Madeleine Onne appointed Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet

Madeleine Onne has been appointed as the new Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet. The Board of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet made their final decision in a meeting held today, Tuesday October the 10th. The Board invited the personnel groups of the Opera and Ballet to share their views on the appointment, and their statements were unanimously positive. Onne will start her new position in August 2018.

Madeleine Onne, originally from Sweden, is currently the Director of the Houston Ballet Academy in the United States. Onne has extensive knowledge and skills in both classical ballet and modern choreographies. She worked as a ballet dancer at the Royal Swedish Ballet in Stockholm from 1978 to 2002. After her career as a dancer, Onne has been the Artistic Director of both the Royal Swedish Ballet and Hong Kong Ballet, for a total of 15 years.

The Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet is responsible for the artistic planning of the repertoire, as well as leading and developing the operations of the FNB. The Artistic Director reports to the General Director. Onne’s earlier leadership roles have provided her with extensive experience in creating and implementing strategy as well as in managing people.

- Our aim was to find an individual with both an international career as a ballet dancer and experience in managing a ballet organisation. Other key requirements included a broad professional network and the ability to co-operate effectively with both internal and external contacts. Madeleine Onne combines all this, and she also has a truly charming personality, says Päivi Kärkkäinen, the General Director of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet.

Madeleine Onne’s contract will be for a fixed term of four years, from August the 1st, 2018 to July the 31st, 2022, with an optional extension of three years. The tenure of Kenneth Greve, the current Artistic Director, ends on July the 31st, 2018.

- Kenneth Greve has had a significant impact on the evolution of both the FNB and the Ballet School of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, Päivi Kärkkäinen highlights. 

Madeleine Onne has a deep insight into the operations of a Nordic art organisation. In her earlier leadership roles, she has demonstrated an excellent grasp of finance, conducting and orchestral work, as well the ability to understand the big picture.

- I grew up as a dancer at a large opera and ballet house, and I'm both delighted and proud to have the chance to return to one. I'm very much looking forward to the opportunities provided by the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. It's an honour to continue Kenneth Greve's outstanding work at the Opera House, Madeleine Onne says.

For more information, please contact:
Communications Manager Katja Jokinen, tel. +358 50 388 7151,

Finnish National Opera and Ballet / Communications
Communications Manager Katja Jokinen, tel. +358 50 388 7151

Researcher Juhani Koivisto 358 9 4030 2215
Communications Specialist Petra Rönkä 358 9 4030 2274 (opera)
Communications Specialist Jussi Iltanen 358 9 4030 2223 (ballet)
Communications Specialist Emilia Vähätalo  358 40 832 1611 (digital communication)
Communications Coordinator Tuike Lehko 358 50 439 2710

The Finnish National Ballet is Finland’s only full-sized professional ballet company. Established in 1922, the company employs 84 dancers representing 23 nationalities. The FNB also has a separate youth group, which consists of 13 newly graduated dancers. Most of the Finnish dancers of the FNB have been trained at the Ballet School of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet.