Sirppa Sivori-Asp 1928-2006
Actress, director of puppet theatre, drama, opera and television,
ex-President of UNIMA International died 20.3.2006 in Helsinki, Finland.
"I am a happy fool, a jester, an actress and a puppeteer. I have a visible soul, my puppet."
described Ms. Sirppa Sivori-Asp her long life in the field of theatre.
The career of Sirppa Sivori-Asp in theatre arts started already
in the lively 1930ies, when she appeared for the very first time on the stage,
at the age of four in The Municipal Theatre of Vyborg, the city where she was born.
The famous Playhouse School of Theatre in Pittsburgh, USA welcomed Sirppa
Sivori-Asp, a very young student in 1940ies. After the theatre school Sirppa started
her professional career as an actress at The Municipal Theatre of Turku, Finland, in 1946-58.
The love and affection towards puppet theatre was kindled in Salzburg, Austria in the 1950ies, when Sirppa saw a performance of The Salzburger Marionettentheater.
She then tried to establish a professional puppet theatre in Finland,
but had to wait until 1971, until she met two other enthusiasts.
Sirppa and her friends established The Green Apple Puppet Theatre in Helsinki.
She was the artistic director of the theatre in 1975-1995.
In September 1996 The Green Apple celebrated its 25th anniversary and
at the same occasion Sirppa Sivori-Asp celebrated her 50th Jubilee as an actress.
She was rewarded with the Golden Medal of Finnish Theatre for her unique career
in the fields of drama, opera and puppetry in Finland.
The State of Finland rewarded her with a Cross of the Order of White Rose.
In addition to her career in puppetry Sirppa worked for more than 30 years
(1958-1991) as TV-director of The Finnish Broadcasting Company and was the President of
The International Association of Women in Television and Radio in the 1980ies.
Sirppa also directed several operas and dramas, she was a teacher at the Theatre Academy
and other institutions, played many roles in television, opera and drama theatres.
Since 1970ies she dramatised, wrote and directed numerous plays both in Finland and abroad.
She also worked with several Finnish and international associations of arts.
In addition to this she was also one of the founders of The Finland – Sri Lanka Association
and promoted building of new houses for the poor families in the slums.
Sirppa Sivori-Asp became the member of UNIMA International in 1972
and the President of UNIMA-Finland in 1985-1992.
In 1992 World Congress in Ljubljana she was elected as the President of International UNIMA.
This demanding task took Sirppa in 1992-2000 all over the world:
European, American, Asian and African puppeteers met our energetic Sirppa
at congresses, festivals, seminars and meetings.
Hundreds of puppeteers in Finland and abroad remember Sirppa Sivori-Asp
as a warm hearted and diplomatic person, who dedicated her whole life to the art of theatre.