Elvis/ Hans Christian Andersen opera , 8/9 Oct. 05

Pretty self-explanatory
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VonOfterdingen
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Postby VonOfterdingen » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:53 am

Not that many it seems
I'm not buying my share of souvenirs

ulfg
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Postby ulfg » Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:53 pm

Well... I'm going to see the Oct 8 performance in Copenhagen. I hope it will be a different Elvis experience!

... UlfG

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VonOfterdingen
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Postby VonOfterdingen » Sun Oct 02, 2005 10:28 am

Now there's a bit more info about "The Secret Songs".

The songs from the coming Opera (in season 2006-2007) will be performed as a concert together with other Costello-compositions.

exciting! :)
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Postby johnfoyle » Sun Oct 02, 2005 4:05 pm

Can't wait!

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http://www.kgl-teater.dk/dkt2002uk/oper ... tsongs.htm

The Secret Songs
Elvis Costello

First performance | Opera House | Main Stage
8 | 9 October 2005



With his unique musical talent, Elvis Costello has established himself in the stellar elite of lyrical rock music. With the first performance of his cycle of songs on Hans Christian Andersen’s deep infatuation with one of the greatest opera stars of his time, the Swedish nightingale Jenny Lind, Costello enters the world of opera for the very first time. Elvis Costello will perform the first performance of the songs at two concerts at the Copenhagen Opera House accompanied by some of his favourite musicians. In the 2006/07 season, the The Secret Songs will be staged as an opera by the Royal Danish Opera.

Apart from Elvis Costello himself, the concert will star soprano Gisela Stille and musicians Steve Nieve and Bebe Risenfors.

The Secret Songs have been sponsored by the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, the Kingdom of Denmark, and the Bikuben Foundation.
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http://www.hca2005.com/HCA2005/ca30/id/4230

Elvis Costello at the Copenhagen opera house

Elvis Costello will perform songs from his upcoming first opera "The Secret Songs" as well as familiar Costello classics at two concerts at the Copenhagen opera house, Operaen. The world premiere of the songs will take place on Saturday 8 October.

By Oliver Newton - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 30 September 2005


Elvis Costello breaks new ground with his first opera The Secret Songs, commissioned by the Royal Danish Opera. Costello is an investigative, multitalented and widely embracing artist, who has never been afraid of uncharted waters. His preoccupation throughout his career with genre experimentation has become his hallmark. He has performed rock, country, punk and jazz music and has most recently created the symphonic work Il Sogno - ballet music arranged for a full symphony orchestra based Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The Secret Songs is Costello's first attempt within the opera genre. This cycle of songs draws inspiration from Hans Christian Andersen's infatuation with opera singer Jenny Lind, also knows as "The Swedish Nightingale". Elvis Costello will premiere these new songs in person at two concerts to be staged at the opera house Main Stage. The songs are to feature in his upcoming chamber opera, which will premiere during the 2006/2007 season at Takkelloftet at the opera house.

"The songs will tell a story that I have imagined existing between the lines of Andersen's biography and some of his most famous tales. They speak of a misfit's love for an unattainable woman and a struggle between a huckster and someone who composes music in secret." Elvis Costello

The two-part concerts will feature the concert premiere of The Secret Songs as well as performances of Costello's classics. Performing artist include Steve Nieve, Bebe Risenfors, Bent Clausen and Amit Sen as well as Swedish soprano Gisela Stille, who is soloist with the Royal Danish Opera Ensemble.

The Secret Songs has been sponsored by the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

Performances:
The Copenhagen Opera House, Operaen. Main Stage
World Premiere - 8 October 2005 at 8 pm
The concert will also be performed on 9 October at 3 pm

A concert will furthermore be performed at Musikhuset Aarhus on 10 October. Read more at http://www.musikhusetaarhus.dk

Tickets for the concerts at the Copenhagen opera:
The Royal Danish Theatre Box Office
August Bournonvilles Passage 1
1055 Copenhagen K
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday open for personal callers only between noon and 6 pm.

Online ticket office:
http://www.billetnet.dk

Phone-in box office:
The Royal Danish Theatre's phone in box office: +45 33 69 69 69 Monday to Friday from noon to 6 pm.
BilletNET: +45 70 15 65 65
e-mail: dktbooking@kgl-teater.dk

Press conference - Operaen, Takkelloftet (entrance through the reception) 4 October 2005 at 10:30 am

Present at the press conference will be Elvis Costello, soprano with the Royal Danish Opera Ensemble Gisela Stille and Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Opera Kasper Bech Holten.


Register by Monday 3 October at noon on Tel.: +45 33 69 69 81.

PLEASE NOTE! Enter through the reception at the back of the Opera house, not through the foyer.

