Read all about the first two months of the HCA 2005 celebrations.

By HCA2005 - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 31 May 2005

The celebrations marking the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen are under way. During the opening weekend a large number of foreign guests took part in the inaugural activities that took place in Copenhagen and Andersen's city of birth, Odense. A large presence of members of the Danish and international press covered the events extensively. The crowning event of the opening festivities was the televised show "Once Upon A Time" hosted at the Danish national soccer stadium, Parken.

Unfortunately, ticket sales did not live up to expectation, and the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation suffered an immediate loss of revenue, which an austerity plan to be submitted to the Board of Governors on 31 May will seek to rectify.

Luckily, most of the activities sponsored by the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation will not be affected by the economic loss suffered by the foundation, totalling 5 % of the budget.

The celebrations marking the Andersen bicentenary will therefore continue as planned, and it is with great pleasure that the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation hereby presents a wide range of projects which during the first months of the Andersen celebrations have been received with great enthusiasm by audiences and the press alike.

A newly published official programme features more than 250 Danish and international projects set to take place within the arts, culture, education and tourism. Read more about the book which is also available online at

I Am Only Apparently Dead

On 9 April the performance "I Am Only Apparently Dead" by the Danish theatre Hotel Pro Forma premiered in Hall Kalk in Cologne, Germany, to great critical acclaim.

"This music performance is quite simply captivating but also terrifying and haunting."

"The gallery of characters rendered to the stage by the Danish theatre Hotel Pro Forma harbours dream potential. The performance allows you to ponder the fact that every adult has also once been a child. (...) [Andersen's diaries] deal with a complex and bizarre man's encounter with the world at large. Intimacy is given a chilling reception. This is the painful process interpreted by Kirsten Dehlholm in her very imaginative staging. (...) Gregorianism-meets-modernity reflects the way Andersen met the world, which Dehlholm sketches in catalogue spread of diverse imagery (...) The Ugly Duckling rolls across the Plaza of Destiny. "Quack" and this highly poetical, playful performance of music, art and movement draws to an end to great opening-night applause."
Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

"The co-production between the Danish National Choir and Hotel Pro Forma offers the best evening at Shauspiel Kölns in a long time."
Frankfurter Rundschau

"The poet is afforded the privilege to remain an enigma. (...) Dehlholm sets out many trails. LEGO bricks point to the very realm of the child to which Andersen contributed so greatly and in which he always to some degree seemed to belong. (...) The subdued, spacious and orchestrated set design is embraced by wonderful music, which like the set design itself avoids drowning its subject-matter."
Kölnische Rundschau

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Mermaids Ride a Wave of Success

One of Andersen's most famous fairytales "The Little Mermaid" inspires a great number of contemporary interpretations staged across the world during the bicentennial year 2005.

The Little Mermaid, the Copenhagen Opera House
On 15 April, the Royal Danish Ballet performed the premiere of a grand modern rendition of "The Little Mermaid", created by the American-born choreographer and artistic director of the Hamburg Ballet, John Neumeier, in collaboration with composer Lera Auerbach. The world premiere was received with great critical acclaim by the Danish press:

"Passion and great poetry - John Neumeier creates monumental work for the Royal Danish Ballet based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" - Erik Aschengreen awarded the performance 5 out of 6 stars in national Danish daily Berlingske Tidende.

"Deep Yearning - It's a scoop to have such a great narrator as Neumeier launch The Little Mermaid onto the deep waters of the stage" - Monna Dithmer awarded 5 out of 6 stars in national Danish daily Politiken.

"Ravishing mermaid in distress - Where the mermaid in Andersen's tale is subjected to yet another metamorphosis and becomes a Spirit of the Air, Neumeier lets the mermaid and Andersen himself ascend to the starry celestial heavens - into the realm of immortality" - Lene Kryger awarded 5 out of 6 stars in regional Danish daily Fyens Stifttidende.

The Mermaid, Kedelsmedjen, Copenhagen

Directors Katrine Wiedemann and Tilde Björfors in association with the Swedish new-circus Cirkus Cirkör have created a new rendition of "The Little Mermaid", which combines theatre with cutting-edge circus with focus on visual performance rather than the spoken word. The performance reflects Andersen's poetic, wondrous and infinitely beautiful story of the woeful little mermaid who yearns for the prince and an immortal human soul. "The Mermaid" premiered on Saturday 14 May at Kedelsmedjen by the Copenhagen harbour to universal critical acclaim.

