Vilppu Kiljunen

Stage Director


  • 1999 Gounod's Faust at Savonlinna Operafestival
  • 2003 World Premiere of Rautavaara’s Rasputin composed for Matti Salminen at Finnish National Opera
  • 2009 Verdi’s Macbeth at the Royal Swedish Opera
  • 2012 Buffo opera La Fenice by Kimmo Hakola at Savonlinna Opera Festival
  • 2015 Cadillac by Hindemith at the Estonian National Opera
  • 2016 Double bill Szerelem (Love) by Judith Varga / Kaivos (The mine) by Rautavaara at the Hungarian National Opera
  • 2017 Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner at Latvian National Opera


Vilppu Kiljunen (born 1960) is a freelance opera stage director whose works can be seen in Finland and abroad. Kiljunen has contributed to the Savonlinna Opera Festival through its artistic committee and is currently a member of its council.

Kiljunen started out by studying musicology and drama as well as theoretical philosophy at the Helsinki University. He also studied violin at the Helsinki Conservatory of Music, dance among others at the Finnish National Opera Ballet School, and pantomime at the international school of Marcel Marceau in Paris. In 1990, he graduated as a Master of Arts in Stage Directing from the Theater Academy of Finland.

Kiljunen was the artistic director of the Theater Pieni Suomi ( Small Finland) and taught at the Arts Academy of Turku, at the Aalto University School of Design, at the Theater Academy Helsinki, and at the Sibelius Academy. He has performed in theater productions, movies, and the performance art.

Kiljunen debuted as an opera director with Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito in 1993. In addition to his work on the main stages in Finland, he has staged operas abroad in Sweden, Estonia, France, Italy, Hungary as well as in Russia at the Marinsky Theater in St Petersburg and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. In addition of his cooperation with Finnish opera houses, Kiljunens recent engagements include work with Hungarian National Opera in Budapest and Latvian National Opera in Riga and in Summer 2018 he will bring his Faust to Savonlinna Opera Festival.

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