Aili Ikonen plays Gill Bates and Tuomas Lehtinen plays Benzedrine Penthouse
in Lovers of Mankind, scene 5, where the two make their first encounter.

Ihmiskunnan Rakastajat – Lovers of Mankind (2009),  a new Finnish opera composed by Timothy Page and Sami Klemola to the libretto by Ossi Koskelainen, takes Euripedes’ Bacchae to the technocratic dystopia of near future Finland, where IT mogul Gill Bates meets her anarchistic Dionysian nemesis, Benzedrine Penthouse. The work is scored for a combination of classical and jazz musicians, and its stylistic frame of reference is refreshingly unrestrained. Lovers of Mankind was a commission from the Helsinki University of Technology for its 100th Anniversary.

Watch the entire opera here » (in Finnish with English subtitles)

soprano, female jazz alto, high baritone, bass
16 piece male choir
fl, cl, fg, tbn, perc, pn, vl, va, vc, jazz gtr, jazz drms, jazz cb


Gill Bates: IT moguless, founder of Apollosoft
Benzedrine Penthouse: primitivist anarchist
Ilkka Haukka: Finland’s state philosopher
Agatha Sjöroos: former top engineer for Diotosh, currently Apollosoft’s chief marketing strategist and wife of Ilkka
Choir of Male Engineers


The IT corporation Apollosoft is introducing to the market a revolutionary new laptop, the Thyrsos 2. The night before its unveiling, the corporation’s creator and leader Gill Bates awakens from a nightmare in her workroom in Espoo’s Neo-Silicon Valley. Bates gives a morning opening to her engineers gathered in Apollosoft’s Gaia Hall, and reveals that the development of cyborg technology – a threat to the corporation’s espoused humane values – is closer than previously imagined. Apollosoft consultant and Finland’s state philosopher Ilkka Haukka seeks out his anti-technologist son Benzedrine Penthouse in order to warn him of his positions’ futileness. Benzedrine later encounters and apprehends Gill Bates, taking her to his bunker. As a means of escape, Bates entices him to accompany her to Neo-Silicon Valley and share his philosophy with her engineers. Intoxicated by victory and hallucinogens, Benzedrine arrives at Gaia Hall, where he undergoes his final confrontation with technology.

complete libretto available here in English » or Finnish »

Production Team:

Composition: Timothy Page, Sami Klemola,
Libretto: Ossi Koskelainen

Direction: Marielle Eklund-Vasama
Staging: Kalle Ahonen, Samuli Laine
Costume design: Maria Rosenqvist

Conductor: Sasha Mäkilä

Soloists: Tuomas Lehtinen (Benzedrine), Aili Ikonen (Gill Bates), Pia Pajala (Agatha Sjöroos), Antti Pakkanen (Ilkka Haukka)

Orchestra: Ville Herrala (jazz bass), Timo Kämäräinen (jazz gutar), Ville Pynssi (jazz drums), Johanna Salminen (flute), Virve Ruokokoski (clarinet), Sanna Sorvo (trombone, baritone horn), Marika Toivonen (bassoon), Jaakko Lindfors (percussion), Tiphanie Tremureau (violin), Emiliano Travasino (viola), Pauliina Pölönen (cello), Väinö Jalkanen (piano)

Choir: Tomas Takolander, Jussi Hirvonen, Teemu Tommola, Martti Anttila, Jani Kyllönen, Dani Medina, Niilo Tarnanen, Jouni Rissanen, Petri-Tapio Heikkonen, Tapani Plathan, Joonas Turunen, Joni Nevalainen, Edward Ananian-Cooper

Correpetitionist: Emil Holmström, Ville Matvejeff
Choir direction: Ville Matvejeff
Copyist: Kimmo Kuokkala
Costume realization: Anne Aario, Heli Hynynen, Elina Satko
Lighting: Ina Niemelä
Programming and virtual technology: Okko Welin

Graphic design: Cartes
Photography: Johanna Ahlstrand

Producer: Markku Nousiainen
Executive Producer: Tapio Takala

Production in collaboration with
Helsinki University of Technology, Dept. of Media Technology
Sibelius Academy, Vocal Dept.
Helsinki School of Design, Film and Staging Dept.
Media Center LUME
Espoo Art and Computing Center CARTES
Helsinki Theater Academy, Dept. of Lighting and Sound Design
Helsinki Musica Nova Festival 2009
Stopteltat Oy
Red Green Blue RGB Oy