HCA NEWS The 2005 Andersen bicentenary in Sweden

The Swedish Hans Christian Andersen bicentennial projects were presented at a press conference in Stockholm at which HRH Prince Joachim of Denmark appointed four Swedish Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 23 November 2004

The Swedish projects in celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen were presented at the press conference. A large number of Hans Christian Andersen projects are set to take place in Sweden during 2005, including music, educational projects, theatre, and entertainment.

The press conference was hosted by the Royal Danish Embassy and the Danish Tourist Board in Stockholm in association with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

At the press conference, HRH Prince Joachim of Denmark appointed the four Swedish Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors: actress Tuva Novotny, author Per Olov Enquist, singer and musical performer Peter Jöback, and author and program director Mark Levengood.

They all have strong ties to Hans Christian Andersen and will as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors promote the wider awareness and appreciation of Hans Christian Andersen and the Andersen bicentenary in Sweden. Furthermore, the Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors represent the HCA-abc Foundation, which is a humanitarian foundation established in the name of Hans Christian Andersen to address illiteracy worldwide.

At the press conference, Swedish actor Per Ragnar performed a dramatisation of The Little Matchseller.

Secretary General of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Lars Seeberg, states:

In 2005, Hans Christian Andersen's home country, Denmark, will celebrate its national poet with a grand and extensive programme of events within the arts, literature, education, and tourism. But to us Danes, Andersen is more than a mere son of Denmark, which his why we have invited the world to contribute with renditions of the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen. Our invitation has been well received, also in Sweden. It is my hope that many people in Sweden will rediscover the Andersen they thought they knew so well.

The Swedish Hans Christian Andersen projects

Hans Christian Andersen at Malmö Konserthus with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra
The Malmö Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the Andersen bicentenary with two concerts to be performed during the spring of 2005.

Nallekoncert® - Hans Christian Andersen and the fairytales
A Nallekoncert - a family entertainment concert. Singer and entertainer Mikael Neumann will lead us into the world of fairytales accompanied by the grand philharmonic orchestra and dramatic symphonic music.

Saturday 30 April at 12 noon, 2 pm, and 4 pm.
Malmö Symphony Orchestra 
Jerker Johansson, conductor
Mikael Neumann, singer and narrator

Fairytale concert with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra - Hans Christian Andersen in Silhouette
When Hans Christian Andersen wasn't writing fairytales, travelling, or entertaining society he would cut silhouettes and paper cuts. The question is if Andersen's fairytales and books render insight into the life of the author himself? Actor Philip Zandén outlines a portrait of Hans Christian Andersen in an exciting musical journey showing how the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen has inspired numerous artists and composers.

Thursday 12 May at 7:30 pm 
Malmö Symphony Orchestra 
Josep Caballé Domenech, conductor
Philip Zandén, narrator

For further information, please contact: Eva Claeson, marketing manager of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Tel.: +46 040 630 45 18

The Little Mermaid in mid-air
A profound theatrical performance with intense sensual bombardment staged in celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen.

Katrine Wiedemann and Tilde Björfor's staging of Hans Christian Andersen's world-famous fairytale The Little Mermaid will premiere on 19 May 2005 at Kedelsmedien in Copenhagen. The performance will be of international scope featuring circus artists, dancers, and other entertainers. The juxtaposition between visually evocative dramatic theatre and amazing modern circus represents an entirely new theatrical idiom as opposed to the more traditional sugary, idealised, and trivialised rendition of the tragic story of the little mermaid yearning for her prince and mortal human life. The Little Mermaid is created for an international audience and will be performed the world over following the premiere in Copenhagen. The performance will be staged in Stockholm in the late summer of 2005.

The performance is co-produced by the Danish theatre group Kaleidoskop, the Swedish circus Cirkus Cirkör and Theater der Welt in Stuttgart with sponsorship from the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, the Danish Arts Council, the Municipality of Copenhagen, the Wilhem Hansen Foundation, the Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs, and the Municipality of Stockholm.

For further information, please contact: Ida Burén, Cirkus Cirkör, Tel.: +46 8-531 998 36 or +46 70-734 42 31, e-mail , www.cirkor.se

Hans Christian Andersen at Kulturen in the Swedish town of Lund
Fairytale, paper cuts and collages
Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales, paper cuts, and collages will be employed with different activities to stimulate and inspire children.
Date: 22 - 25 February 2005.

