HCA NEWS Latest news on the HCA show in Parken

- Lars Ulrich, Helena Christensen and Cathy Freeman will appear as guest presenters - Many new red carpet names - Sir Derek Jacobi lends his voice to the short films featured as part of the show, and has done so for the modest fee of one pound.

By on - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 31 March 2005

ONCE UPON A TIME... The biggest television show ever in Denmark opens the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen on 2 April 2005, to be broadcasted from 9 - 11 pm.

Latest news:

- Lars Ulrich, Helena Christensen and Cathy Freeman will appear as guest presenters

- Many new red carpet names

- Sir Derek Jacobi lends his voice to the short films featured as part of the show, and has done so for the modest fee of one pound.


Tina Turner - Jean Michel Jarre - Connie Nielsen - Helena Christensen - Olivia Newton-John - Daniel Bedingfield - Hayley Westenra - Morten Harket/A-HA - Renée  Fleming - Safri Duo - Ennio Marchetto - Sir Roger Moore - Isabel Allende - Lars Ulrich - Cathy Freeman - Tap Dogs - 350 cast children's choir - 28 ballet children from the Royal Danish Ballet - The Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe - Large ensemble of dancers and singers

Two years in the making
On 2 April, 2005 at 9 pm, the show finally takes place. The live broadcast of the biggest televised show in Danish history begins at the national soccer stadium, PARKEN, in Copenhagen: The official opening show entitled ONCE UPON A TIME..., which marks the beginning of eight months of international festivities celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen.

Nearly two years of work have gone into planning the extravaganza on the part of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, DR, and the Emmy-awarded British production company, Initial, which is considered one of the world's leading television production companies (responsible for producing e.g. The Brit Awards, The Three Tenors in Los Angeles and a wide variety of large-scale international television events).

For months on end, costume designers, seamstresses, set designers, craftsmen, producers, TV cameramen, film workers and a creative team consisting of the director, choreographer and composer have worked hard to set the show on track. A week before the 2 April performance, the entire production will move to PARKEN, where hundreds of people will work around the clock, including 20 cameramen, 130 technicians and production workers, 12 lighting technicians, 10 make-up artists, 10 dressers and approximately 500 on-stage performers. The ubiquitous chef Chili John, legendary for catering big concerts in PARKEN and the Forum, will be responsible for providing the production with approx. 4,000 meals over 8 days - with assistance from 20 kitchen workers.

More than 500 international media in Copenhagen for The Fairytale Weekend
Starting on Friday 1 April 2005, Copenhagen will be the centre of world attention when the many international stars, VIP guests and members of the Danish Royal Family arrive during the course of the day. The international press corps will begin arriving in Denmark mid-week, and by Friday Copenhagen will play host to hundreds of foreign journalists. During the weekend police will ensure the necessary security and oversee traffic re-routing both in Odense and, on Saturday, in Copenhagen in the Kongens Nytorv and PARKEN areas, where additional travel time will be certain for those attending the show.

Until now, more than 500 international media have registered for the weekend. Among top media coming to Copenhagen are: AFP (French TV), ARD, Norddeutscher Rundfunk and ZDF (German TV), Al-Jazeera (Arab TV), AP and AP TV, Australian Broadcasting Corpoation and Channel 9 (Australian TV), CNN Türk (Turkish CNN), Czech TV (Czech TV), Das Bild (German paper), Dagens Nyheter (Swedish newspaper), ITAR-TASS (Russian News Agency), HBO Latin (South American TV network), Indo Asian News (Indonesian news agency), Liberation and La Croix, La Liberté (French newspapers), The New York Times, USA Today, People's Daily (Chinese newspaper), Moscovia (Russian newspaper), Reuters and Reuters TV, Time Magazine and UK Press.

The Fairytale Weekend begins on Friday evening with the Danish Royal Family and numerous international guests attending the gala premiere of the Hans Christian Andersen performance, Horseradish Soup and Stuffed Cabbage at a Royal Command Performance at the Royal Danish Theatre, Old Stage. Friday night also sees the premiere of Symphonic Fairytales at the Odense Concert Hall. The concert, performed by the Odense Symphony Orchestra, consists of 10 newly composed Danish orchestral pieces based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales and poems, as recited by celebrated Danish actress Ghita Nørby. The evening in Odense concludes with a spectacular fireworks display and light show by the French fireworks wizards Groupe F, who have been responsible for many large-scale international fireworks displays, including those at the Athens 2004 Olympics. And when the clock strikes midnight in Odense, all of the church bells will ring to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen.