Under the heading "The Tragedy of Love", critic Søren Vinterberg of Danish daily Politiken awards the performance 5 hearts and writes:
"Full of the tenderness and blindness of love and with the narrative of passion this circus drama reaches into the hazy depth of Andersen's fairytales (...) Wiedemann never affords a moment of equilibrium and her humour only enhances the tragic character of the play. The result is a memorable performance of international potential and a turning point in the renewal of Danish theatre."

His enthusiasm is shared by critic Jens Andersen from Danish daily Berlingske Tidende, who awards the play 5 stars and writes: "What is crucially new about Wiedemann's staging of Hans Christian Andersen's Mermaid are the scenic qualities; the way in which she embodies love and its frantic players. She quite literally lets them sweat, wriggle and contort themselves - it's ingenious. There are many unforgettable images which will etch themselves onto the retina of those making their way from the theatre on Holmen. Kedelsmedjen is currently a place not to be missed."

This overwhelmingly positive reception is mirrored by critic Henrik Lyding from national Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in his review entitled "Brilliantly Beautiful Mermaid" where he writes:
"She [Katrine Wiedemann, ed.] mixes dance, acrobatics, words, light and not least an amazing stage imagery which makes you quite dizzy with delight. Not least because the performance is faithful to the Andersen's original wording, although little is uttered during this sensual visual performance, which engages the story poetically and embraces it with a dramatic soundscape reaching from the roaring of the sea to delicate lyrical tunes, American evergreens and military march music."

Gregers Dirckinck-Holmfeld, national Danish daily Ekstra Bladet awards 5 out of 6 stars:
"A dream of a mermaid... A sensational performance... Wonderful stage imagery... Melinda Kinnaman is a ravishing mermaid."

Birgitte Grue, national Danish daily B.T. awards four out of six stars.
"...High-level theatre... circus and theatre that really swing together!... They jump right into our hearts from trampolines... it is very, very grand - an entertaining, energetic performance."

Anne Middelboe Christensen, Danish national daily Information:
"The performance is a visual bombardment. Playful mermaids, sailors climbing rigs and jumping from trampolines. It's funny and grotesque. This serious and daring Andersen interpretation by Katrine Wiedemann and Tilde Björfors is physically high-flying; it gives you a stomach full of butterflies and goose pimples all over."

Swedish critics also echo the enthusiasm. Critic Barbro Westling at national Swedish daily Aftonbladet writes:
"An ambitious performance and the start of a several-year tour of a performance that is theatrically refined and renders its story with soul... The ensemble under the direction of Katrine Wiedemann and Tilde Björfors has succeeded in creating an almost Shakespearian realm of treacherous guises and ocean deep mirror-cabinet play... the individual performances come together with surprising clarity... a complex emotional tempest reflecting the price paid for passion as well as the high demands of circus performance."

For more information visit:


Robert Lepage - The Andersen Project

No sooner had Danish theatre critics handed in their enthusiastic reviews of "The Mermaid" before superlatives were called for once again.

The guest performance at the Royal Danish Theatre of Canadian theatre director Robert Lepage's "The Andersen Project" received critical acclaim. The play is based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales "The Dryad" and "The Shadow" as well as the personal life of the Andersen himself - references that are interwoven with the destiny of contemporary characters in Paris. The one-man performance stars Robert Lepage himself.
Theatre critic Monna Dithmer awards the performance five out of six hearts in national daily Politiken and writes:
"Robert Lepage wipes the slate clean of Andersen idealisation by mirroring the contemporary Parisian porn-scene and lashing out left and right. You cannot help but sit and grunt with pleasure".

Critic Vibeke Wern from national daily Berlingske Tidende also sprinkles stardust and writes: "In his many amazing changes of character, Robert Lepage constantly journeys between different places and times; a movement underpinned by magnificent video-clip visuals." She calls the performance "Nothing short of brilliant" and emphasises that "The Andersen Project" is rewardingly ironical and self-reflective since in a refined movement one narrative grows out of the next as from a Chinese box where all aspects mirror the life and authorship of Hans Christian Andersen".

