Oslo, minus several degrees, the landscape monochrome with luminous streaky skies. Bergen National Opera is in the capital at Operaen with a fine mix of nationalities and three Nordic composers to develop new operas for premiere in March.
In Grieghallen´s basement rehearsal room, figures in tattered grey sing Händel as they shuffle towards a table where soup is ladled from a vast battered pot. The scene is bleak. We are in Ireland – or it could be Norway – in some kind of timeless misery with freezing weather and famine, where the country´s distant officials have long ceased to care, and where the church is struggling between old-school hell-fire authority and its need to offer succour.
Welcome to Il Turco in Italia directed by American opera supremo Mark Lamos – a riotous combination of highly sophisticated ensemble, fabulous arias, touching moments and carefully choreographed mayhem.
Planning for Norway’s quirkiest festival – Mimì Goes Glamping 2016
It’s such a pleasure and privilege that one of the opera world’s great treasures Sir Thomas Allen will bring a unique late-night show to Mimì Goes Glamping. Lucky us, lucky Norway!
Published in Aftenposten, 4th April 2015 Isn´t it time we come clean and let go of the class wars, or at least allow ourselves to admire what we regard as bad taste. A book described as ”the most important piece of music criticism of the last two decades” has just rolled purposefully off the press […]
Arriving in Pristina for the annual European Cultural Parliament meeting, we gather in the gleaming new airport foyer, all glass and marble, and so squeaky clean that one daren´t finger a surface. The airline magazine has already pointed out two unmissable Kosovan experiences: Pristina´s exciting nightlife and excellent morning coffee. These may, we feel, be […]
It´s timely that right now in Bergen we are preparing an opera based on a Pushkin poem about Russian imperialist ambitions. Rimsky-Korsakov´s Gullhanen (The Golden Cockerel) – which tells the story of a mythical Tzar who invades a neighboring country, and is pecked to death by a golden bird charged with warning him of danger […]
There are those in arts leadership, some highly effective, of whom one could say ’his project was himself’. Of course personal ambition can be a fine thing and in its swirling wake, great things may happen. Egos dominate in most high level activities; Gerard Mortier, who died yesterday, most certainly had ego. His project, however, […]
Plovdiv, two hours north of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, is a surprising small city. Late February, and spring is already here. The city smells fresh and awake, of coffee and syrupy cakes. Its footprint pre-dates both Rome and Athens by 800 years; walking up the calm, pretty pedestrian main street where elegant street cafes sit […]