July 24, 2019


On the 24th of July, Cajanus – a giant opera will have its Finnish première in Paltaniemi (Kajaani) the place of birth of the giant. At the Eino Leino House the full Dutch cast will perform Egon Kracht and Hetty Heytings beautiful opera in the open air, alternately in Dutch and in Finnish language. Up to 80 Dutch and Finnish singers, actors, dancers from Kajaani Dance will participate in this spectaculary show!

Who is Daniël Cajanus?

The Finnish giant Daniël “Mynheer” Cajanus. born in Paltaniemi (Finland) in 1704, traveled through Europe to exhibit himself in Royal houses and on Faincy Fairs. He held various positions as bodyguard and worked as a soldier for King August (August the Strong) in Poland. Via England and France he finally reached Blaauw Jan in Amsterdam, where he was exhibited in the Menagerie, amidst all sorts of exotic animal species. When his health deteriorated, he bought himself in at the Proveniershuis in Haarlem, to be cared for until his death. He was buried in the Grote or St. Bavokerk in Haarlem, in an anonymous grave, for fear that scientists would take off his bones. His funeral was a real attraction; the whole of Haarlem seems to have been on its feet to see the gigantic carriage. The Anatomical Museum of the University of Leiden or Museum Boerhave seem to be in the possession of bones of Cajanus, so the grave has not really remained ….

Comité van Aanbeveling

Arthur Japin (schrijver) – Comité Zangstudio Haarlem

Bernt Schneiders (Oud-burgemeester van Haarlem, directeur VSB Fonds) Comité  Cajanus – een gigantische opera

Bert Sliggers (schrijver en oud-conservator van het Teylers Museum) – Comité Cajanus – een gigantische opera

Esther Brasser (Directeur Haarlem Marketing) – Comité Zangstudio Haarlem