For further information, please contact:
Louise Pedersen
Press Officer
The Royal Danish Theatre
Tel: +45 33 69 69 81

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VonOfterdingen
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Postby VonOfterdingen » Mon Oct 03, 2005 1:26 am

now, how will I get in to that pressconference :?
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johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:11 am

now, how will I get in to that pressconference


Von - I here by appoint you correspondent for The Skibbereen Eagle !

http://www.skibbereen.ie/top-ten.html

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VonOfterdingen
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Postby VonOfterdingen » Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:40 pm

heh, they'll let me right in :)
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Chrille
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Postby Chrille » Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:38 am

Wish I could go, but I don't have the time or the money right now. I'm not too saddened by missing it though because I'm not too keen on Vibrator-Elvis, of which I'm sure there'll be plenty this weekend. I'm still not fully over the loss of the Gothenburg-concert being cancelled early this year. If I know it would've been cancelled I would've gone to see him in Stockholm! Hope he shows up in Gothenburg only while stopping by in Sweden next time around ;).

Also, nice to see another swede on the forums. That makes three of us. Eventually there'll be enough of us to take over this joint!

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Postby sweetest punch » Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:46 pm

More news of the pressconference here:

http://breakingnews.iol.ie/entertainmen ... =y58x395yz


Costello to perform opera about Hans Christian Andersen


04/10/2005 - 15:58:42

Elvis Costello will take the stage in Copenhagen this weekend for the premiere of his opera The Secret Arias, which is based on Danish fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen’s impossible romance with a Swedish soprano.

The opera tells of a three-way drama between Andersen, Jenny Lind – dubbed the Swedish Nightingale – and her American impresario, Phineas Taylor Barnum, who brought Lind to New York for her first American concert tour in 1850.

Costello will play both Andersen and Barnum, while Swedish soprano Gisela Stille will sing Lind’s part.

Costello said his work was a traditional opera.

“It would be a surprise if people thought I would be playing a lot of rock ’n’ roll,” he said at a news conference in Copenhagen.

“It is not inconceivable” to be a rock singer and write an opera, said Costello, who has also recorded with Swedish soprano Anne Sofie Von Otter and the Brodsky Quartet.

Costello emerged from Britain’s early new wave scene as one of the original “angry young men” and since then has dabbled in everything from orchestral symphonies to harmonious pop. Some of his featured singles include Alison, Radio, Radio and Veronica.

The opera will be performed at Copenhagen’s new opera house on Saturday and Sunday. Next season, it will be on the opera house’s repertoire with other performers.

Contacted nearly three years ago by the Danish Royal Theater ahead of the 2005 bicentennial of Andersen’s birth, Costello wrote “the songs (which) will tell a story that I have imagined existing between the lines of Andersen’s biography and some of his most famous tales,” he told reporters.

“I didn’t want it to sound like a pastiche of Andersen,” Costello said. The opera eventually will go on an international tour and will be released on compact disc and DVD.
Four musicians will accompany Costello and Stille at the opera’s main stage, which seats up to 1,700 people.

By picking Costello, “we wanted to show that we don’t want boxes at the opera. We thought the meeting between the two worlds would be interesting,” the opera’s artistic director, Kasper Holten, said.

This year, Danes mark the bicentennial of Andersen’s birth, who is renowned for his children’s stories, including the classics The Little Match Girl, The Ugly Duckling and The Red Shoes. Andersen died in 1875.

It is believed that Andersen wrote his tale The Nightingale with Lind – who lived from 1820-1887 – in mind.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Tue Oct 04, 2005 2:15 pm

I daresay this tells the same tale -

http://www.jp.dk/kultur/artikel:aid=3301480/

Image
Elvis Costello synger selv H.C. Andersens og P.T. Barnums roller ved verdenspremieren på "The Secret Songs". Foto: Casper Balslev


Offentliggjort 4. oktober 2005 13:25 - opdateret

Elvis Costello i Operaen
Af NIELS PEDERSEN
H.C. Andersen var en hyperromantisk kunstner, mener Elvis Costello, der i weekenden har verdenspremiere på operaen "The Secret Songs" om eventyrdigterens fascination af den svenske sanglærke, Jenny Lind.

Da Elvis Costello for to og et halvt år siden blev tilbudt at skrive en opera om H.C. Andersen, var han nem at overtale. Især da han efter lidt research faldt over beretningerne om den danske eventyrdigters fascination af den svenske sangerinde Jenny Lind (1820-87). Hun var periodens store internationale stjerne og fik tilnavnet "den svenske nattergal".
»Det er fortællingen om en outsider, der forelsker sig i en uopnåelig kvinde. Det er da til at forstå,« siger Elvis Costello, da han tirsdag tager en pause fra prøverne med "The Secret Songs" for at møde pressen i Operaen i København.

