HCA NEWS The first major Funen projects

Hans Christian Andersen 2005 presents the first major projects on Funen.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 20 June 2003

Just under two years before the opening of Hans Christian Andersen 2005 - the worldwide celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of our national poet - the H.C. Andersen Foundation now presents the first major projects on Funen within culture, education and tourism.

The 12 projects publicised here include 8 cultural projects within opera, theatre, museum exhibitions, classical music and entertainment, 1 educational and 3 tourism projects.

"We are very proud of having succeeded in bringing together so many major cultural and tourist institutions in presenting Odense and Funen, which along with the rest of Denmark and the entire world is to take part in the celebration of Hans Christian Andersen in 2005. It is of utmost importance for the celebration, which seeks to reach out to the entire world, that Hans Christian Andersen's hometown and native island is widely represented," says General Secretary Lars Seeberg.


Four of Odense's major cultural institutions - the Funen Opera, the Odense Symphony Orchestra, the Odense Theatre, the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense - will collaborate on staging a Hans Christian Andersen Opera Festival in August 2005, of which the H.C. Andersen 2005 Foundation will support two operas, Little Kirsten and The Nightingale.

Little Kirsten
The romantic opera with medieval setting Little Kirsten will be staged as a co-production between the Funen Opera, the Odense Symphony Orchestra and the Odense Theatre. Subscription programmes of all three institutions apply.

The opera, with libretto by Hans Christian Andersen and music by the Danish composer J.P.E. Hartmann, will be staged in an unconventional, customised setting. The cast will feature international Danish names and a celebrated Danish conductor. It will be directed by Kasper Wilton and set designs will be by Lars Juhl.

The Nightingale
Igor Stravinsky's classic one-act opera The Nightingale is based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale by the same title.

The collaboration between the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense, the Funen Opera and the Association of Baltic Academies of Music, ABAM (16 conservatories within the Baltic region) backs the grand staging of the opera classic The Nightingale with approx.

85 young international students in close partnership with approx. 50 from Funen. The soloist singers, the choir, the conductor and the full symphony Orchestra are from the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music and the cooperating ABAM conservatories whereas the staging - including direction, set design, lighting design and technical handling - lies in the hands of the Funen Opera.


More than Pearls and Gold
One of Hans Christian Andersen's most entertaining Casino performances More than Pearls and Gold will be revived at the Odense Theatre's main stage. It will be adapted and directed by Jens August Wille.

More than Pearls and Gold is a rare example of a true "magical vaudeville" where the entire mechanism and ensemble of the theatre is set in motion in celebrating the tale where spirits mingle with 19th century citizens of Copenhagen.

Andersen Chamber Play
One of Denmark's leading dramatists, Sven Holm, will create a chamber play especially for the Hans Christian Andersen arts year to be staged at Odense Theatre. The play portrays the mature Andersen and will be directed by Henrik Sartou.

The Mulatto
The Odense Theatre has asked the Danish composer Sebastian to create a festive musical based on Hans Christian Andersen's lyrical play The Mulatto. The performance is to be the finale of the Hans Christian Andersen arts year and will premiere on 6 December 2005. The script will be written by artistic director Kasper Wilton.

The Red Chair
As early as the 2004/05 season, Odense Theatre will host 30 readings of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales. The readings will take place on Saturdays between 10.30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Entrance is free.

Children's Theatre Festival
An international children's theatre festival featuring 10 foreign and 5 Danish companies will present the best of Danish and international dramatisations of Andersen's fairytales - 150 performances in all.

The aim is to present the best of existing and new adaptations by leading children's theatre companies. The festival will be held on southern Funen and in the County of Western Zealand and is expected to run for 8-10 days in either region.


The Shadow
The Brandts Klædefabrik Art Centre in Odense in cooperation with the Western Zealand Art Museum has scheduled an international exhibition project called The Shadow - with literary reference to Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale of the same title.

The exhibition project seeks to survey the rich imagery of The Shadow by juxtaposing it with international contemporary art. The exhibition features 40 international artists from the visual arts and includes video art, film, sound, photography and painting within the entire scope of contemporary art.

