Three days of Andersen celebration
A gigantic TV show is to be the highlight of a three-day opening celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of the Danish storyteller and poet Hans Christian Andersen.
By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 27 October 2004
The whole world is joining the celebration of Hans Christian Andersen, when a special Fairytale Weekend from April 1st to April 3rd, 2005 marks the opening of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 year.
The highlight of the Weekend is on the Birthday proper, Saturday night, when members of the royal family, international guests, Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors and approximately 40.000 spectators come together for the big show Once upon a time at the PARKEN Stadium.
More than 300 artists - musicians from both pop and classical music, performers and dancers - join one another in a fairytale-like entertainment show that celebrates Andersen and his magic universe - and at the same time marks the beginning of the big Andersen year.
The PARKEN stadium will be transformed into an enchanting fairytale universe, a spectacular and festive frame for all the participants. Several of the greatest international stars within pop and rock music is expected to participate in the show.
Hans Christian Andersen is known and loved throughout the world. Therefore, Once upon a time is designed as a genuine international show, where the biggest stars within different artistic genres from around the world will perform. The show is produced by the Emmy-awarded British production company Initial (part of Endemol UK plc), and will be broadcasted directly on DR1 (the Danish national state television), and will also via the international television network EBU reach television screens on all continents.
The Fairytale Weekend will commence with a world premiere at the Royal Danish Theatre.
On Saturday 2 April, the 50,000 Euro Odense City Hans Christian Andersen Award will be presented to an international personality, who is yet to be revealed. The official award ceremony will take place in Andersen's hometown Odense on Funen. The festivities will then relocate to Copenhagen where an audience of 42,000 at the national soccer stadium PARKEN will witness the most spectacular fairytale ever.
The star-studded show, including musicians, acrobats and dancers, will set Andersen's fairytale world to music, images, and words. All performing artists have agreed to take part as features of one big fairytale show based on 12 of Andersen's most famous fairytales. The show, entitled Once upon a time will be broadcasted to all the corners of the globe.
The show will be produced by the acclaimed British production company Initial and will feature the very best of all artistic genres - dance, music, acrobatics, etc.
Since 2002, a number of celebrated artists, politicians, journalists, businesspeople, and athletes from around the world have been appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors. All the Ambassadors have been invited to the show on 2 April and several will also perform.
When the grand opening weekend comes to a close on 3 April, the celebration of the bicentenary of Hans Christian Andersen will continue worldwide until 6 December where a ceremony in Andersen's hometown, Odense, will mark the official closing of the Andersen bicentenary. The foundation behind the bicentenary project has sponsored and endorsed 70 projects. Access the list of official as well as unofficial events at www.hca2005.dk.
The official programme for the Fairytale Weekend 1 - 3 April 2005
Friday 1 April:
- World premiere of the performance Horseradish Soup and Stuffed Cabbage at the Royal Danish Theatre. The Danish Royal Family, official representatives, international guests and the Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors will attend.
Saturday 2 April:
- The awarding of the 50,000 Euro Odense City Hans Christian Andersen Award. Members of the Danish Royal Family, Danish officials and the Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors will take part.
- Once upon a time? the TV show at the national soccer stadium featuring international stars and attended by members of the Danish Royal Family, Danish officials, prominent Danes and international guests as well as the Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors.
- Sunday 3 April: Official reception at Copenhagen Town Hall. Members of the Danish Royal Family, Danish officials, and the Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors will take part.
Appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors
Australia: Athlete Cathy Freeman.
Brazil: Soccer legend Pelé, musician and Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil.
Belgium: Writer Anne Provoost, writer Bart Moeyaert, movie director Marc Didden, writer Carl Norac, cultural critic Jacques De Decker.
Chile: Chile's First Lady Mrs. Luisa Durán de Lagos, author Isabel Allende.
China: Translator Lin Hua, cultural producer Wang Wen Zhang, actor Zhang Jinlai, TV hostess Ju Ping, musician Sun Yan, singer Song Zuying, athlete Yao Ming.
Denmark: Actress Bodil Udsen, actress Ghita Nørby, actress Susse Wold, businessman and patron of the arts Jens Olesen, art craftsman and textile designer Lin Utzon, painter and graphic artist Per Arnoldi, baritone Bo Skovhus, singer Thomas Helmig.
Ireland: Politician John Hume.
Italy: Journalist and television presenter Maurizio Costanzo, soccer player Paolo Maldini, formula 1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella, author and playwright Vincenzo Cerami.
Latvia: Writer Nora Ikstena
Luxembourg: Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
Mexico: Mexico's first lady Mrs. Marta Fox
The Netherlands: Writer Ivo de Wijs, entertainer Freek de Jonge, model and actress Daphne Deckers.
Singapore: Managing Director of Division at Jebsen & Jessen, Heine Askær-Jensen, author Catherine Lim, chairman of the National Heritage Board, Tommy Koh, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, Simon Tay.
Spain: Political leader of Tenerife, Excmo. Sr. D. Ricardo Melchior Navarro, author Carmen Posadas Mañé, ballet dancer Tamara Rojo, author José María Merino.