»Jeg genkender som sangskriver også Andersens lyst til at lege med sine egne følelser for at opnå noget kunstnerisk.«

Derfor sidder den 51-årige engelske rockstjerne iført solbriller ved et bord i Takkelloftet, Operaens lille scene, sammen med sopran ved Den Kongelige Opera Gisela Stille, der skal synge Jenny Lind, og operachef Kasper Bech Holten.

Denne trio har i disse dage to mål: På kort sigt skal Elvis Costellos nye sange præsenteres ved intimkoncerter i weekenden, og på langt sigt bliver de til en rigtig opera. Librettoen, der også byder på et trekantdrama med den amerikanske impresario P.T. Barnum (1819-91), er næsten færdig, og hvis alt går planlagt, får den fulde udgave af "The Secret Songs" premiere i 2006.


Kunstnerisk frihed
Som titlen antyder, handler stykket om nogle hemmelige sange. Elvis Costello fortæller, at han i sine skriverier om 200-års fødselaren har holdt sig til fakta, men har taget sig én kunstnerisk frihed. Han forestiller sig nemlig, at H.C. Andersen for at leve sin kærlighed til Jenny Lind fuldt ud skrev en række sange til hende, som skulle opføres ved en festkoncert. Det er disse sange, der nu kommer frem i lyset.

»H.C. Andersen motiverede sig selv via sin betagelse af Jenny Lind og siden andre mennesker, og han skrev autobiografisk, så jeg mener, det er en acceptabel frihed, jeg har taget mig,« siger Elvis Costello med en stemme, der en næsten lige så rusten som Operaens forside.

Det er et organ, man primært forbinder med energisk rock og ikke med klassisk skønsang, men opera og kompositionsmusik har allerede længe været en del af Elvis Costellos værk. Mest kendt er hans samarbejde med The Brodsky Quartet på "The Juliet Letters" (1993), ligesom han har skrevet til den svenske operastjerne Ann Sofie von Otter og senest på opfordring leveret orkesterværket "Il Sogno" (2004) til det italienske balletkompagni Aterballetto.


De bedste sange
For operachef Kasper Bech Holten var Elvis Costello et naturligt valg, da Det Kgl. Teater ville skabe en ny forestilling til HCA-2005.

»Elvis Costello har skrevet nogle af verdens bedste sange, og han kan matche H.C. Andersen, når det handler om opfindsomhed. Heldigvis tog vi ikke fejl, og det har været en glæde at modtage de nye sange på e-mail den seneste tid,« siger Kasper Bech Holten.

For Elvis Costello har mødet med H.C. Andersen været en øjeåbner. Han har udført omfattende research og har opdaget nuancer i forfatterskabet, han ikke anede eksisterede.

»H.C. Andersen er meget bedre, end jeg troede. Han er bedre end Danny Kaye! Desværre har mange engelske oversættelser fjernet alt det makabre og sære i eventyrene, som er med til at gøre dem til sproglige oplevelser.«

"The Secret Songs" synges af Elvis Costello og Gisella Stille ledsaget af Steve Nieve, Bebe Risenford, Bent Clausen og Amit Sen i Operaen, København lørdag den 8. og søndag den 9. oktober, samt den 10. oktober i Musikhuset, Århus.

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VonOfterdingen
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Postby VonOfterdingen » Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:31 pm

Yup - it's almost the same. The songs are written from a thought up situation (from EC) where H. C. Andersen have written some songs to his great love Jenny Lind to be performed at a party.

And the ´Manager of the Opera, Kasper Holten, thinks that EC' has written some of the best songs in the world and he is as inventive as H. C. Andersen was. Kasper Holten also says that luckily he wasn't wrong in getting EC to do this - the songs have been a joy to recieve by mail.


This is really going to be a strange and different concert I must say - I like the safety net that he will play known songs as well. :)
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johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:39 pm

Looking up some Jenny Lind references in a Hans Christian Andersen biography I was interested to see some specific dates -

On 7 October 1843, three weeks after Jenny left Copenhagen, Andersen noted in his almanac, ‘finished the tale of the young swan’. He had begun ‘The Ugly Duckling’ more than a year earlier; it was one of the tales on which he worked hardest and longest. As Soon as it was finished he threw himself into a new tale, which had been playing in his mind since he met Jenny. ‘In Tivoli, Carstensen’s evening. Began the Chinese tale,’ runs his almanac for 11 October. The Chinese tale was ‘The Nightingale’, inspired by Jenny Lind and given its setting by the Chinese themes, all pagodas and peacocks and coloured lanterns, of Copenhagen’s new pleasure garden, Tivoli, which was opened in the summer of 1843 by the entrepreneur Georg Carstensen. It was a magical place, full of crazy architecture and funfajr attractions, its lakes and flowers, theatres and restaurants, illuminated at night by gas lights and fireworks, and Andersen loved it. He worked on the tale in a frenzy, and within twenty-four hours it was complete: ‘finished the Chinese tale’ he notes on 12 October.

