking it while Eetu Lipponen films on the floor.

Essi Luttinen in one of her 23 role costumes.

Essi Luttinen filming a take for part three of Omnivore.

Eetu Lipponen concentrated on getting the focus right.

Miika Hyytiäinen helping out in creating moving shadows.

Kukka Sand making sure Essi Luttinen always looks her best.

Essi Luttinen eats a raw oyster, first time in her life. Jussi Valanki prepares the dish.

Suvi Matinaro checking the decollete laces of Essi Luttinen's rococo nightgown.

Mari Kosunen stepping in as an extra to help the kimono-clad Essi Luittinen while Jaakko Nousiainen observes.

Jussi Valanki, Essi Luttinen and Jaakko Nousiainen making final preparations before a take.

Post production

Over 30 hours of materials were condensed into the final edit in spring and summer 2012. Finally, user interface design, mobile back end design and technical implementation completed the original project.

Omnivore clips on the editing software's timeline.

Working on video graphics, designed by Roy Haapakoski.

Essi Luttinen watching her on screen performance for the first time together with Eetu Lipponen.