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Together with the composer Friedrich Pacius he wrote the libretto (in the style of Romantic nationalism) to the first Finnish opera: Kung Karls jakt. Topelius initially thought of writing a trivial entertainment, but having heard extracts from the opera project at a concert in 1851, he realized that Pacius was writing a grand opera on the theme of salvation, following the early Romantic style of Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz (1821) and Oberon (1826). Topelius wrote the libretto in Swedish, but its subject is emphatically Finnish. The libretto was translated to Finnish, and is mostly performed as Kaarle-kuninkaan metsästys, however neither the libretto nor the music manages to cover the weakness of the other.