mon 20/09/2021

Sweden

theartsdesk at the Birgit Nilsson Days - the rich legacy of a farm girl turned diva

Feet firmly planted on fertile native soil, but always open to the world, lyric-dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson soared into realms no-one from the rolling hills and coastline of Sweden’s Bjäre peninsula, where she grew up, could possibly have...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Dungen - Stadsvandringar

Dungen’s October 2005 appearance on Late Night With Conan O'Brien was incongruous. Here was a Swedish band on an independent label, singing in their native language, playing live on coast-to-coast mainstream US TV. The show’s host making a great...

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First Person: Director Maria Aberg on drawing fresh inspiration for the future

When theatres in the UK closed last March, I found myself in a vacuum. Having been a freelance theatre director for over 15 years, I was used to busy – juggling a hectic schedule of directing shows with the reality of being a mum to two toddlers....

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Siegfried, Göteborg Opera online review - a hero for our times

The team of Stephen Langridge (director), Alison Chitty (design) and Paul Pyant (lighting) produced a quietly radical Parsifal at the Royal Opera in 2013, finding both beauty and horror in unexpected corners. On the strength of its third instalment...

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Album: Frida Hyvönen - Dream Of Independence

Track two on Dream Of Independence, the new album from Sweden’s Frida Hyvönen, is titled “A Funeral in Banbridge”. An account of attending a funeral in, indeed, Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland, it’s bright, melodically jaunty, piano-...

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Classical musicians on life after Brexit - 2: violinist Victoria Sayles

In March 2020, all my work in Australia and Sweden, where I had won contracts for several months to come, was cancelled on the day I was due to fly. Both organisations who had engaged me promptly honoured their contracts with me financially...

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Album: Viagra Boys - Welfare Jazz

Their PR cannot put the band name in the header of promotional emails, as they’ll go straight to the spam bin, but Swedish punk outfit Viagra Boys have, nonetheless, become a name to contend with. It’s their wild live persona that’s put them on the...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Are We Lost Forever

The title of Swedish director David Färdmar’s feature debut gains a degree of helpful context from one of its opening lines, “But there’s no more we”. One partner, Hampus (Jonathan Andersson), is telling the other, Adrian (Björn Elgerd), that...

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Being A Human Person review - enter the surreal world of Roy Andersson

It’s fair to say that the idiosyncratic, surrealist films of Roy Andersson are not everyone’s cup of tea. Whether you find his films impregnable or incisive, it’s impossible to argue with the artistic imprint the Swedish auteur has had on European...

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A Little Night Music, Opera Holland Park review - wasn't it bliss?

A lot of rain and untold bliss: those were the takeaways from Saturday night’s alfresco Opera Holland Park concert performance of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s eternally glorious 1973 musical, A Little Night Music. I doubt any of the 200...

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Don Giovanni/Sibelius plus, Swedish RSO, Harding, livestream review - dark studio rituals

"Touch her and you die," sings Masetto in telling Don Giovanni to keep away from his Zerlina. There's certainly trouble, though not instant death, when fingers briefly meet. Mozart's dark comedy has much in Da Ponte's text about hands-on business...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Korngold, Gabriel Prokofiev, Barbara Hannigan

 Korngold: Violin Concerto, String Sextet Andrew Haveron (violin), RTÉ Concert Orchestra/John Wilson, Sinfonia of London Chamber Ensemble (Chandos)Erich Korngold began writing his String Sextet in 1914, when he was just 17. Listeners immune to...

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