Hans Christian Andersen's wonderful Swedish journey
A gala performance in celebration of the Andersen bicentenary. Leading national choirs perform the Studenten fra Lund cantata set to music by Jacob Hägg. The performance is co-produced with the Centre for Danish Studies at Lund University.
Date: 10 April 2005.

Exhibition: I am a Student from Lund
The exhibition Lund entitled I am a Student from Lund, focuses on Andersen's visit to Lund in 1840 and his later visit in 1865. The exhibition will highlight how Andersen was entertained by students of Lund with singing and speeches of such a manner that he was never to forget them. Some years later, Andersen wrote a poem about these memories entitled I am a Student from Lund. This poem was later set to music and performed by the student choir. The exhibition also renders insight into what the town of Lund looked like in Andersen's day, and what took place there between 1840 and 1865.

The exhibition will open on 29 May and will close on 28 August.

During the Andersen bicentenary, Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales will be staged as open-air performances at the museum. Jan Mark has adapted the fairytales to the stage.

For further information, please contact: Karolina Falkheimer, press officer at Kulturen, Tel.: +46 46-35 04 41 or +46 70-6959268, e-mail , www.kulturen.com

Hans Christian Andersen at schools
The Centre for Danish Children's Literature has in association with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation developed an inspiring set of educational resources aimed at children between 6 and 16 years of age. 

The educational resources include: articles on the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen, the different versions of his tales as well as articles dealing with the topic of whether or not he wrote for children or for adults. Furthermore, the resources feature new and creative ways of how to approach his fairytales. It also features an Andersen exhibition, which can be downloaded from the official website hca2005.com. The exhibition includes a teacher's book with educational advice. The resources will be made available in Swedish and are free of charge.

Visit hca2005.com

Hans Christian Andersen in Gothenburg 2005
Currently, work is in progress in Gothenburg on realising an Andersen bicentenary project, but plans have not as yet been finalised and will therefore be publicised at a later date.

The ABC of Learning - three dynamic stages feature new and entertaining approaches to education for children and the young.

A: The School of Change
Theatre, song, dance, and music are not just artistic means of expression but are also important tools in addressing drug abuse and social issues. The theatre performance The Power of Change is to be based on true stories and to show how you can turn disadvantages into advantages and mobilise against drug abuse and crime, and how to avoid falling victim to peer pressure. The play is to be created by young people in collaboration with professional actors. The TV programme Creative Workshop deals with our emotional interdependence and on social acceptance.

The play The Power of Change will be staged between 4 and 10 September 2005. The five-sequel TV production will be created during the spring of 2005.
B: Brew House
The newly established cultural institution Brew House will host a staging of Andersen evenings where young people will be given the chance to perform concerts and other talent events under the guidance of professional artists and performers. The project is to result in a CD recording. The activities at Brew House are scheduled between August and September 2005.
C: Celebration
An interactive role game entitled MOLNET based on Andersen's fairytale The Ugly Duckling will be staged at Lindholmsdokken. Audience participation involves everyone getting a lead role. Audiences will professional actors and encounter Andersen's wisdom and appetite for life.

MOLNET is a 20,000 square metre venue and artwork symbolising the great man himself, Hans Christian Andersen.

The grand finale event features world artists who share the stage with young talents. At the finale, the glittering MOLNET will become airborne and will fly home to Hans Christian Andersen's town of birth Odense.

The role play The Ugly Duckling is scheduled for 1 - 7 August 2005

For further information, please contact: Tina Lundberg, project manager at Hans Christian Andersen in Gothenburg 2005, Tel.: +46 736- 22 22 24, e-mail

The Opera Workshop/ The Malmö Opera and Music Theatre
The Shadow Game is a one-act opera noir based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale The Shadow. In celebration of the 2005 Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary, the Opera Workshop/The Malmö Opera and Music Theatre has commissioned a new opera by the composer Hans Gefors and libretto writer Maria Sundquist. Elisabeth Linton will be the director. The opera will portray the scholar whose shadow breaks away from its owner only to slowly destroy him. Andersen's 1847 fairytale The Shadow has much in common with works by Dostoevsky, Edgar Allan Poe, and even Stephen King. It is a classic psychological thriller where evil, when repressed, returns will vengeance.

