Financially Supported by HCA2005
The Royal Danish Theatre
The rock icon Elvis Costello is to create a new Andersen opera for the 2006/7 season at the Copenhagen Opera House. The opera is to challenge the traditional notion of opera and will adapt the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen to the stage within a contemporary musical dramatic framework. The opera will focus on Andersen's romantic infatuation with opera singer Jenny Lind. In celebration of the Andersen bicentenary, Elvis Costello will perform the new songs, "The Secret Arias", in person at the Copenhagen Opera House, Main Stage, on 8 and 9 October 2005. The show will also feature familiar Costello songs related to the new cycle of songs.
Elvis Costello states: "I was pleased to be asked to contribute to the Hans Christian Andersen celebrations and have decided that I should do so with a series of especially composed songs that I hope may be developed into a full-length production at a later date. The songs will tell a story that I have imagined existing between the lines of Andersen's biography and some of his most famous tales. They speak of a misfit's love for an unattainable woman and a struggle between a huckster and someone who composes music in secret."
In addition to the performance at the Copenhagen Opera House, the concert will also be staged at the Concert Hall Aarhus.
The songs are scheduled for possible release on CD and DVD.
The Hans Christian Andersen Opera Festival in Odense
An Andersen opera festival will be staged in Odense during August and September 2005 featuring three different performances.
J.P.E. Hartmann: "Little Kirsten"
Project management: Director Lars Waage, The Funen Opera; Music Director Per Holst, The Odense Symphony Orchestra; Director Kasper Wilton, Odense Theatre.
"Little Kirsten" is a romantic opera drawing on a medieval motif and with libretto by Hans Christian Andersen and score by J.P.E. Hartmann. The opera is co-produced by the Funen Opera, the Odense Symphony Orchestra and Odense Theatre. The performance will be featured in an unorthodox setting with custom made set design. The cast will consist of Danish singers of international acclaim and a Danish star conductor. The opera will be directed by Kasper Wilton and set design will be by Lars Juhl.
Performance period: 2 & 3 + 6-10 September 2005.
Igor Stravinsky: "The Nightingale"
Project Manager: Director Bertel Krarup, the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music.
Igor Stravinsky's classic one-act opera "The Nightingale" is based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale by the same name. The opera will be produced by the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in association with the Funen Opera and the Association of Baltic Academies of Music, ABAM, which is a network of 16 academies in the Baltic region. The performance features a cast of 85 young international students in close partnership with 50 local academy students. The academies will provide vocal soloists, choir, symphony orchestra and conductor while the Funen Opera will handle the technical aspects of the production and will provide director, set designer, lighting designer and technical staff.
Performance period: 26-31 August 2005 in Teaterhuset, Odense.
Bo Jæger/ Kit Eichler: "The Tinder Box"
Bo Jæger has set Kit Eichler's entertaining lyrics to music with a number of delightful tunes tied together to create an accessible and modern children's opera performance entitled "The Tinder Box", which will be performed at Teaterhuset on 28 August and 6 September 2005.
www.dfm.dk / www.denfynskeopera.dk / www.odenseteater.dk / www.teaterhuset.dk
The Theatre Museum at the Court Theatre
Andersen readings. Celebrated Danish actors, including Susse Wold, Søren Spanning, Karen Lise Mynster and Henning Moritzen, will host Andersen readings with musical intermezzo. The individual readings will only feature a couple of times. Andersen readings will additionally be offered for school classes and in English for tourists. www.teatermuseet.dk
Dimpho di Kopane (formerly the Broomhill Opera) (South Africa)
"The Snow Queen". The music theatre company Dimpho di Kopane has achieved worldwide success with their critically acclaimed renditions of "Carmen", "Mystery Games" and "The Begger's Opera", among others. Their performances, using untrained singers, are straightforward and emotional in the best sense of the term. With artistic direction by British-born Mark Dornford-May, the South African opera company stages their own rendition of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale "The Snow Queen".
Their style is simple, humours, straightforward and musically overwhelming - raw and 'primitive' in the best sense of the term. The cast is the result of auditions held across South Africa, and only a handful of the 50 performers have professional training. It might seem strange that a South African company chooses to work with a fairytale set in a snowscape, but the choice is obvious. The wonderful love message bodes well for the company, which has enjoyed success with their staging of "Carmen" (for which Mark Dornford-May just won the Golden Bear at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival in his adaptation of the opera into film), and the medieval "Mystery Games" (adapted for television by the BBC). "The Snow Queen" premiered as part of a cultural festival in New York in November 2004 and will play in South Africa in March 2005. The performance will also be staged 22 and 23 Mai at the Concert Hall Aarhus in Denmark.
The Noh Ensemble Ryokusenkai / Multisounds (Denmark/ Japan)
Project Manager: Jakob Draminsky Højmark.
"Aru haha no monogatari" is an experimental opera based on Hans Christian Andersen?s tale "The Story of a Mother" and represents a cross between classical Western opera, the Japanese Noh tradition and modern electro-acoustic computer music. "Aru haha no monogatari" - as the performance is called in Japanese - is a co-production between the Noh ensemble Ryokusenkai and Multisounds. The performance will premiere in Tokyo on 7 April and will be featured in Denmark in the autumn of 2005.
Staatsoper Stuttgart (Germany)
Ernst Toch's fairytale opera "Prinzessin auf der Erbse" (The Princess on the Pea) from 1927 will be revived at the Junge Oper der Staatsoper Stuttgart. Toch's original, contrapunctual style of music has been adapted to a humorous musical story for children around the age of 6. Music: Ernst Toch. Libretto: Benno Elkan based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale. Premiere: 18 November 2004.