On Saturday, the Danish Royal Family, VIP guests and members of the press corps will be transported from Copenhagen to Odense by special train service to attend the awarding of the City of Odense Hans Christian Andersen Awards, including The Hans Christian Andersen Award of - 50,000 to be presented to American literature professor Harold Bloom. The guests will return to Copenhagen after the award ceremony to prepare for the big show at PARKEN.

Stars and royal dignitaries to walk the red carpet
Danish and international stars, along with other VIP guests, will be taken by bus to PARKEN in plenty of time for the show. They will be driven to Entrance A5, where a 50-meter red carpet will have been rolled out in their honour. Danish national broadcaster DR1 will televise the arrival of the stars live as they give their red carpet appearances. At the end of the carpet a full-sized LEGO model of Hans Christian Andersen will great the dignitaries with a guest book to be signed by each of the arriving guests. In true Oscar style, the red carpet will be bordered by press stands, and guests already inside the stadium will be able to watch the arrivals on the big screens.

The Danish Royal Family will be represented by HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, HRH Prince Henrik, HRH Crown Prince Frederik, HRH Crown Princess Mary, HRH Prince Joachim, HRH Princess Alexandra, HRH Princess Benedikte, HH Prince Richard, HH Princess Alexandra and Count Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth. Foreign Royal dignitaries attending will be HRH Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, HRH Princess Laurentien of The Netherlands, HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and HRH Prince Bhisastej Rajani of Thailand.

The Danish government will be represented by Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Minister for Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs Bertel Haarder, Minister for Development Co-operation Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Justice Lene Espersen, Minister for Cultural Affairs Brian Mikkelsen and Minister for Economic and Business Affairs Bendt Bendtsen, Minister for Family and Consumer Affairs Lars Barfoed, and Minister for Nordic Cooperation and the Environment Connie Hedegaard, Minister for Social Affairs and Gender Equality Eva Kjer Hansen, Minister for Taxation Kristian Jensen, Minister for Defence Søren Gade Jensen, Minister for Science, Technology and Development Helge Sander, Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Hans Christian Schmidt.

The Honorary Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors attending are former President of Iceland Vigdis Finnbogadóttir, the First Lady of Chile Luisa Duràn de Lagos, the First Lady of Bolivia Elvira Salinas de Mesa, and former First Lady of Finland Eeva Ahtisaari. The international Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors attending will be Irish politician and Nobel Prize winner John Hume, Dame Antonia Byatt, Sir Roger Moore and his wife Lady Kristina Tholstrup, Chilean author Isabel Allende, Australian athlete and Olympic medallist Cathy Freeman, French actress Stéphane Audran, Chilean soccer legend Ivan Zamorano, Harry Belafonte with his son David and daughter-in-law Malene Belafonte, and Jean Michel Jarre, who will take part in the show, the Dutch supermodel and former bond girl Daphne Deckers, German actress Katja Riemann, Irish actress Vicoria Smurfit, Norwegian actor Rolv Wesenlund, Norwegian entertainer Wenche Foss, and Swedish playwright P.O. Enquist. The Danish Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors attending are filmmaker Gabriel Axel, actress Susse Wold, actress Bodil Udsen, actor Jens Okking, trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg, singer Stig Rossen singer Thomas Helmig and his wife Renée Toft Simonsen and actors Sigurd Barrett, Peter Langdal, and Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen.

PARKEN will be transformed into a fairytale world
For the occasion, PARKEN will be transformed into an enchanting fairytale universe transporting the audience into the magical world of Hans Christian Andersen. When the audience arrives they will be greeted by an overwhelming sight - one that is likely to cause them to forget they're in a soccer stadium. A gigantic white stage covering 900 m2 will be anchored at one end of the stadium featuring a long catwalk where performers will almost seem to topple into the audience. On stage will be four 19-metre columns that resemble icicles (and two at the opposite end of the stadium) which can be lit from both inside and outside. The six columns will play an important part in the PARKEN set design before and during the show, and will magically change to portray enormous trees in a dark forest, seaweed in the depths of the ocean, burning flames, and icicles in a snow-covered winter landscape. Three giant screen monitors on-stage will also prove integral to the event, with one on each side as well as a gigantic 312 m2 LED screen on the back wall of the stage. This screen will be used as part of the set design to display patterns, forms and figures, and to show the films central to the show itself.

