HCA NEWS Andersen bicentenary given a flying start!

International media brimming over with Andersen.

By on - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 05 April 2005

Andersen show in Copenhagen huge success:
- 1.6 million Danish viewers watched Saturday evening's show.
- 4.1 quality rating by Gallup.
- Many reviews hail the show as spectacular and professional.
- A minimum of 100 million TV viewers in Europe watched highlights from the show.

The Andersen bicentenary is given a flying start! The hugely successful Fairytale Weekend in Copenhagen was attended by 135 Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors from all across the world, the Royal Danish Family, royal dignitaries, including representatives from Sweden and The Netherlands, as well as first ladies and former presidents. The highpoint of the Fairytale Weekend was the grand TV show entitled Once Upon A Time, which has received critical acclaim from a wide range of Danish media organisations.

With few reservations regarding individual performances, by far most Danish media agree that the show was grand, spectacular and very professional. Among the features and performers enjoying critical acclaim are Jean Michel Jarre's nine-minute multimedia rendition of Andersen's fairytale "The Shadow", the American soprano Renée Flemming, 17-year-old Hayley Westenra, Danish actor Henrik Koefoed in his role as Hans Christian Andersen, Lars Ulrich, who spoke Danish at the show, Safri Duo's rendition of "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", the Italian quick-change artist Ennio Marchetto as well as the entire set design as such.

Several reviewers emphasised Tina Turner's finale performance as a scoop for the show. Lars Wredstrøm from the Danish business daily Børsen called it "a triumph", and Henrik Danneman from Danish national daily Berlingske Tidende wrote: "Tina Turner has always - ever since she and her ex-husband Ike were warm-ups for the Rolling Stones - had the magnitude and sheer drive to bring crowded stadiums to the boiling point. She did so Saturday too, and that isn't bad for a broad in her 60s." Reviewers enthusiastically applaud the evening's hostess, Danish actress Connie Nielsen. The front page of Danish national daily B.T. hails her performance as "eminent" while Danish national daily newspapers Berlingske Tidende, Politiken, Børsen, Ekstra-Bladet and Information offer similar tributes. International reviews of the show are expected over the coming days.

This morning, Danish national broadcaster, DR, released the news that the show drew a TV audience of 1.6 mill ion in Denmark, which is a 72% rating and one of the highest ratings for a televised show in Denmark ever! Gallup has conducted a quality rating awarding the show 4.1, which is exceptionally high. The red carpet event in the run-up to the show was watched by 1.4 million Danish viewers.

Initial estimates indicate that at least 100 million viewers across Europe watched highlights from the show in Copenhagen. Over 60 international TV stations have, via the EBU network, shown highlights from the show and the red carpet event, including AFP (French TV), the BBC, ARD, Norddeutscher Rundfunk and ZDF (German TV), Al-Jazeera (Arabic TV), AP TV, RAI (Italian TV), the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Channel 9 (Australian TV), CNN Türk (Turkish CNN), Czech TV, HBO Latin (South-American TV network) as well as national broadcasting corporations in The Netherlands, Norway, Finland, and Portugal, etc. In all, 15 nations have either broadcasted the show live or will broadcast the show at a later date. DR is currently negotiating some of these deals.

The long awaited Fairytale Weekend in Copenhagen was attended by 135 Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors from around the world, the Danish Royal Family, foreign royal dignitaries, including representatives from Sweden and The Netherlands, as well as first ladies and former presidents. The entire weekend with its many official events enjoyed sunny weather, which helped to draw crowds to the streets of Odense and the grand firework display across Odense harbour. The gala performance at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen was also a great success, and fair weather also brought the crowds to Copenhagen City Hall where a reception has held for prominent guests and royal dignitaries to mark the closing of the Fairytale Weekend. Here HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark appointed the five international winners of the Hans Christian Andersen children?s competition as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors.

Secretary General of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Lars Seeberg, states:
"We are immensely proud that the Andersen bicentenary has been given such a flying start. We are quite simply overwhelmed by the enthusiasm we meet from all quarters. It seems that the Fairytale Weekend really has ignited the Andersen torch so that it may shine across the world as a clear and magnificent beacon for the next eight months. Now we embark on the Andersen year in earnest and the many exciting projects scheduled until 6 December."

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