.......making this weekend an even more apt set of dates!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... 00-8565450

Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller
Jackie Wullschlager

Paperback 528 pages (October 25, 2001)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Language: English
ISBN: 014028320X

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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:12 am

Listen to clips of Elvis at the press conference here -

http://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/P1/program/art ... kel=706588

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Postby Who Shot Sam? » Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:40 pm

New AP article on EC's opera premiere...

Elvis Costello's Opera Set to Debut

By JAN M. OLSEN, Associated Press Writer

When Elvis Costello was contacted three years ago by Denmark's Royal Theater asking him to write an opera about Danish fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen, his first thought was "why didn't they choose a Danish composer?"

"Then I recalled that Andersen belongs to the world," Costello said.

On Saturday, his work "The Secret Arias" — based on Andersen's unrequited yearning for Swedish soprano Jenny Lind — will debut at Copenhagen's new waterfront opera house, with Costello himself playing two lead roles.

The opera is being performed in connection with the 2005 bicentennial of Andersen's birth. The writer, renowned for his children's classics such as "The Little Mermaid," "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Red Shoes," died in 1875.

For the musical chameleon Costello, it marks yet another expansion of his artistic range. After emerging from Britain's early new wave scene as one of the original "angry young men," he has dabbled in everything from orchestral symphonies to harmonious pop. He has recorded with Swedish soprano Anne Sofie Von Otter and the Brodsky Quartet, but this is the first time he has written an opera.

His story tells a three-way drama between Andersen, Jenny Lind — dubbed the "Swedish Nightingale" — and her American impresario, P.T. Barnum, who brought Lind to New York for her first American concert tour in 1850.

"The songs will tell a story that I have imagined existing between the lines of Andersen's biography and some of his most famous tales," Costello told reporters this week in Copenhagen. "They speak of a misfit's love for an unattainable woman and a struggle between a huckster and someone who composes music in secret."

It's widely believed that Andersen wrote his tale "The Nightingale" with Lind — who lived from 1820-1887 — in mind.

In the past week, Costello has been rehearsing with Swedish soprano Gisela Stille at the new opera house, which opened earlier this year. Costello will play both Andersen and Barnum, while Stille will portray Lind.

The duo will perform this weekend in Copenhagen and next week in Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city in the western part of the Scandinavian country. Next season, the Copenhagen Opera will stage a longer version of "The Secret Arias" with other performers.

Costello, revealing few details about his work, said it was a traditional opera, but with some exceptions.

"We will not have a symphonic orchestra," he told reporters. Instead, four musicians will accompany Costello and Stille at the opera's main stage, which can seat as many as 1,700 people.

Costello said he was inspired by Andersen's way of expression, adding that "many translations of (Andersen's) works miss the really good elements, the macabre, the weird and the social critique."

Many of Andersen's fairy tales are rather gruesome.

In "The Little Mermaid," one of his best known stories, the mermaid becomes mute after a witch cuts off her tongue in exchange for legs to replace her fish tail.

In "The Two Baronesses," Andersen writes about marital infidelity and life in a brothel — something he personally experienced when living in Copenhagen. "The Traveling Companion," published in 1835 as part of a fairy tale collection for children, is about death.

Kasper Holten, the Royal Theater's 32-year-old opera director, said asking Costello to write an opera was a way to bring a broader repertoire to the opera house, instead of merely focusing on the big classics.

The 2.5 billion kroner (€337 million; US$406 million) Opera House, donated by a Danish billionaire, opened Jan. 15 with a show featuring excerpts of Danish and foreign operas and ballets. The first public show — Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida" — kicked off Jan. 26.

On next spring's repertoire, the new stage will have Richard Wagner's "Ring of the Nibelungen," the four-opera marathon of gods, humans and dwarfs that draws on themes from Nordic and German mythology.

"We wanted to show that we don't want boxes at the opera. We thought the meeting between the two worlds would be interesting," Holten said.

___

On the Net:

The Opera: http://www.operahus.dk/default(underscore)uk.htm
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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:45 pm

I'm in Copenhagen . I've just spent the evening wandering the - mostly- pedestrianised city centre streets , soaking up the atmosphere. It's balmy out , people eating at tables outside cafes etc.

