City of BirchesAugust 12, 2017
After a summer of concerts and gigs it’s a nice feeling to be part of a production again. Not a revival, but a production build up new and with full rehearsal time.
Umeå, the City of Birches, is a small but beautiful city with very interesting architecture and the opera house, Norrlandsoperan is likewise small but edgy. They ordered a lot of especially designed fabric for the costumes, as reported in the local newspaper.
After an exciting Konzeptionsgespräch, where the young team (Eva Maria Mellbye/Marcus Olson) presented a thought through and sharp take on the Faust-material, not leaving Goethe aside, and the first musical rehearsals I’m excited to start the stage rehearsals.
It’s so much fun to work with conductor Eric Solén again (we met during my german debut; Britten’s Lucretia), my colleagues all sing beautiful and the music is heart (maybe I should say ear? or maybe even tummy) warming. Add to it the possibility to enjoy Swedish food, language and most of all, long walks along the river, Umeälven.
Norrlandsoperan is the opera house closest (“close” means something else in the north of Sweden than elsewhere) to my birth place, Råneå, and the artistic director, Kjell Englund, and I even played in the same orchestra in Luleå once upon a time (ok, I was a youngster sitting way back, but still) – I feel privileged to get to do my Siébel – debut under these circumstances.