Shakespeare's enchanting story of the exiled duke Prospero living with his daughter, spirits and magic on an island found a distinctive expression in Arne Nordheim's ballet. Dancers from the Norwegian Opera choreographed by Glen Tetley presented the opening performance of the 1981 Bergen International Festival, which was many Norwegians' introduction to modern contemporary music.
The 2021 Festival closes with the orchestral suite from the ballet in a very different guise. Video artist Sarah Derendinger tells the story from the perspective of Prospero's daughter Miranda and the wildman Caliban. With living pictures from the Bergen area the suite and the story receive several layers of poetry and brutal reality. Vilja Kwasny and Max Makowski from dance company Carte Blanche play the main parts in Derendinger's work.
On the stage with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra are soprano Mari Eriksmoen and baritone Johannes Weisser under the baton of Edward Gardner. The music starts with an electronic soundtrack while the audience find their seats, just as the composer, who would have been 90 years old this year, intended.
This version of The Tempest will be broadcast on NRK on 20 June.
'If there is anything that characterises Arne Nordheim's music, it must be the combination of timbral fantasy, masterful musical timing and an underlying dark and agonising longing. It is only when playfulness is let loose that things can really become serious. So also in The Tempest.'
– ERLING E. GULDBRANDSEN
Photo: Sarah Derendinger/Marius Marthinussen Søreide
The event is filmed. Cameras can be an inconvenience to the audience at the venue. No admittance after the doors close, 5 mins before the event begins. Any distribution, copying and downloading of video content is strictly forbidden.
The Bergen International Festival is carried out in accordance with the government's and local authorities' current requirements and guidelines for COVID-19. Read more here.
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