Switzerland: Entertainer Kurt Aeschbacher
UK: Writer Jackie Wullschlager, actor Derek Jacobi, model and actress Elizabeth Hurley, comedian and writer Sandi Toksvig, writer A.S. Byatt, children's poet laureate Michael Morpurgo, broadcaster Sir David Frost, actor Sir Roger Moore.
USA: Rock musician Suzanne Vega, actor Harvey Keitel, actress Susan Sarandon, actor Boyd Gaines, actress Connie Nielsen, jazz pianist McCoy Tyner, Danish ballet dancer and Artistic Director of the New York City Ballet, Peter Martins, singer Harry Belafonte.
The Production Company Initial (part of Endemol UK plc)
Emmy Award winning INITIAL is the UK's leading producer of music entertainment and live event television. The company also has a growing portfolio of youth shows and its programmes are seen in over 100 countries.
Initial produced the UK's biggest music event - The Brit Awards (ITV) - for eight years - from 1993 -2000, delivering shows featuring the cream of the British and international music scene, along with stars from the world of comedy, movies and the arts
Initial also co-devised and produced Fashion Rocks a fashion meets music spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall and produced 46664 The Concert a major global awareness event for Nelson Mandela's AIDS charity.
Latest productions include UK Music Hall of Fame (Channel 4; E4), The Match (Sky One) and Orange Playlist (ITV1; VH1; TMF). Other recent credits are Fame Academy and Comic Relief does Fame Academy (BBC), The Orange British Academy Film Awards (BBC One), Party in the Park (Five) and The Voice (Channel 4).
Initial Events other credits range from the Q Awards for Channel 4 to Miss World (live to 75 countries) and performance specials including Joaquin Cortes Live at the Royal Albert Hall, Our Manics In Havana (C4 and international), The Three Tenors (Los Angeles), Björk at the Royal Opera House (BBC4) and Russell Watson live in Auckland (PBS USA).
INITIAL's youth programming includes stunt-based entertainment show Xperi-Mental for CBBC; CITV's quiz show - The Eliminator and reality entertainment series - The Agents (CBBC).
The company was also behind the worldwide webcast of JK Rowling's exclusive appearance at the Royal Albert Hall for the launch of Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.
Popular documentaries include the stories behind 2003's biggest movie releases, The Hulk, Terminator 3 and Charlie's Angels 2 (Five).
Initial has also pioneered a raft of advertiser funded programming including the international hit The Pepsi Chart and a series of music entertainment specials for Lynx on Channel 4.
Andy Ward - Head of Events
Andy Ward is an internationally recognised event television producer who has worked with a wide range of broadcasters and events organisations, including Fox, Fuji, Channel 4, Five, ITV, BBC, Star TV, Zee TEV, Sony Entertainment TV, BSkyB, Channel 9 Australia, Channel [V], PBS, A&E, Televisa, the BPI and News Corporation. He has produced television shows with almost every major artist in the world including Michael Jackson, Luciano Pavarotti, Madonna, Sting, Diana Ross, Queen, U2, Elton John, David Bowie, Ricky Martin, Will Smith, and The Spice Girls, to name but a few.
Before joining Initial as Head of Events he produced the world's biggest-ever live television production - the BBC's 2000 Today millennium event, which he edited and executive produced. The international feed of the show was seen in more than 70 countries including the US, Russia, India, China, France, Germany and Australia.
Upon joining Initial as Head of Events, he produced the Brits 2000 for ITV, his fifth Brits show for Initial. Along with Chief Executive Malcolm Gerrie, Andy was a key figure in building it into one of the most respected and successful awards shows in the world.
John Bishop - Executive Producer (Once upon a time / Hans Christian Andersen 2005)
John has directed and produced television series and specials with, Les Dennis, Bob Monkhouse, Stanley Baxter,Paul Daniels as well as over forty episodes of The Russ Abbot Show. John went on to become Deputy Head of Light entertainment at the BBC where, amongst other programmes he commissioned the pilot episode of Absolutely Fabulous. He then moved to Carlton Television as Controller of Light Entertainment and Comedy where he was responsible for commissioning many strands of entertainment for the ITV network, including several major events for the Prince's Trust. More recently John produced the Millennium concert at Greenwich for Initial Television and has made several comedy documentaries both in the Falklands and in Iraq.
David Mallet - Director (Once upon a time / Hans Christian Andersen 2005)
David Mallet is widely regarded as one of the best music directors in the world. Renowned not only for his music videos for David Bowie, Pet Shop Boys, Freddie Mercury and Janet Jackson, he has also directed numerous live events, including The Rolling Stones, U2 and Cirque du Soleil. His acclaimed work has been recognised by two Grammys (U2 and Madonna) and an Emmy (Cirque du Soleil).
John Paul Chapple - Writer and Film Producer (Once upon a time / Hans Christian Andersen 2005)
John Paul Chapple is a writer and producer who has worked in the film and television industry since 1985. He has held executive positions at Portman Productions, Quintet Films and Global Television and was UK Head of Production for Windmill Lane Productions. His credits as writer include the feature films Big Kiss (directed by Billy Zane), Falling (directed by Hans Herbots) and the forthcoming Guy X (directed by Saul Metzstein) and, for TV, Tributes to Elizabeth Taylor, Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the BBC's 2000 Today.