Everything is permissible as long as it’s done in good taste.
I was not especially enthusiastic about opera when I was young, and I thought I would never write one. I felt it was an art form of the past, with expensive singers exposing their high notes, and bad theater, and ridiculous stories which don’t concern us. But then little by little I realized that it can be defined very differently, that on the contrary opera can be something profound and not superficial – a wonderful meeting point for all the other arts.
Well, I’m not involved in polemics. I never wanted to have any position of power, and I don’t have it.
When you travel from your own country to another country for a long period, you do become aware of the differences. For example, verbal expression is much more important in France – in Finland people don’t speak so much. Also, Finnish people say things directly; that kind of direct honesty would be very impolite in France.