Critic Henrik Lyding from national daily Jyllands-Posten shares her enthusiasm: "This grand-scale performance, involving a host of stage visuals as well as music, video and lighting and moveable parts is a fabulously funny and sharp introduction to aspects of the life and passions of Hans Christian Andersen tied in with a couple of his fairytales, which effortlessly jump back and forth in time and space."

Under the heading "Top Class", critic Claes Wallin of the Swedish national daily Aftonbladet calls the performance a "Sophisticated theatrical fairytale" that is "completely irresistible"... "But first and foremost it sucks its audience in; it persuades the audience to listen to the stories, whether fairytales or a series of exceptionally comical scenes, which constantly invite us to reflect on the interrelation between the story and our own part in it all."

"The Andersen Project" premiered in Canada on 22 February 2005 where is was also very well received.

Eve Dumas from Cyberpresse/ Le Soleil writes:

"The Andersen Project is a performance in perpetual movement by a unique interpreter who has never performed better... the creator adapts himself to the given theme in a meaningful and convincing way."

Mario Roy from La Presse of Montreal also writes enthusiastically:
"It wouldn't be too much to say that following a rocketing 20-year career, this man remains just as bulimic, moving, monomaniac, imaginative, unpredictable and shameless as ever. In short: ingenious."

For more information visit:

Symphonic Fairytales - A Worldwide Success

On 27 February 2005, the classical music project Symphonic Fairytales staged its world premier in Switzerland where the Basel Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the Danish conductor Frans Rasmussen, performed Morten Olsen's symphonic work based on "The Little Match Girl". The CHF 5,304.20 revenue from the sold-out concert was donated to the HCA-abc Foundation.

Since then concert after concert have been staged worldwide. From Ho Chi Minh City, Madrid, Birmingham, Reykjavik, Aarhus, Warsaw, Flensburg, Oslo, Basel, Stockholm to Chile and the USA, symphony orchestras are performing for enthusiastic audiences at sold-out concerts.
"In connection with the world premiere of John Frandsen's work "The Shadow" the music director of the Oslo Philharmonic states: "... I was impressed by the fact that such a complex project worked and that the audience - the schoolchildren - were open to the work and showed such great respect and concentration."

Music Director of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic states in relation to Bent Lorantzen's symphonic fairytale "The Tinderbox", which premiered with narration by actress Stina Ekblad: "Lorentzen's work is quite accessible. The music is amazingly well tied in with the lyrics, and with his great sense of form the composer reaches out to the audience with a fine and interesting story."

Director of artistic planning, Mats Engström adds:
"So much goes on in the work musically that it will be really cool to "see" the music! It is well instrumented and you can clearly hear that the musicians enjoy playing. The wide scope [of the orchestration] that encompasses professional musicians as well as contributing children is most emphatically reflected in the aspects of Lorentzen's score where he takes things to their extreme."

Project coordinator, Else Torp from the Society for Publication of Danish Music, Edition Samfundet, states:

"When you run down the list of contributing orchestras you must concede that this project is a marked international breakthrough for Danish symphonic music... Working with the orchestras on these many concerts is an immensely good experience.  The individual organisations have given great emphasis to these concerts. This is not only reflected in the high standards of musical performance but also in the PR initiatives prior to the sold-out events as well as the prominent names that the orchestras have engaged as narrators. In England, the narrator was actor Simon Callow (known from "Four Weddings and a Funeral"), and in Stockholm it was actress Stina Ekblad. Hans Christian Andersen has quite clearly opened doors for the orchestra and the works have spoken to the imagination of the organisers. We have been given the opportunity to take part in their work with children and the young. Being able to take part in the developmental work of these orchestras marks an amazing opening for us, and we are already in talks with many of them on what our next project should be."

For more information visit:

World Class Education

Schools the world over use Andersen's fairytales in their education. The educational resources issued by the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation are currently available in 17 languages and is a worldwide success where schoolchildren engage in reading and discussion as well as staging their own renditions and creating illustrations.