I'm tired after a day of travel and a busy week at work ; time for bed.....though I can hear the Bee Gees' Staying Alive pumping out of a nearby disco...............we'll see!

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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Oct 07, 2005 3:03 pm

http://politiken.dk/VisArtikel.sasp?Pag ... teID=16245

Image
22 album efter debuten er Elvis Costello nået dertil, hvor musikdramatikken og operaen kalder på den gamle eks-punker. - Foto: Klaus Holsting

Elvis og den danske mimose
En vis hr. Costello har med vilje kigget uden om de famøse krydser i H.C. Andersens dagbøger for med sin nye danske opera at fortælle historien om en mand, der var en genial manipulator, og som løb skrigende væk fra sex.
Af Michael Bo
Folk forestiller sig altid, at når rockmusikere en sjælden gang lytter til noget andet end rock, så er det sådan noget chokoladeæske-snask. Du ved, Puccini, Tjajkovskij - det storladne, den enorme lyd fra et symfoniorkester. Symfonierne med den tykke, fede lyd«.

Men sådan har Elvis Costello det ikke. Underforstået. Han elsker nogle af Tjajkovskijs sange og Monteverdis tidlige operastil - og den kyske engelske stil fra Dowland og Purcell. Men han er også vild med Carl Nielsens 2. symfoni og med Bruckners senromantiske udladninger.

Elvis Costello læner sig tilbage i kontorstolen, der er placeret midt i Københavns måske mest fotogene interiør i disse dage: et stort øvelokale i Operaen på Holmen, fyldt med instrumenter, der tydeligvis er i brug - et flygel, en cello, en harmonika, et par tubaer, en mandolin henslængt på en taburet.

Længst ovre ved døren et scrittoir, et skrivemøbel nærmest i renæssancestil, bladguld og guldalder og i én pærevælling. Et bord proppet med Pringles, appelsinvand, teblade, kold kaffe i glaskande. Nutella. En pjece med påskriften: 'Welcome to the Royal Danish Opera'.

Det er jo derfor vi ikke snakker om sen-70'erne og punken. Om rockens frisættende energi. Eller om den nylige 11 måneder lange turné med the Imposters.

51-årige Costello, der sidder der i tætsiddende sort jakkesæt og med et kapow-grønt slips, i solbriller, som han kun tager af to gange i løbet af halvanden time for gnide sig i øjnene - 51-årige Costello er i København for at præsentere en opera, han har skrevet.

Et eller andet sted skulle det bare mangle: han har lavet plader med easylistening-fænomenet Burt Bacharach, med mezzosopranen Anne Sofie von Otter, med jazzmusik ud over alle bredder, med Brodsky Quartet - og senest en ballet for Aterballetto i Italien.

»Men det er mig, ja - det er den samme mand, der laver al den musik«. Og, underforstået igen: måske er musikken ikke så hulens forskellig fra gang til gang, bare fordi genren og konteksten er nogle andre.

»Hvad skulle problemet være med både at kunne lide Stravinsky og Slade?«.

Eller Sweet ...?

»Nejnej, Slade!«, insisterer han. »Slade!«, kommer det igen med eftertryk. Elvis er også fra den tid, da enhver teenager med respekt for sig selv skulle tage entydig stilling til, om Slade eller Sweet var det bedste popband.

Opera og opera
Elvis Costellos opera tager udgangspunkt i H.C. Andersen og hans betagelse af den svenske operadiva Jenny Lind, og den følger sågar hendes rejse til USA uden Andersen, hvor impresarioen P.T. Barnum køber hende til en turné, der varer to år.

'Følger' er så meget sagt, for værket fortælles ikke lineært og er i det hele taget så lidt 'opera' ud fra nogen konventionel betragtning, som tænkes kan.

»Den er en serie af monologer, hvor jeg synger både Andersen og Barnum, og operasangerinden Gisela Stille er Jenny Lind. Folk klæder sig ikke ud som albanere og den slags«, siger Costello med henvisning til en central dramaturgisk manøvre i Mozarts 'Così fan tutte', »og her er ingen forbyttede børn eller vikingekvinder i hjelme eller i læderoutfit, som det vist er blevet moderne i Wagnerforstillinger i dag. Og der vil heller ikke være 7.000 statister til at byde Jenny Lind velkommen til New York ...«.

Hvordan så med ...

»... Ligesom de heller ikke pludselig«, overtrumfer Costello og hæver stemmen, »befinder sig på et dampskib, der langsomt materialiserer sig fra bagkanten af scenen og glider frem og ... Ikke for dét, det kunne garanteret godt lade sig gøre lige netop i det her teater«.

