Kristina från Duvemåla news

Kristina från Duvemåla

Read up on all the latest news as 'Kristina' plays again in Göteborg.

‘Kristina från Duvemåla’ returns to Sweden

On Saturday 25 October 2014, Kristina från Duvemåla, the Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Lars Rudolfsson musical based on Vilhelm Moberg’s classic series of novels ‘Utvandrarna’ (The Emigrants’), made its long awaited return to the Swedish stage with a spectacular premiere performance at Göteborgs Operan (Gothenburg Opera House).

'Kristina' returns to Gothenburg.    Photo: Mats Backer

The Gothenburg ensemble of ‘Kristina’ – photo: Mats Backer

Guests arriving for the event entered the theatre along a red carpet lit by twinkling candles lined with baskets of bread and fruit. Members of the cast sat upon old trunks singing a medley of songs from the show ‘a cappella’.

Inside, Benny, Björn and Görel Hanser, accompanied by their family and friends, including Ludvig Andersson, Peter Grönvall and wife Nanne, Kristina Lugn, Ingmarie Halling and Gunilla Backman, mingled with the premiere audience in the theatre’s foyer bar.

The 3 hour 50 minute performance ran without a hitch and the exemplary cast which features the same acclaimed quartet of principles as the successful 2012 staging at the Swedish Theatre in Helsinki, (Maria Ylipää as Kristina, Robert Noack as Karl Oskar, Birthe Wingren as Ulrika and Oskar Nilsson as Robert), accompanied by the Göteborg Opera Chorus and Orchestra, were rewarded with a long and rapturous standing ovation. To the delight of the audience, Benny, Björn, and Lars also took the stage for the final curtain call.

Benny, Björn and Lars on stage with the cast of 'Kristina' 25 October 2014

Benny, Björn and Lars on stage with the cast of ‘Kristina’ in Gothenburg

The original production of ‘Kristina’ opened in Malmo in 1995 before transferring to Gothenburg in ‘96 and then moving to Stockholm in ‘98. During its five year run, it was seen by over 1 million people and remains the most successful musical ever presented in Sweden.

However, the current staging has not been produced to the same epic proportions of its predecessor. Instead, it is the considerably scaled down version, designed for the smaller Finnish stage, that has been reproduced for Göteborgs Operan.

Speaking to journalists ahead of the premiere, Björn said: “The production in Helsinki far surpassed our expectations, so we felt that maybe it was time to bring Kristina back to Sweden. It is a bit more compact than before, but people who saw it the first time should recognise it and hopefully we can find a new audience as well.”

“The immigration debate in Sweden is more heated than ever and the number of refugees larger than it has been in a long time. A lot of our new Swedes, who see the show, recognise themselves in it. It is their story on stage, their feelings,” Björn explained.

Kristina från Duvemåla has been well received by the critics. They have especially praised, Maria Ylipää’s crystal clear voice and convincing acting and Birthe Wingren’s strong, feminist portrayal of Ulrika, while Benny’s music has been described as ‘world class’.

The production is scheduled to run in Gothenburg until next May. After a summer break it will transfer to Stockholm’s Cirkus theatre in September 2015.

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Björn attends ‘Mamma Mia!’ premiere in Helsinki

Björn Ulvaeus joins the cast of 'Mamma Mia!' on stage in Helsinki

Björn Ulvaeus joins the cast of ‘Mamma Mia!’ on stage in Helsinki

Yesterday evening, more than 15 years after Mamma Mia! first opened in London’s West End, Björn Ulvaeus, accompanied by his wife Lena, attended the premiere of the latest production of the musical at Helsinki’s Svenska Teatern.

As he arrived for the performance, Björn spoke of his astonishment at Mamma Mia!’s ongoing success: “It is very strange to be here when I think of ABBA’s early years, and what it was like. We never thought that our popularity would last more than one year, but we got 40!” he said.

Björn and Lena at Svenska Teatern

Björn and Lena at Svenska Teatern

The show was well received by last night’s theatre goers who were on their feet, singing and dancing throughout the finale. When Björn joined the cast on stage for a curtain call, he was met with rapturous applause. “This is such a fantastic production of which I am extremely proud,” he told the audience.

The critics too were unanimous in their praise for Mamma Mia!, many giving their review a full 5 star rating, with Mia Hafren and Lineah Svärd receiving particular acclaim in their roles of Donna and Sophie.

When Kristina från Duvemåla was staged at Svenska Teatern in 2012/13, it was seen by over 100,000 people, making it the most successful production in the theatre’s 150 year history. However, with advance ticket sales hitting almost 80,000 seats and its run now extended to the autumn of 2015, Mamma Mia! looks on course to leave Kristina från Duvemåla in its wake in terms of both audience size and box office receipts.

Although the production is in Swedish, as with Kristina, Airscript tablets with either English or Finnish sub-titles are available from the theatre.

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