The educational website, which is accessible through the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 web portal, has been created in association with the Danish Centre for Children's Literature under the auspices of the Danish University of Education. Educational consultant Tina Krogh states:

"Ask any child on the street who Hans Christian Andersen is and you will be given a prompt answer which is also professionally well sustained. Teachers, educationalists and children are now all familiar with Hans Christian Andersen - perhaps even from an entirely new angle. Danish elementary schools and many kindergartens have during the bicentennial year worked intensely with Andersen and his authorship, which is evident among Danish children.

Schools have not only emphasised a literary approach to Andersen but certainly also adopted new approaches to the authorship and his personal character. A very interesting initiative I will mention is Andersen's view of nature and how he uses nature in his fairytales and stories. This initiative is accessible free of charge and is targeted at junior elementary school classes. The initiative, called Kriblekrable (Creepy Crawly) is sponsored by the Danish natural heritage association, Danmarks Naturfredningsforening, in association with the Danish Ministry of Education. (in Danish only).
A "micro-web portal", accessible from, has been developed as an inspirational portal for educators and features professional resources and information on new publications as well as links to related websites. Traffic on the site has exceeded all expectation and we have received positive feedback from teachers, parents, organisations and regional educational resource centres, etc."

For more information visit:

... .At Universities Too

Andersen is also the focus at universities this year. Seminars, conferences, publications and Ph.D. scholarships have been established with support from the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation. Examples of the impressive range of events to be hosted are listed below:

The Nordic Institute, Aarhus University
A series of lectures entitled "& Andersen" to be held throughout the autumn semester of 2005 will focus on Andersen's influence on Danish literature after his death. Writers will convey how they draw inspiration from Andersen while literary scholars will relate how Andersen has influenced individual authors.

The University of Southern Denmark / Hans Christian Andersen Conference
The Hans Christian Andersen Centre under the auspices of the University of Southern Denmark will host an international Andersen conference in 2005, which is to yield a number of scientific papers that will contribute to future research on the author. Emphasis will be given to Andersen as an author suspended between the realm of children's literature and literature for adults. The conference will take place between 1 and 5 August 2005 at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense.

Université Paris Sorbonne-Paris IV (France)
International symposium. Marc Auchet, professor of Danish Studies at Sorbonne in Paris and Andersen translator, will host an international symposium on Hans Christian Andersen to be held 17-18 June 2005.

Marc Auchet states:
"Apart from [contributing with] my new translation [into French] of the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen, which have been given a splendid reception by critics in many newspapers and on the radio, I will host an international Andersen symposium set to take place at Sorbonne on 17 and 18 June with the active participation of one or two renowned French actors/actresses and a Danish singer Anne Shin, who will perform some of Andersen's famous songs. This will take place at the magnificent Amphithéâtre Richelieu. Of the publications I have contributed to I will emphasise the commended educational magazine "Textes et documents pour la classe", which will issue a special feature edition in September. The magazine has more than 20,000 subscribers and will reach a large proportion of the field of education in France. Teachers and pupils will benefit from this by becoming more familiar with Andersen."

The University of Vienna (Austria)
Prof. Sven Hakon Rossel will host an international conference at the University of Vienna, Institute for Scandinavian Studies. Emphasis will be given to translations of Andersen's works into other languages within different cultures. A workshop will be hosted 27 - 29 October 2005 which will look into the practical aspects of translation.

For more information visit:

Amazing reception in China and Russia

The Chinese have shown overwhelming interest in the Andersen bicentenary and a host of celebrations will take place throughout 2005. Director of the Danish Cultural Centre in Beijing, Eric Messerschmidt, states:

"The Chinese interest in Andersen projects is quite daunting. For instance, we would have liked two extra copies of the itinerate [Andersen] exhibition to meet demands, and crowds have flocked to the exhibition in the six cities where the exhibition has been highlighted so far. Since January, three new collected works of Andersen's fairytales have been published. And that doesn't include the numerous minor publications on the market such as cartoon books. The same soaring interest applies to the conference initiatives, which have also been well received? and children's theatre performances have also experienced high audience attendance. This year I have attended premieres of four renditions of "The Little Match Girl": One musical version, two marionette performances and one melodrama. We are not talking of productions with a mere cast of four or five but large-scale performances with casts of up to 70 performers on stage, which we hope will have a chance to tour. The most extravagant production until now has been the movie "Peach Blossom" and the art exhibition "Body Temperature", which despite targeting a narrow audience is now subject to international distribution. In addition, several interesting and original documentaries have been aired by the national broadcasting corporation, CCTV. All these projects have received sponsorship from the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation. An inevitable highlight of the Danish productions is the successful tour last year of the Danish National Girls' Choir and the upcoming major concerts by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra where [Danish children's entertainer] Sigurd Barret it so perform with Zhang Jinlai, Asia's most cherished theatre character, at two major performances in Beijing on Children's Day, 1 June. Finally, the opening of the "Warhol on Andersen" exhibition was held in Shanghai in April and was very well received by the press and drew large crowds."

The official celebration has spurned numerous projects and garnered substantial media interest in Hans Christian Andersen. Galina Simonova from the Royal Danish Embassy in Moscow reports of major media coverage of events. She states:

"The press coverage of the Andersen bicentenary in Russia is quite extensive. All national TV channels have produced one or more programmes on Andersen. Most of them relate the most formative events in Andersen's life - his childhood, youth, his first journey from Odense to Copenhagen, his international travels, his fame in Denmark and Europe. The programmes highlight Russian scholars and artists whose work is closely related to Andersen and feature musicians and writers who speak of the influence Andersen has had on their life and work. In TV talk shows on Andersen influential people from the Russian arts relate their often quite contrasting views on Andersen. Some emphasise Andersen's difficult nature while others see him as a kind of saint. But all agree that Andersen was a great author and a great fairytale storyteller and that his contribution to world culture is enormous."

From Odense to Japan

The Tinderbox is the name of a children's cultural institution in Odense, which reaches out to those of all ages who are still children at heart. Here they become familiar with the fairytale world of Andersen through drama, narrative, visual art and music. These activities have been transplanted to Japan where the fairytale installation from The Tinderbox entitled "The Enchanted World of Thumbelina" is presented in Odense's twinned town, Funabashi.

The institution in Odense has in 2005 created a new heart-shaped fairytale installation entitled "In the Heart of Andersen", which sends children (and grown-ups) on an enchanted fairytale journey into the life and literary world of Andersen, including the tales of "The Snow Queen", "The Fir Tree", "The Sweet Hearts" and "The Steadfast Tin Soldier".

Director of the Tinderbox, Ulla English, states:
"We think it's fantastic that the Tinderbox has been granted the opportunity to present an entirely new setup and focus on a different Andersen. Our fairytale installation has been very useful and brought great joy to numerous children and those who are still a child at heart. But also Japan has shown interest and now want to see "the real thing", and the exhibition in Funabashi is a tremendous success."

For more information visit:

A Touring Success

The official itinerate 2005 Hans Christian Andersen exhibition has enjoyed a successful tour throughout 2004 and 2005 and has so far been featured in more than 45 countries, including Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Greenland, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, France, Belgium, Algeria, England, Ireland, Scotland, the USA, Canada, Malta, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, Nicaragua, Japan, China, Korea, Russia, and Greece. Head of Department at the Odense City Museums, Claus Koch, estimates that the exhibition will be featured in more than 200 locations during 2005.

Cultural coordinator Sarah Maria Bogantes at the Royal Danish Embassy in Madrid states:
"The itinerate exhibition organised by Odense City Museums entitled "Hans Christian Andersen 2005" has since August 2004 been featured in 10 different schools, libraries and cultural venues nationwide from Vitoria in the north to Málaga in the south and even on the Canary Islands. By the end of 2005, the exhibition will have been featured in 8 additional Spanish towns, including Melilla on the North African coast.

Cultural and educational authorities throughout Spain have shown colossal interest in the travelling exhibition, which is a brilliant supplement to all the Andersen activities that these institutions have either created on their own initiative or created on the basis of the educational resources compiled by the Danish Centre for Children's Literature, which the embassy has provided to relevant institutions throughout Spain."

For more information visit:

In Hans Christian Andersen's Footsteps

Enthusiasm for Hans Christian Andersen is also evident among Danish tourist organisations and museums which all report marked interest in a wealth of Andersen exhibitions currently featured. The interest in walking in Andersen's footsteps - quite literally or more thematically - is overwhelming.