Det kunne det så næppe, for Costellos 'Secret Songs' opføres i Operaens intimscene Takkelloftet og ikke på den store scene.

Det er beroligende at tale med Elvis Costello om H.C. Andersen, for han har læst lektier i månedsvis, om bord på tourbussen og på hotelværelset. Han ved virkelig meget.

»Jeg har læst flere Andersenbiografier, og mange mennesker, som vidste, at jeg var i gang med 'Secret Songs', har sendt mig materiale om ham, de seneste forskningsresultater og sådan. Jeg ser Andersens eventyr som meget selvbiografiske, de handler jo tit om outsidere, der kommer til ære og værdighed. Andersen var jo morderligt bevidst om sig selv som kunstner, og han fremprovokerede, tror jeg, dramaerne i sit liv, sådan at han ville få anledning til at skrive om, hvor håbløst det hele var.«

»Andersen var jo digter, længe inden han rent faktisk havde lært at skrive. Alt, hvad han foretog sig, gjorde han, inden han faktisk var blevet dygtig nok til at gøre det. Så stærk en fantasi havde han. Han var en meget stærk manipulator, slet ikke den svage, passive mand, nogen har villet gøre ham til. Han var ingen uskyldighed«.

I Danmark har vi længe haft travlt med at diskutere hans seksualitet og hans onanivaner.

»Jeg ville være meget forsigtig med at rubricere Andersen som enten bøsse eller hetero eller aseksuel, alle disse moderne definitioner. Det ville kræve, at vi helt igennem forstod Andersens samtid og vidste, hvad man anså for acceptabelt og uacceptabelt. Mænd havde jo nogle ekstremt følelsesladede forhold til hinanden, som vi i dag måske bedømmer lidt for fordomsfuldt.«

»Andersen havde det med at lade sig besætte af både mænd og kvinder, og ud fra, hvad jeg har læst, tyder det på, at han valgte disse objekter for sin besættelse ud fra, om de kunne risikere at komme til at true ham selv på seksualiteten. Hvis Jenny Lind havde reageret positivt på hans kurmageri, er det ikke godt at vide, hvordan han havde reageret. I Italien, hvor han rejste rundt, blev han tilbudt piger og unge drenge, og han løb altid skrigende bort«.

Fakkeltog fra Odense
'Secret Songs' tager ikke stilling til Andersens seksualitet, og der bliver ingen onani-krydser placeret listige steder i scenografien, som anmelderne vil kunne udlægge i mandagsavisen.

»Der bliver ikke noget af det, bare rolig. På den måde bliver 'Secret Songs' i den grad en familieforestilling. Der er ingen grund til, at folk fra Odense begynder at marchere i lange kolonner og med brændende fakler mod Det Kgl. Teater på grund af noget, jeg har gjort. Jeg er ikke så fascineret af Andersens natlige vaner som så mange andre. Det er en meget moderne fascination, og forfatterne kappes jo om at udråbe snart den ene, snart den anden berømthed til bøsse i disse år. Det er fint med mig, hvis Andersen var det, og fint hvis han ikke var det. Jeg synes, det er ligeså urimeligt at definere folk efter deres seksualitet som efter deres race«.

»På en måde ville jeg være mere fristet af at begynde en fortælling med den seng, Andersen sov i som barn. Den var tømret sammen af noget træ, som var for dårligt til at blive brugt til ligkister, og jeg mener ... Altså, så kan man tale om rigeligt med materiale for fantasien, både hans og vores ... Men på mange måder var det jo en meget mørkere verden end vores. Skidtet lå og flød i Københavns gader og ... Da Andersen første gang kom til København fra Odense, befandt han sig pludselig i en voldsom folkemængde, og han troede, der var tale om en fejring af en art, men faktisk var en folkelig hetz mod jøderne«.

Dødspolka, hmmm ...
Meningen var egentlig, at Costello ville have bygget sin H.C. Andersen-opera op omkring Andersens månedlange besøg hos Charles Dickens og hans familie i London:

»Men der var ikke nok kød på den. De måneder gik med, at ingen i Dickens-familien forstod, hvad Andersen talte om, fordi det engelsk, han troede han talte, slet ikke lignede engelsk. Så der var meget stille hjemme hos Dickens. Måske kunne Harold Pinter skrive et stykke over det, et stykke med laaange pauser«.

Når alt er sagt og gjort, har du så fundet ud af, om du kan li' personen Andersen - eller ej?

Elvis Costellos pause er nu så lang, at jeg er tæt på at føle mig forulempet af rent patriotiske grunde.