Even as they enter the seating area, members of the audience will have the opportunity to create for themselves a little extra fairytale atmosphere by purchasing a special fairytale cushion designed especially for the occasion. The cushion, which is made of red polyester satin, is in the shape of a folding book and contains a fragment of the fairytale The Princess on the Pea. A tiny green plastic pea is fastened to the back of the cushion. Other merchandise include a concert flash light (15 DKK) and binoculars (40 DKK). The profit of all merchandise is donated to the HCA-abc Foundation.

For fans of the hit show "Star for an Evening" at DR, there will be one full hour of warm-up before the show. From 19.00 until 20.00, six of the stars ofrom the Danish version of "Star for an Evening - The Final Mission" will sing for the crowd in PARKEN. They include: Lene Matthisen, Gudrun Jacobsen, Jan Nielsen, Martin G. Pedersen and the winner, Jacob Andersen. The final performer is Jakob Sveistrup, winner of this year's Danish Song Contest and the Danish contender at the semifinals at The Eurovision Song Contest in May with the song "Talking to You". He is also a former finalist of "Star for an Evening".

120 minute fairytale
At 9 pm sharp, the live broadcast from PARKEN begins. So far the show is being shown in approx. 15 countries (live or taped) including Australia, Singapore, Portugal, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Lithuania, Armeniea, Serbia-Montenegro, Rumania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and DR are negotiating with several other countries including China, India, Germania and England.

20 television cameras, 3 OB trucks, 20 kilometres of cable, 12 technical trailers and 24 computers will play their parts in bringing the spectacular fairytale show to viewers around the world. For 120 minutes, hundreds of performers will tell the story of Hans Christian Andersen's life and art in prose, film, dance, song and music.

The evening's hostess will be Danish actress Connie Nielsen, who will appear live on a Danish stage for the firs time. The star from movies such as Gladiator, Brothers and Return to Sender will guide the audience through the show and present the stars, guest presenters, Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors and the different musical fairytale acts. The show will be in English. A number of prominent Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors will co-host the show and will present musical acts, fairytales, films and perform readings, announcements, etc. The six guest presenters are Danish drummer from Metallica Lars Ulrich, Danish super model Helena Christensen, Australian Olympic Medallist Cathy Freeman, Sir Roger Moore and Chilean author Isabel Allende

Many of Hans Christian Andersen's most famous fairytales will be featured throughout the show in the form of new musical acts as well as readings and familiar songs that draw on Andersen's life and fairytales.

The show will commence with a spectacular and visually astounding musical act that sweeps the audience through Andersen's life where fairytale characters take the part of the people he met in life. The original music is my Simon Hale and the cast will include the children of the Royal Danish Theatre Ballet School, the Hans Christian Andersen Dancers and Danish actor Henrik Koefoed as Hans Christian Andersen. The opening act alone will feature 92 different costumes of the 300 unique costumes featured throughout the show.

The many musical numbers and acts include:
Jean Michel Jarre will offer his own unique rendition of The Shadow in a multimedia show complete with indoor fireworks, an orchestra of 35, and a large on-stage choir.

The lead singer of the Norwegian pop group A-HA, Morten Harket, will perform a duet with the New Zealand star Hayley Westenra presenting the world premiere of the official UNICEF song
Children First staged with a huge children's choir of 350 boys and girls from the Danish National Junior Choir, the Danish National Children's Choir, the Danish National Boy's Choir, the Royal Danish Academy of Music Children's Choir and a choir from the Copenhagen school Skt. Annæ Gymnasium. The music is composed by the Danish composer Carsten Johs. Mørch with text from the American songwriter Lisa Freemann.

The phenomenal Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe from China will render their own version of The Nightingale. The Royal Danish Ballet will perform The Little Match Seller with music by Sigur Ros and animations by Martin de Thuragh and the celebrated dance ensemble Tap Dogs will render a crisp step dance version of The Red Shoes.