On the subject of the enormous interest enjoyed by the Hans Christian Andersen House, Head of Department at the Odense City Museums, Claus Koch, states:

"We have during several periods reached the limit of our capacity and we have had to ask schools to postpone their school class visits until after the summer break. Currently, we have already experienced twice the amount of school class visits as all of 2004. As of 30 April, visitor's attendance at the Hans Christian Andersen House has increased with 275 % from 12,000 visitors to approx. 50,000. This figure is expected to skyrocket in the weeks and months to come when the tourist season sets in bringing visitors to town, the island and the country..."

In Hans Christian Andersen's "second hometown", Copenhagen, Andersen interest is also high. Since the opening in November 2004, more than 20,000 people have visited the only Copenhagen home open to the public of the Danish author, namely a small garret apartment, which is today part of the Magasin du Nord Department Store, Vingårdsstræde.

The streets of Copenhagen also offer the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Andersen. In celebration of the Andersen bicentenary, the Golden Days in Copenhagen Festival has initiated a project where 50 Andersen portraits are featured on buildings and public squares relating the story of the many different homes Andersen had in town and his colourful circle of acquaintances as well as his way about town.

Secretary General of the Golden Days in Copenhagen Festival, Ulla Tofte, states:
"At Golden Days we experience a great interest in our Andersen Footsteps initiative, which is featured both in the public space and on the Internet. We really sense how people relate to this form of communication when they move around the town - Andersen and modern technology in fusion."

Tivoli Gardens also experiences great interest in their Andersen fairytale show. The show draws a crowd of 2-5,000 people every evening. More than 40,000 visitors have attended the show since the premiere on 14 May. By the end of the opening season, several hundred thousand will have seen the show according to Tivoli Garden estimates. Both the public and press have shown great enthusiasm for the fairytale show, says Head of Communications at Tivoli Gardens, Stine Lolk. Journalists from countries such as Portugal, Japan, China, Spain, Germany, the UK, Ireland as well as the Benelux countries have all visited the gardens to write about the show. Furthermore, news footage on the fairytale parade has via Reuters and AP been broadcasted in 13 European countries.

There are many different approaches to Andersen and the wide scope of interest he is subject to reflects his universal appeal. This is not least the case with the major exhibition featured at the Danish National Gallery in Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst. The exhibition on Andersen and the Romanticist painters of his day and age is a major crown-puller.

Head of Communications at Statens Museum for Kunst, Tine Wickers, states:
"The exhibition most certainly has appeal! 60,000 paying visitors have seen the exhibition until now, and we are in daily contact with members of both the Danish and international press. Our international press strategy has paid off. The foreign journalists are mainly from Europe, but Japanese, Chinese and American press has also visited the museum. The press coverage in Denmark alone equals advertising worth DKK 4 million.

For the museum, Hans Christian Andersen has been a good opportunity to forge contacts to international travel and lifestyle media and thus generate additional international awareness of the museum and Danish Romanticist pictorial art. The exhibition closes on 12 June. A short film about the exhibition is featured at "
The major interest experienced by the different cultural institutions is confirmed by the Danish national tourist board, VisitDenmark. Maria Grønlund, project manager at VisitDenmark states:
"Interest in the Andersen bicentenary among international media organisations is overwhelming. Throughout 2004 and until today, VisitDenmark has experienced a major interest in visiting Denmark with the aim of following in the footsteps of Andersen as well as requests for information on the extensive bicentennial programme. The journalists come from neighbouring countries, such as Sweden, Norway and Germany, as well as Italy, England, the Netherlands, China, Japan and the USA. The press visits are conducted in joint collaboration between VisitDenmark and the regional and local tourist organisations in Copenhagen and on Funen. The published articles report enthusiastically about the many experienced Denmark has to offer in relation to the Andersen bicentenary.