»Jeg ...«, og Costello snupper sætningen af. »Jeg ... Han ... Det er umuligt for en person i dag at forestille sig, hvordan det ville være at kende en som H.C. Andersen. Det er så frygtelig længe siden, at han levede, og man kan ikke bedømme ham uden at kende hans samfund. Såeh ...«.

Fortæl mig: findes der én genre inden for musikken, som du aldrig ville røre med en ildtang?

»Jaaaaa«. Elvis Costello sidder lidt, han fingererer ved solbrillerne. »Det er der da. Hvordan, dødsmetal, det har jeg vist lavet. Jeg har den: dødspolka! Det ville jeg aldrig røre ved!«.

Men når han først har sagt ordet, er det alligevel som om ... Dødspolka ... hmmm.

Coming soon to a record store near you!
Fakta
Elvis Costello og band (Steve Nieve, Bebe Risenfors, Bent Clausen og Amit Sen) opfører 'Secret Songs' i Takkelloftet i Operaen lørdag og søndag, og mandag spilles de i Musikhuset Aarhus.
Printet fra http://www.politiken.dk Fredag 7. okt 2005
Ophavsretten tilhører Politiken. Informationerne må alene anvendes til egen, ikke-kommerciel brug.

Artiklen kan findes på adressen: http://www.politiken.dk/VisArtikel.iasp?PageID=401150

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Postby VonOfterdingen » Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:11 pm

johnfoyle wrote:I'm in Copenhagen . I've just spent the evening wandering the - mostly- pedestrianised city centre streets , soaking up the atmosphere. It's balmy out , people eating at tables outside cafes etc.

I'm tired after a day of travel and a busy week at work ; time for bed.....though I can hear the Bee Gees' Staying Alive pumping out of a nearby disco...............we'll see!


welcome 8)

Looking forward to a night a the Opera
I'm not buying my share of souvenirs

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Postby johnfoyle » Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:34 am

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9622015/

Image
John Mcconnico / AP
Musical chameleon Elvis Costello enters the opera stage with his own take on Denmark's beloved fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen. Far from a children's story, the show at Copenhagen's opera house tells a three-way drama between Andersen, Swedish soprano Jenny Lind and her American impresario, Phineas Taylor Barnum.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/phot ... TE=DEFAULT

Image
Musical chameleon Elvis Costello is seen Tuesday Oct. 4, 2005 at the new Opera House in Copenhagen, Denmark. Costello enters the opera stage with his own take on Denmark's beloved fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen. Far from a children's story, the show at Copenhagen's opera house tells a three-way drama between Andersen, Swedish soprano Jenny Lind and her American impresario, Phineas Taylor Barnum. (AP Photo/John McConnico)

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Postby sweetest punch » Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:58 am

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, ... 63,00.html


Curtain up as Costello applies his talent to a new aria
By Jack Malvern, Arts Reporter



ELVIS COSTELLO made a name for himself with 1980s hits such as Oliver’s Army, but that has not stopped him turning his hand to ballet, classical music and even a small film role in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
Now he is also attempting to make a name for himself as an operatic composer. Secret Arias, a biographical opera of Hans Christian Andersen’s doomed love for Jenny Lind, the Swedish soprano, will have its first semi-staged performance today at the Copenhagen Opera House.



He will perform as both the Danish fairytale writer and P. T. Barnum, the impresario who attempted to woo Andersen’s muse to America in the 1850s. The performance will give the public its first taste of a fully staged production, in which Costello will be replaced by classically trained opera singers, that will premiere in Copenhagen next year before transferring to Jutland. If successful, an international tour could follow.

Costello, 50, agreed to write the opera after he was approached by Henrik Engelbrecht, the head of dramaturgy at the Royal Danish Opera, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Andersen’s birth. Costello was already knowledgeable about the Danish author and jumped at the chance.

Costello delved into classical music when he collaborated with the Brodsky Quartet and Anne Sofie von Otter, the mezzo-soprano. He said: “It is a series of monologues. People don’t dress up, there are no children mistaken for one another and there are no Viking women in helmets.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Postby VonOfterdingen » Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:07 am

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/ ... ayer=false

Having long thought the phrase "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings" was more than a little sexist, we're happy to finally have a male rejoinder, thanks to the efforts of Elvis Costello. The pudgy guy is making his mark in the opera world this weekend, taking the stage in Copenhagen to play a pair of roles in The Secret Arias, a piece he's been working on for some time. Costello will be portraying both Hans Christian Andersen and P.T. Barnum in the reality-based tale of a love triangle centering on the charms of songbird Jenny Lind, who, it seems, was the Christina Aguilera of her time. We're hoping that for an encore, Costello fully embraces his new opera-man persona and pens an opera about a menage of sorts involving an Entenmann's cake and a mushroom pizza . . .
I'm not buying my share of souvenirs

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Postby johnfoyle » Sat Oct 08, 2005 6:34 pm

Image

Elvis 'n co. delivered an entertaining show this Saturday evening. Not knock out awesome but not cringe inducing awful either. Elvis has addressed the remit he was given and , useing his strengths, done the best he can.

