PERFORMING ARTS BIENNIAL 2023 -
excerpt from STRANDAD & TALK at the Royal Swedish Opera
What happens after the disaster? When a beach paradise turns into inferno, Karin Rehnqvist and Kerstin Perski put their ears close together and create a trauma emergency for grief. With elements of folk music and guitar ballads, Strandad (Drifted) is a psychologically expressive opera for soloists, large chorus and orchestra. A booming voice cuts through like a knife of conscience and guilt settles black over the brightly colored holiday dreams. With rumbling cascades, brittle sounds and straightforward text, it is illustrated how the forces within us can be at least as violent as those of nature.
(The Selection Committee's justification)
Excerpts from the opera Strandad (Drifted) will be performed in the Golden Foyer, at the Royal Swedish Opera House, during the Performing Arts Biennale 2023. You secure your seat by purchasing a pass to the biennial (tickets are not sold through the Royal
Something overwhelming has happened to Maria. What does she not remember. Is she an illegal refugee? Has she committed a terrible crime? On a beach filled with carefree, vacationing people, Maria meets her shadow self, »The Other«, who drives her to confront her feelings of guilt for having survived a natural disaster. Strandad (Drifted) is a ritual opera about grief's path to being able to continue living when what has given life meaning is gone.
Karin Rehnqvist is one of Sweden's foremost contemporary composers. Partly inspired by the great collective tragedy of the 2004 tsunami, which she witnessed on the spot in Thailand, together with the playwright and librettist Kerstin Perski, she has written a tender opera that revolves around important universal human questions about grief, loss, survivor's guilt and the search for balance in a world turned upside down.
Strandad (Drifted) world premiered at the Royal Swedish Opera in November 2022 and touched both audiences and critics. Hear the singers again in a program where the music is mixed with a conversation about opera as a timeless work of art. What does it take for opera to become relevant for our time? What role do the institutions play in producing new writing? How do we attract a new audience?
PARTICIPANTS JUNE 1 AT 3.30 P.M. IN THE GOLDEN FOYER (N.B. A BIENNALE PASS IS REQUIRED)
Vivianne Holmberg, soprano
Lena Willemark, singer
Carl Ackerfeldt, baritone
Katarina Leoson, alto
Samuel Skönberg, piano
Olle Pettersson, percussion
Martin Larsson, percussion
Karin Rehnqvist, composer
Kerstin Perski, librettist
Natalie Ringler, director
Katarina Aronsson, dramaturg & moderator
The conversation begins with members from Scensverige's selection committee.