Connie Nielsen will perform The Princess on the Pea accompanied by the Hans Christian Andersen Dancers. The Danish band Safri Duo will hype the rhythm in their rendition of The Steadfast Tin Soldier, and the Italian quick-change entertainer Ennio Marchetto has created a visual fantasia drawing on the fairytales The Emperor's New Clothes, The Snow Queen, The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling. The Snow Queen will also be interpreted in a duet entitled A Little Girl and a Little Boy to be performed by two British children, Sydney White and Pax Baldwin, accompanied by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Danish National Choir.

The world-famous American soprano Renée Fleming will perform the song O Silver Moon, and Olivia Newton-John will sing the hit song Xanadu. Daniel Bedingfield will sing Wrap My Words Around You and the all-time rock legend Tina Turner will perform her classics Simply the Best and What's Love Got To Do With It. The grand finale will be a spectacular musical rendition of The Ugly Duckling featuring an on-stage cast of several hundred performers.

Six films to provide focal point for the show
Six short films that dramatize the life of Hans Christian Andersen will feature on giant screen and will tie in with the fairytales rendered on the stage. The films cover the entire life of the author - from his childhood in Odense and youth in Copenhagen to the tough times at Slagelse Grammar School; to his adult years filled with success, travel and unrequited love to his later years, focusing particularly on the homecoming to Odense and his tribute as honorary citizen. The films were made in October 2004 in Poland and other locations with international actors playing most of the roles. Hans Christian Andersen is played by Royal Danish Theatre actor Henrik Kofoed, who is expected to garner international attention with his work in these films. Two years ago, Kofoed characterized Hans Christian Andersen on stage in the Danish Theatre production of From the Life of the Earthworms. The performance is to be staged this season too. The voice-over is rendered by none other than the illustrious British actor Sir Derek Jacobi, who out of sheer enthusiasm and commitment lends his voice to the show for the modest fee of one pound.

Henrik Koefoed

Downloading photos:
Throughout the fairytale weekend, our photographers will continually upload fresh photos from HCA-activities in Odense and Copenhagen on Have PR's website for free editorial use:


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See below/attached:

- Fact-sheet for ONCE UPON A TIME...
- Cast profiles
- Costumes
- Project management
- Profile of Initial and the people behind the show
- About the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation
- About the Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary

Show tickets can be purchased at BilletNet on +45 70 15 65 65 or www.billetnet.dk and at Billetlugen on +45 70 263 267 or www.billetlugen.dk

For more information, please contact those listed below.

Yours sincerely,

Have PR & Kommunikation
Telephone: +45 33 25 21 07

Project coordinator:
Michael Feder - Email:  - Mobile: +45 22 43 49 42
Shelly Silberberg - Email:  - Mobile: +45 61 71 64 70
Louise Christensen - Email:

Fact-sheet on ONCE UPON A TIME...

Technical details
- 20 cameras - All 20 cameras to be used for television broadcast
- 3 OB trucks
- 20 kilometres of cables
- 12 trailers for lighting, sound, screen and set design equipment, including 6 for generators, 2 for lighting, 2 for scaffolding
- 24 computers and over 100 mobile telephones

The stage
- 900 m2 stage
- LED giant screen monitors: 312 m2 (comprised of a total of 1560 tiles and weighing 37,180 kg)
- 1 main set design that changes appearance for 11 acts with lighting, extra set design and props
- 6 columns (four on-stage, two at the opposite end of the stadium) that are constructed to look like giant icicles. They measure 19 metres in height, 9 metres in diameter at the top and 3 meters in diameter at the bottom. They will be lit from both inside and outside. A total of 2,000 metres of fabric will be used to decorate the columns.

- Approx. 600 performers
- Including 350 children singing in the choir, 2 in The Snow Queen and 30 members of the children's ballet 
- 20 cameramen
- 130 technicians and production workers
- 12 light technicians
- 10 makeup artists
- 10 dressers
- 92 costumes are used in the opening and closing numbers to perform Hans Christian Andersen's most famous fairytales, including 56 brand-new, custom-made costumes for Andersen's most famous characters and 36 rental costumes 
- 8 costumiers worked on making the costumes
Children's Choirs

- Children's choir of 350 boys and girls 
- They are members of the Danish National Junior Choir, the Royal Danish Academy of Music Children's Choir, the Danish National Children's Choir, the Danish National Boy's Choir and a choir from the Copenhagen school Skt. Annæ, 3-5 grade.
- Michael Bojesen, principal conductor for the Danish National Girl's Choir will conduct the choirs, which have been united for the occasion under the leadership of Louise Skovbæch, who is producer at the Danish national broadcasting corporation DR.

- Filmed October 2004
- Director: Adek Drabinski
- Screenplay: John Paul Chapple
- Key roles:
o Henrik Kofoed: Hans Christian Andersen
o Josh Reynolds: Young H.C. Andersen
o Malin Christensen: Jenny Lind
o Gary Sharkey: Jonas Collin
o David Newsome: Simon Meisling

Red carpet
- 50 metres long
- All VIP guests, such as the Danish Royal Family and international royal dignitaries as well as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors
- Press stands at the red carpet
- Full-sized LEGO Hans Christian Andersen welcomes guests at the end of the red carpet
- All guests sign the guest book designed by LEGO

Artist catering
- Chili John will provide catering services for artists and backstage crew
- 4000 meals over 8 days
- A canteen will be constructed in PARKEN
- Chili John will bring all the necessary kitchen utensils
- 20 kitchen workers will assist in preparing the meals
- 20,000 bottles of soda and mineral water are expected to be served


Fairytale cushion:
- The cushion is made of a folding book with front cover text reading "Once Upon a Time..." Inside is a fragment of the fairytale The Princess on the Pea, and a small green plastic pea is sewn on the back of the cushion.
- The red cushion cover is made of polyester satin with 100% polyester filling. The pillow is tied together with two white polyester satin cords. The inside text is brown and the cover text is black. 
- The cushion measures 35 x 35 cm and is 4 cm deep.
- 18,000 cushions will be manufactured and placed on all seats in seating categories A, B and C. The cushions will also be available at all PARKEN stalls for a price of DKK 100 excl. VAT

Flash light:
- 15 DKK

- 40 DKK

Tina Turner
With a music career that spans more than 40 years, Tina Turner is one of the most successful female rock performers of all time having sold more than 50 million albums. She was born in Tennessee in 1939 and christened Annie Mae Bullock. Up though the 1950s, 60s and 70s, Tina Turner enjoyed success with her former husband Ike Turner in the band Ike and Tina Turner Revue featuring hits such as River Deep, Mountain High and Proud Mary. In the mid-1970s she went solo, professionally and privately, and enjoyed a comeback in the 1980s with numerous hit albums. Her biggest hit album was Private Dancer from 1984 featuring hit tracks such as What's Love Got to Do With it?. The album sold more than 10 million copies worldwide earning her three Grammys. She also experienced stellar success with the album Simply the Best from 1991. The title song has been a highlight of her career ever since. Tina Turner has also appeared on the silver screen in movies such as Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome from 1985 when she enjoyed great success with the soundtrack We Don't Need Another Hero. She also recorded the 007 soundtrack Golden Eyes. Tina Turner has received numerous awards and been top of the charts the world over countless times.

Jean Michel Jarre
Jean Michel Jarre was born in 1948 and is classically trained from Le Conservatoire de Musique de Paris. He later changed direction and embraced rock and jazz, and in the late 1960s he turned towards more experimental acoustic/electro music. He has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide and has performed at a host of charitable events. In 2002, Jean-Michel Jarre performed a show entitled Aero by a wind farm in Aalborg with the Danish band Safri Duo. In October of 2004, Jean Michel Jarre performed two breathtaking, history-making concerts at The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in Beijing. These concerts were televised live to a billion viewers.

Connie Nielsen
Connie Nielsen was born in Frederikshavn, Denmark, in 1965. Her first acting experience was at the age of 15 when she appeared in a cabaret created by her mother. At the age of 18, she studied in Paris, Rome and Milan. Connie Nielsen is celebrated for her screen appearances in Devils Advocate, Gladiator and One Hour Photo co-starring with Robin Williams.

Daniel Bedingfield
Daniel Bedingfield is 23-years old and comes from New Zealand. Tonight this rising star within international pop will perform the track Wrap My Words Around You from his new album Second First Impression. This new album presents a fusion of funk, soul, reggae, R&B, garage and pop, and is a follow-up album to his debut release from 2003 entitled Gotta Get Thru This, which sold 3 million copies worldwide.

Olivia Newton John
Olivia Newton John was born in Cambridge, England, in 1948. At the age of five she moved with her family to Melbourne in Australia. Many will recall Olivia Newton John's performance in the movie Grease, where she co-starred with John Travolta, and the songs from the film swept the world and include the titles Summer Nights and Hopelessly Devoted To You. In 2000/2001 she released her first live album One Woman's Live Journey which was followed up by Magic - The Very Best of Olivia Newton-John marking her 30th jubilee.

Helena Christensen
Helena Christensen was born in 1968. Her international career as super model within the glitzy world of catwalks and magazines began in the 1990s. Helena Christensen was appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador in New York where she currently lives.

Lars Ulrich
Lars Ulrich was born in Gentofte, Denmark, in 1963. As the drummer in Metallica, Lars Ulrich is the energetic epicentre of this hugely successful band which has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide.

Isabel Allende
Isabel Allende was born in Lima, Peru, in 1942. She worked as a journalist in Chile until the 1973 military coup when she fled Chile, settling in Venezuela. 20 years ago she took the literary world by storm with "The House of the Spirits". Isabel Allende was appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador in 2004.

Harry Belafonte
Harry Belafonte is one of the world's most successful entertainers and epitomises the age of calypso. Harry Belafonte is UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and was appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador in 2004.

Sir Roger Moore
Sir Roger Moore was born in London in 1927. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Drama and appeared in several West End theatres. He is best known on screen as 007. Sir Roger Moore is a dedicated UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has also been appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador.

Cathy Freeman
Cathy Freeman was born in Queensland, Australia, in 1973. She is an Olympic Medallist and a living legend within athletics - and a national heroine in Australia. In 2003, Cathy Freeman was appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador by HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.

Sir Derek Jacobi
Sir Derek Jacobi, one of England's most illustrious actors, lends his voice to the life story of Hans Christian Andersen featured as short films tied in with the show. Sir Derek Jacobi has performed numerous times as Hamlet both at the Old Vic in London at Kronborg Castle in Elsinore, the fictional setting of Shakespeare's play and the venue of the Hamlet Festival. Sir Derek is internationally celebrated for his title role in I Claudio and his part in Gladiator where he played Gracchus.

Hayley Westenra
Hayley Westenra lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. At the age of just 17, her debut album Pure is the best selling classical album ever in Britain earning her a gold and platinum. Hayley Westenra primarily performs classical works and has been appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Morten Harket
Morten Harket was born in 1959 in Kongsberg, Norway. He is the lead singer in A-HA, which is one of Norway's most popular pop groups ever. He has additionally released three solo albums. Morten Harket is currently working on A-HA's new album to be released later this year.

Safri Duo
Safri Duo features Morten Friis and Uffe Savery, who are both classically trained musicians who have made the transition to the dance floor with enormous success. Their first hit single Played A-Live (The Bongo Song) was a huge international success. Their energetic live performances are major crowd-drawers. Their music and dynamic live performances reflects their exceptional talent in integrating organic beat in a trance techno genre.

Tap Dogs
Tap Dogs are currently taking the world by storm with their unprecedented tap show that combines the strength and power with the precision of tap dancing. The group started in a small town north of Sydney. Behind the group are choreographer Dein Perry, designer Nigel Triffitt, and composer Andrew Wilkie.

Renée Fleming
Renée Fleming was born in 1959 in the USA. She enjoys a successful international career as a soprano and has taken the Europeans by storm. She is critically acclaimed for her CD recordings and has performed at leading opera houses worldwide. Her repertoire spans baroque and Romantic operas as well as contemporary music. Renée Fleming has released a number of albums and has received a host of awards, including a Grammy Award in 1999.

Ennio Marchetto
Ennio Marchetto was born in Italy. He is an adept quick-change artist often nicknamed the "human cartoon" for his show featuring 100 different paper costumes in quick succession to resemble animated cartoons. For the evening's event, Ennio has designed a wealth of new characters inspired by Hans Christian Andersen.

Henrik Koefoed
Henrik Koefoed was born in 1955 in Kalvehave, Denmark. He graduated from the Danish National School of Theatre in 1980 and has since performed at several Copenhagen theatres and appeared in several movies. Henrik Koefoed has in recent years been assigned to the Royal Danish Theatre.

Sydney White / Pax Baldwin
Despite their tender age of just 13, Pax Baldwin and Sydney White have already enjoyed years of experience on stage including major musical productions in London's West End.

Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe
The Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe was established in 1951 and enjoys great international acclaim for their shows which combine classical and modern approaches to the art of acrobatics, including multimedia stage effects. The troupe, headed by artistic director An Ning, will perform The Nightingale.

The costumes for tonight's show have been produced by Academy Costumes in London where eight costumiers have worked on creating the approx. 300 costumes for several months. Academy Costumes is one of the leading companies within the field and have created costumes for movies such as Saving Private Ryan and Die Another Day. The designs are by Chris Woods.

DR project management:
Ulrik Skotte

Head of the Events Department at the Danish national broadcasting corporation DR. Ulrik Skotte was in charge of TV coverage of the Royal Wedding in Denmark in 2004. From 1998 - 2004 he was Chief Sub Editor of the DR1 newsroom. In 2004 he became co-executive producer of Once Upon a Time.

Merethe Eckhardt
Merethe Eckhardt is a lawyer by profession and was assigned to DR in 1998. In 2004, she became project manager at the channel and later this year she was appointed co-executive producer of
Once Upon a Time.

Profile of Initial and the people behind the show:

INITIAL (part of Endemol UK)

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 to 2000, producing 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).

Other credits include the Q Awards for Channel 4 to Miss World (broadcast 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).

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).

People behind Initial and the PARKEN show

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, Sony Entertainment TV, BSkyB, and Channel 9 Australia. He has produced television shows with almost every major artist in the world, including Michael Jackson, Luciano Pavarotti, Madonna, Sting,  Diana Ross, Queen, U2, Sir Elton John, David Bowie, Ricky Martin, Will Smith, and The Spice Girls, to name but a few.

Before joining Initial as Head of Events, Ward 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, Andy Ward produced The Brits 2000 (British Grammy Awards) for ITV, among other productions. 

John Bishop, Producer
John has directed and produced television series and specials with Les Dennis, Bob Monkhouse, Stanley Baxter and Paul Daniels as well as over forty episodes of The Russ Abbot Show. John was also Deputy Head of Light entertainment at the BBC where, amongst other programmes, he commissioned the pilot episode of Absolutely Fabulous. More recently John produced The Millennium Concert at Greenwich for Initial Television.

David Mallet, Director
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).

About the HCA-abc Foundation:
The HCA-abc Foundation was established in 2004 with the mission of addressing illiteracy among children worldwide in the name of Hans Christian Andersen. Special emphasis is given to children, young women and ethnic minorities in the developing world. The foundation is to support projects that will help ensure professional standards in helping children to achieve their potential by learning to read and write.

Director of the HCA-abc Foundation is Mette Holst

About the 2005 Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary:
ONCE UPON A TIME... marks the opening of the worldwide celebration of the bicentenary o the birth of Hans Christian Andersen who was born on 2 April 1980. the bicentennial celebrations are set to take place 2 April - 6 December 2005. The aim is to reach as many people as possible worldwide with as nuanced and diverse image of the life and work of the storyteller as possible. With this initiative we hope to address the all too one-dimensional and simplified image of Andersen that has developed over the years and do justice to his amazing ability to reach out across time and cultural divide.

The bicentennial celebrations will be hosted worldwide within art, culture, education and tourism. The bicentenary promises to be an embracing project with not just a wide popular appeal but also a project that holds something in store for more narrow segments of society. Entirely new renditions of the life and work of Andersen will be staged within all the arts, and Andersen's own work will be made more accessible through new quality translations of his tales. We seek to reach a new audience through Danish and international educational programmes and Danish cultural heritage will be highlighted through a number of tourism initiatives.

To further highlight the Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary, prominent public figures - primarily within the arts - will be appointed as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors to promote wider awareness and appreciation of the Andersen bicentenary. The appointed Ambassadors will also be invited to the opening show 1- 2 April 2005, which will be broadcasted live to the world.

The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation has been established by the Kingdom of Denmark represented by the Danish Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the Danish Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, the Municipality of Odense, the County of Funen and the Bikuben Foundation. The patron of the bicentennial events under the auspices of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 foundation is Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.