The opening show in Copenhagen was not intended as a tourist magnet, but rather as an event designed to create wide-reaching awareness of the opening of the bicentennial year in Denmark. To facilitate this, the Danish tourism organisations issued edited news footage on the Fairytale Weekend events. The news feature reached an audience of 101 million viewers in the USA and other European countries subject to monitoring. Ratings showed that 58 different broadcasting corporations aired the story, including CNN, BBC, German ARD, RTL and ZDF, Swedish TV4 and TV2 Norway. EBU distributed the news footage to 40 TV corporations in Europe and North Africa. Major news agencies, such as Reuters and Associated Press, also issued the material through their news and entertainment bulletins in Europe and worldwide, including South America, the USA and Asia. Euronews, BBC, CNN, and a minimum of 13 national TV stations in Europe broadcasted the news. Ratings from China, Japan and a number of other countries are not available.

Currently, VisitDenmark along with the regional tourism organisations are jointly hosting a group of journalists from Europe, Asia and the USA, who over a three-day visit will experience Andersen-related events in Copenhagen and Funen. In addition, there is sustained interest among journalists to visit Denmark on individual trips."

For more information visit:

Other Projects
In London, the much awaited exhibition entitled "Hans Christian Andersen" has been opened at the British Library. The exhibition is free of charge for people of all ages and has been designed by Theatre-rites. The exhibition focuses on the underlying themes in Andersen's fairytales. The darker sides to Andersen's personality and the innocence of his visions are investigated through the use of famous fairytale characters. The exhibition opened on 20 May and will run until 2 October 2005.

For further information, visit:

At the theatre venue Kanonhallen in Copenhagen audiences can experience how Copenhagen Performance House delves into the heart of Andersen's work - into the process of writing - with focus on his travel book "A Journey on Foot from Holmens Canal to the East Point of Amager". The performance expounds on the double nature of Andersen's personality by employing every art form from drama, performance, music, and situation happenings to dance and installation. An exhilarating, frightening, humorous and depraved performance. For more information visit:

The CD "Andersens Drømme" (Andersen's Dreams) by Nikolaj Nørlund was released on 23 May. The album is a wide-reaching collaboration between Danish songwriters, musicians and soloists. A great many songwriters have contributed with lyrics based on Andersen's account of his dreams. Nørlund has written most of the music. The CD has received critical acclaim in the Danish press.

For more information on the contributing lyricists, singers and musicians visit:

Event in Store
Until the end of July 2005 a wide range of projects will be presented that are endorsed by the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation. The events include:

From 28 May to 9 June, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra will tour China where they will perform their bicentennial programme, including works by Sheng, Stravinsky, Sibelius, Grieg, Brahms and Carl Nielsen. For further information visit:

On 28 May, two international exhibitions will be featured at the art museums Vestsjællands Kunstmuseum and Brandts Klædefabrik in Odense. For further information visit:

On 2 June the open-air stage will be re-inaugurated at The Funen Village. Throughout the summer, the venue will host a number of concerts, theatre performances and other popular events. For further information visit:

On 4 June, a series of popular concerts, entitled "Åh Abe" (Oh Monkey), which have thrilled children for over a decade, be featured nationwide. For further information visit:

On 4 June, the performance entitled "AN-DER-SEN" will premiere at the Strastnoj Theatre in Moscow as part of the prestigious Chekhov Festival. For further information visit:

On 8 June, the exhibition entitled "To Write is an Act of Love" will open at Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen. The exhibition will later be featured at the UNESCO Building in Paris and at Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. For further information visit:

On 11 June, a castle concert will be hosted at the Danish country manor Lykkesholm featuring the Danish musical star Stig Rossen and his English colleague Elaine Paige. For further information visit:

On 23 June a new nationwide feature travel route will be inaugurated for visitors and locals alike. The trail is called "Andersen Was Here" and includes a number of authentic sites related to the life and work of Andersen. Different places will be signposted which Andersen either visited or wrote about. For further information visit:

On 8 July, a play by Jan Fabre will premiere entitled "L'histoire des larmes" (The History of Tears). The performance will be staged at the magnificent Cour d'honneur at the Papal Palace of Avignon in connection with the Festival d'Avignon. For further information visit:

On 27 July, a performance by Chen Shi-Zheng entitled "My life as a Fairy Tale" will premiere at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York. The performance is a joint collaboration between musician Stephin Merritt, known from the rock group The Magnetic Fields behind the hit album "69 Love Songs". The all-female cast will include Fiona Shaw, Blair Brown and Mia Maestro. For further information visit: