Salmon, saunas and sopranos: Finland’s opera festival with a difference

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Each July Savonlinna’s 15th-century fortress rings with song as music fans descend on this beautiful, lake-filled corner of south-east Finland

Approaching the castle, we felt as if we were joining a medieval procession. Ushers were guiding opera-goers down the cobbled streets and over the bridge which earlier that afternoon had swung open to allow us to sail into Savonlinna.

This is one of the world’s most unusual music festivals. It takes place every July in the 15th-century Olavinlinna fortress on an island in Finland’s south-eastern lake district.

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