The Shadow is co-produced by the Opera Workshop/ Malmö Opera and Music Theatre and Lübeck Theatre. Following the world premiere in Malmö, a German version of the performance will be staged in Lübeck during November. In December 2005, The Shadow will guest perform at the Copenhagen Opera House.

Hans Gefors, music
Maria Sundqvist, libretto
Elisabeth Linton, direction

For further information, please contact: Catarina Ek, chief press officer, Tel.: +46 040-208422/ 0703-589071 or project manager Christine Thoulouis +46 040-208408/ +46 0703-584854. www.malmoopera.se

Symphonic Fairytales
Symphonic Fairytales is the grand international classical music project of the Andersen bicentenary. The 10 newly composed symphonic works are based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales and poems. They will be performed in concert worldwide throughout the bicentennial year from late February.

The Tinder-Box
Bent Lorentzen's The Tinder-Box will be performed in Stockholm on 11 May 2005 at the Stockholm Concert Hall. The work is composed for orchestra, adult as well as children's choir, singers of children's songs, and narrators. The Swedish Royal Philharmonic will be conducted by Tobias Ringborg. Stina Ekblad will perform as narrator, and the Adolf Frederik's School of Music and the Bach Choir will perform the choir vocal. 

Composer Bent Lorentzen states the following about his modern rendition of The Tinder-Box:

Andersen's imaginative and dramatic fairytale The Tinder-Box will in my rendition be set in the contemporary Middle East. Here the soldier will symbolise political change. With the help of the supernatural dog, the soldier topples the old order and becomes king himself. It is a work where young, old, children, adults, amateurs, and professionals meet in a world of drama and music.

The Swineherd
Svend E. Nielsen's rendition of The Swineherd will be performed in Helsingborg on 8 October 2005 at the Helsingborg Concert Hall. The work is arranged for orchestra, girls' choir, soloists, and narrators. The Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra and members of the Helsingborg Concert Hall Choir will be conducted by Mats Pålsson.

Svend E. Nielsen states the following about his work with The Swineherd:

What is interesting about Hans Christian Andersen is first and foremost his language, which is deeply personal and subtle.

For further information, please contact: Lotta Bjelkeborn, The Stockholm Concert Hall, Tel.: +46 08-786 02 19, e-mail , www.konserthuset.se

For further information, please contact: Hans Bodin, The Helsingborg Concert Hall, Tel.: +46 042-10 42 73, e-mail , www.helsingborgssymfoniorkester.se

Further Hans Christian Andersen Projects

The Junibacken Museum
The Junibacken Museum in Stockholm will host Hans Christian Andersen project weeks during the spring of 2005 featuring a number of children's activities and dramatisations of Andersen's fairytales.

For further information, please contact: Lena Törner, chief press officer at Junibacken, Tel.: +46 08-587 230 15 or +46 070-646 22 12, e-mail , www.junibacken.se

Hans Christian Andersen opera at Höörs Sommeropera 2005
The summer opera festival, Höörs Sommeropera 2005, will feature a Hans Christian Andersen opera. The music will be composed by Viggo Edén, musical director of Höörs Sommeropera, and the libretto will be by Tord Nihlén, director and project manager of the Höörs Sommeropera.

The opera will be based on the life of Hans Christian Andersen from his childhood in Odense up to his debut with A Journey on Foot. The story features episodes from his fairytales and other stories. Each act of the two-act opera lasts 55 minutes. The performance will premiere in Höör on 6 August 2005.

Following the performance in Höör, a guest performance will be staged at the Bramstrup Festival Stage outside Odense.

For further information, please contact: Tord Nihlén, Tel.: +46 0413-25262, e-mail , www.kulturhoor.nu

Kalmar Läns Theatre
In celebration of the Andersen bicentenary, and by popular demand, the critically acclaimed performance based on Hans Christian Andersen, entitled En Stor Liten Man (A Big Little Man), will tour southern Sweden during the spring of 2005. The performance will be staged in adult and children's versions.

Hans Christian Andersen was an ingenious village simpleton - an enigma and one of our most famous authors. The audience will encounter him in a poetic and musical performance where fairytale and reality will fuse in the burlesque style of the Kalmar Läns Theatre.

Tour schedule available at www.byteatern.se.