I'm going to wait until I've seen the show again tomorrow and Monday before I comment on the songs. For the moment I'l just tell you about other elements of Saturday's show.

Ten songs were performed . They were The Secret Songs - no 'performances of Costello's classics' . The songs were done in c.1 hour , 10 minutes. The encore was a reprise of three of the same songs. Without commenting specifically , this was a good move ; a batch of Costello classics would have diminished any impact of the new songs.

Elvis wore , initially , a black velvet coat as he made intro. comments before a red curtain. Along with thanks for the invite and the work put in by the musicians this past week he finished up , to a laugh from the packed auditorium, that none of the songs had ever been performed by Tina Turner ( Ms Turner had cost the Danish organisers a fortune in a concert earlier this year) .

The curtain rose to a instrument laden stage. Steve 'n his grand piano and other keyboard gear were to the left , the other musicians with various stringed and wind instruments to the right. In the middle was a kind of podium with a frontage decorated with the words King Of Humbug. To it's right was a old desk , decorated with quills and papers etc.

Besides Elvis the players wore black. Elvis had shed the coat . He now wore a black jacket , over a white shirt with a large ruffly scarf at the neck. It semi-covered a waist coat which was contrast cloured mint green and glittery purple. One side of the waistcoat dipped lower than the other - or else Elvis had got the buttons wrong.

Various cue cards were unveiled during the show to contexualise the songs . Images were back-projected to illustrate settings for some of the performances. The New York one struck me as a little odd . It was supposed to be 1850 N.Y. but we get to see what looks like the Empire State Building ( buillt 1930/1). Similarly a Liverpool image . We see what is supposed to be '1850 Liverpool' and can clearly see the Liver Building....built in 1911.

Gisela Stille is stunning , her classical delivery really socking the songs at you. She wore a cream coloured dress , puffy elbow length sleeves, gathered in waist , ankle length skirt , with dark pink detail above the hem.

There's loads more I want to tell about this show but I really want to listen to it again before I do so. Soren and Charlotte were great companions during the show and Ulf joined us afterwards .

The programme bio. of Elvis had some great news - The North Sea Jazz Festival Show from 2004 is to be released by Deutshe Grammophon next year. We are also told about the musicians who will be backing Elvis in the non-orchestra part of the Il Sogno shows in '06. The will be Steve Nieve , Sy Johnson , Bill Frisell and Vince Mendoza.

More tomorrow!
Last edited by johnfoyle on Sun Oct 09, 2005 3:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Who Shot Sam? » Sat Oct 08, 2005 10:16 pm

Thanks john. Look forward to hearing more.
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johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:01 am

....and now this photo seems to show a blue jacket, and I remembered a black jacket - sorry about that! Last nights account was written as the band in my hotel bar were butchering Beatles classics....and I'd just had a few glasses of the local beverages.....you're lucky I wrote anything at all!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://foto.rompres.ro/index.php?i=321388


British singer Elvis Costello performs 08 October 2005 on stage in The Copenhagen Opera House with songs from his new opera "The Secret Arias". The songs are inspired by H. C. Andersen's facination with the Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind, called The Swedish Nightinggale, his biography and most famous tales. EPA/Kristian Brasen

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Postby johnfoyle » Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:16 am

No accounts yet on the 'net ; here are some photos from during the week -

http://www.berlingske.dk/grid/kultur/ar ... iid=637136

Image
Frem for helt at aflyse en opførelse af Elvis Costellos bestillingsopera om H.C. Andersen i forfatterens 200. år, går rockstjernen selv på scenen i Operaen denne weekend. Først i næste sæson bliver »The Secret Songs« opført i fuld produktion ¿ og med andre sangere. Foto: Linda Henriksen

http://www.bt.dk/underholdning/artikel: ... 380:img=0/

Image

DEN GRIMME ELVIS I OPERAEN: Nu prøver Elvis Costello kræfter med operaen, og her ses han omgivet af operachef Kasper Bech Holten og sanger Gisela Stille. Foto: Kaare Smith.

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Postby sweetest punch » Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:42 am

Thanks John for this report.

About the Il Sogno tour: there seem to be two Vince Mendoza 's. Which one will be backing Elvis?

http://sudo.3.pro.tok2.com/Quest/cards/V/VinceMendoza/
Problably this one, because he conducted The Metropole Orchestra in 2004.

http://www.vincemendoza.com/
This is the other one.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.


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