The Board of the foundation that maintains the theatre has appointed Erik Söderblom new Artistic Director of the theatre on 16 May 2017.
”The metro line will come to Espoo and give tens of thousands of new spectators access to Espoo City Theatre. A new theatre venue will be built in a few years’ time. Finland will become more international. Espoo City Theatre – the International Theatre of Finland – has a unique opportunity to become the stage for exclusive, future-oriented and truly interesting performances. I am glad to be able to contribute to this development.”
Erik Söderblom (born in 1958) is a theatre director living in Helsinki. He graduated from the Finnish Theatre Academy with a Master’s Degree in directing in 1987 and has also studied opera directing at Hochshule für Musik in Munich.
Between 1988 and 1990, Mr Söderblom was director at Turku City Theatre. In 1990, he moved to Helsinki to develop the newly established Q-teatteri together with some of the most prominent actors and other theatre professionals of his generation in Finland. At Söderblom’s initiative, Q-teatteri launched the international Baltic Circle theatre festival. He also worked as the first artistic director of the festival.
Among Söderblom´s recent works are Dea Loherin Oskuld at Viirus-teatteri, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, which the New Generation Opera produced for the Helsinki Festival, Sirius-teatteri’s performance based on Roland Schimmelpfeinnig’s play Den gyllene draken, and a stage version of J. S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion with 300 performers in the Elenia hall in Hämeelinna.
Mr Söderblom has also had a major role in developing theatre education in Finland. Between 1998 and 2002, Mr Söderblom designed a music theatre programme for Turku Polytechnic. Söderblom was Professor of Acting and Vice Rector at the Theatre Academy from 2001 to 2009.
Between 2009 and 2015, Mr Söderblom worked as CEO of the Helsinki Festival. Under his leadership, the Festival with its versatile programme became not only one of the most interesting arts festivals in Europe, but with its 300 000 annual visitors, also one of the biggest multi-arts venues in Europe.
Since 2016, Erik Söderblom has been member of the artistic committee of Tampere Theatre Festival.
An open recruitment process for the post was launched in April, as the previous artistic director left the theatre to pursue new assignments. The theatre received 34 applications for the post. Erik Söderblom will enter his new post on 1 August 2017.
Photo: Sasa Tkalcan