Life, Death and Love
Just under a decade ago, Per Ragnar enjoyed great success with a play about Hans Christian Andersen at Sweden's National Theatre. During the Andersen bicentenary, the student association Sensus will co-produce a one-hour film with Per Ragnar aimed at library and museum audiences entitled Life, Death, and Love. Here the audience will be confronted with Andersen's timeless fairytales dealing with ethical and moral issues, such as mobbing and gossip, faith and passion.

For further information, please contact: Kerstin Selén, Tel.: +46 08-727 17 62, e-mail , www.sensus.se

Focus on the Nordic Countries
A Hans Christian Andersen project week at Junibacken Museum in Stockholm, created in association with Lego, aimed at children between the age of 3 and 8 and their parents.

Hans Christian Andersen and mobbing. Project activity for 4 to 6 year-olds at the ABF House in Stockholm. Thursday 7 April.

Hans Christian Andersen and children's books. In association with the Swedish Institute for Children's Literature, spring 2005.

For further information, please contact: Anna Sophie Liebst, press officer for Norden i Fokus, Tel.: +46 08-506 113 35, e-mail

The four Swedish Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors

Per Olov Enquist
Per Olov Enquist was born in 1934. He is an acclaimed playwright and novelist. Per Olov Enquist grew up in Västerbotten and studied at the Uppsala University between 1955 and 1964. Per Olov Enquist has lived in Copenhagen and is the author of plays such as Systrana (The Sisters), which was commissioned by the Copenhagen-based Betty Nansen Theatre in 2000 as well as The Life of the Earthworms, which was performed at Danish theatres during 2003/2004. He has furthermore written several popular books and was honoured in 1999 with the August Award for his novel The Royal Physician's Visit. Per Olov Enquist's works have been translated into more than 25 languages. The play The Life of the Earthworms has been translated into - and staged in - around  25 languages worldwide. He has furthermore written numerous screenplays for TV productions and movies as well as directing them.

Mark Levengood
Mark Levengood was born in 1964. He is an author and a radio and TV programme manager as well as a popular lecturer. Mark was born in the USA and grew up in Helsinki. He moved to Sweden at the age of 19. Today, Mark Levengood is one of Sweden's most popular broadcast managers and an equally popular lecturer. Several of his programmes have received national and international awards. Mark Levengood published the book Gamla tanter lägger inte ägg (Old Ladies don't Lay Eggs) in 2001 and Gud som haver barnen kär, har du någon ull? (God who holds children dear do you have any wool?) in 2003. Both books are based on conversations with children and how they experience things that we adults take for granted. Furthermore, he has co-written the choral work Af og til er min vej så ensom (Sometimes my road is so lonely) with Sven-David Sandström.

Tuva Novotny
Tuva Novotny was born in 1979. Tuva is one of Sweden's most popular young actresses greatly experienced within theatre and film. She has appeared in several international productions, several of them Danish. Tuva studied at a drama school in Prague before her debut as Nora in the TV series Skilda Väldar in 1996. Following this, she appeared in a large number of stage and film productions. Tuva experienced her major breakthrough as Lisa in the film Jalla! Jalla! in 2000.
Currently, Tuva plays the part as Henriette in Rumle Hammerich's TV sequel Young Andersen, which portrays Hans Christian Andersen's youth. The TV series will premiere in 2005.

Peter Jöback
Peter Jöback was born in 1971. Peter is an acclaimed entertainer and musical artist. He held his musical debut at the age of 10 in a production of The Sound of Music at Folkan in Stockholm where he appeared in the role as Kurt von Trapp. Following extensive training at Adolf Fredrik's School of Music and the Södra Latin School of Music in Stockholm, Peter Jöback appeared in a number of different musicals. He was nominated for a Golden Mask in 1993 for his performance as Nick Piazza in the Swedish production of Fame.

His major breakthrough was in the role as Robert in the musical Kristina från Duvemåla, for which he was awarded a Golden Mask. He has additionally received great critical acclaim for his performance as Chris in the West-End production of Miss Saigon and for his role as Michael in the West-End production of The Witches from Eastwick. Peter Jöback has also performed in the role as Emcee in the Danish production of Cabaret. Apart from his promising career as musical and concert entertainer, he has also recorded several CDs, such as Personliga Val, Jag kommer hem igen till jul and Det här är platsen, which are all gold and platinum-winning albums.