Touring Exhibitions
The Odense City Museum's touring exhibitions will be based on existing texts and imagery with the addition of display boards and DVD media with information on the visions, aims and partnerships of the H.C. Andersen 2005 Foundation. The objective is to broaden the awareness of the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen within the key markets of the bicentennial event.

Introductory film
In relation to the touring exhibitions and other campaigns at home and abroad, and as an introduction to the biographical portrayal at the new Hans Christian Andersen House, an introductory film to the life and work of the fairytale storyteller has been produced. The film builds on the universal fascination of Andersen.


Tracing Andersen
On his 30 travels abroad, Hans Christian Andersen visited cities such as Leipzig, London, Vienna, Paris, Naples, Amsterdam, Rome, Dresden, Bordeaux, Barcelona, Zurich, Munich and Weimar.

He was a great music lover, and during his travels he met several of Europe's leading composers, such as Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt and Wagner. The Odense Symphony Orchestra has scheduled a European tour Tracing Andersen during the 2005 bicentennial year that follows in Andersen's footsteps.

The idea is to select 4-6 of the cities where his musical experiences within symphonic music were the greatest and to stage concerts featuring music from the time of Andersen's visits in the mid-19th century.


Hans Christian Andersen Castle Concerts
The Danish National Broadcasting Corporation, DR, has scheduled a number of Andersen-related Castle Concerts in 2005 with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and a cast of international stars. The premiere will be at Egeskov Castle, which will host a DR Castle Concert for the first time. All the concerts will be televised by DR.


Hearts of Andersen 
With "Hearts of Andersen", the audience experiences an adventurous existential journey in the life and work of Andersen - and in their own life. The exhibition focuses on a whole different aspect of Hans Christian Andersen. The existential journey is the narrative framework for the many sensory, experience-related art installations to be set up throughout the Fyrtøjet Children's Culture Centre.

The interactive artwork engages all the senses and will feature fragments, characters and symbols from Andersen's authorship with which to investigate different themes and phases in the life of the author. The primary symbol will be the heart, referring to Andersen himself, the message that permeates his fairytales, the different stages in life - childhood, youth, adult life and old age - and the 4 ventricles of the heart.

Artistic direction will be by Sara Topsøe-Jensen of the Carte Blanche Performance Theatre. The project will be co-produced with Odense's twin town Funabashi to be featured at the children's culture centre in the Hans Christian Andersen Park, located just outside Tokyo with an annual attendance of 500,000.

Concept development, know-how and the installation design from Fyrtøjet will either be exported directly or adapted to local Japanese requirements. Sara Topsøe-Jensen will also be involved in the realising of the project in Japan.


Hans Christian Andersen Tours
Hans Christian Andersen Tours aims at offering an extensive package tour programme. Hans Christian Andersen Tours has been established as a part of Incoming Fyn, a subsidiary of Fyntour. The main objective of the tours is to offer unique authenticity and genuine Hans Christian Andersen experiences.

Odense and Funen are pivotal when it comes to establishing sightseeing and city break opportunities and attracting conferences and conventions.

Fairytale Sails
With the objective of creating a powerful Hans Christian Andersen focal point in the centre of Odense, a Hans Christian Andersen stage set in a magnificent tent made of large white sails will cover the Flakhaven Park from late June to late August 2005.

The grand open square in front of Odense Town Hall and the tourist office will create a unique and historic framework for local Hans Christian Andersen related performances, concerts and events.

Here, the citizens of Odense and tourists will be able to gather, dine, enjoy refreshments and experience plenty of free entertainment all through summer. During the daytime the programme will feature family entertainment, and evening entertainment will be more mature.

Additionally, the tent will double as a tourist information centre and will be a feature in products offered by Hans Christian Andersen Tours. Apart from local cultural institutions and businesses, the partners will, among others, be the Odense City Museums, Fyntour and the Odense-Midtfyn tourist office.

Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market
The aim is to create an annual Christmas market in the Hans Christian Andersen quarter of Odense that will, for instance, seek to include the cafés, restaurants, museums and hotels of the area. The theme will be Hans Christian Andersen's winter fairytales. The Christmas market will include stages, stalls, illumination and entertainment in the seasonal spirit and the spirit of Andersen.