Helen Sjöholm sings Kristina songs in English on SVT (Updated)

You Have To Be There and Open Up The Gateways were performed in this first part of the concert. Part Two will be shown later this week.

The whole of Part One can be found on the SVT Play site. Below is You Have To Be There which has already found its way onto YouTube. We Open Up The Gateways (with Bryn Terfel) can be found at approx 42 minutes in. Thanks to Niclas for the news.


Veckans konsert


  • Stunning!

  • Spectacular! Thanks for the info, Ice!

    Side note: if you watch the video on the SVT Play site, be sure to keep watching after "You Have to Be There" — Helen and Bryn do a great rendition of "La ci darem la mano" from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. I must confess that I’ve never heard Helen sing opera before — such a versatile singer!

  • Thanks for the great link. How wonderful to hear top quality recordings of these two English versions (roll on the Carnegie CD in April). There are some other great performances from Helen: an amazing rendition of ‘Time Heals Everything’ from Mack and Mabel (at 32 mins), sung with her usual effortless sensitivity to the meaning behind the lyrics, a cover of an Elvis Costello song ‘I Almost Had a Weakness’ (at 5 mins) and two duets with Bryn Terfel, firstly ‘Anything You Can Do’ from Annie Get Your Gun (at 19 mins) and a Mozart aria (at 54 mins). Hopefully more treats in Act 2, which is reportedly available online from next Friday, January 15th.

  • Makes my spine tingle in both the English and Swedish versions!

  • Brilliant, just brilliant.

  • What a powerful rendition of You have to be there! Beyond words!

  • Stunning…as always.

  • What I was able to see was wonderful. It’s just disappointing that some companies expect that all people are lucky to have fast broadband… even the small-screen version took ages to download via the ‘buffering’. It’d be good if websites like SVT would use video-programs that save the whole video while pausing (like YouTube), so once it’s downloaded the whole show can be viewed non-stop when tapping ‘play’. I’m going to bed now, and hope that SVT do release this series on DVD for poor ‘yokels’ like us ;o) Goodnight from Oz.

  • I decided to give the SVT site yet another go, persevered, and this time it played completely, with comparatively less ‘buffering’ (must be due to watching it this time at about 4am: i.e. less internet traffic in Oz to contend with), so I was finally able to see all. And it was such a marvelous show.

    Bryn and Helen sound wonderful together. It’d be lovely if they could do an album together.

    Also, still hoping for a DVD of the show… even the whole series looks good, going by the montage at the beginning of the show (including other Helen and Benny performances)

    Anyhow, now for bed (@ about 5am).

    Good morning :o)

  • A taste of things to come in London !!

  • Just imagine, 15 years ago I would never have been able to see such magic. Now thanks to internet everything is so close! And Helen sings one of my fav. songs, time heals everything, oh my, this must be heaven!

  • WOW! That is one beautiful rendition of the song. A truly flawless performance. Brilliant!!!

  • Helen Sjöholm should be declared a saint.

  • Finally something very representative in English and how…, this gives me a very good feeling for the Royal Albert Hall Concert. By the way ?Open up the gateways? appeared also on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9ygD0SnWAc
    Greetings from Belgium.

  • I too was subject to the most dreadful buffering the first couple of times i tried to watch the SVT concert and almost gave up. Then i tried SVT again yesterday around 4pm and was able to view without the slightest delay. An absolute joy ,Helen is wonderful (as always), it’s definately worth the perservance. Good luck x

  • Hi Anne, I sent a message to SVT about this, and am hoping that they may look into this, as it would be great to be able to re-watch this, and also to see any future and archival items that they have, with minimal ‘buffering’ probs (or preferably none ;o)
    Cheers, Tony.

  • Part 2 is now on the svt site….’You and I’ in english is performed at approx 50mins in.
    Helen also performs ‘wherever he ain’t’ and watch for the Swedish football fan….hilarious

  • Thanks for the tip, Darren. I’ll have a look tonight. Cheers!

  • I have a slow line, and live out in the country. On the right side of the screen is a button "Inställningar" click and you can choose to play in Media Player instead. It`s better. Start the Player and se that it is working. Do something else for the next twenty minutes. Then rewind the blue timeline to the beginning and start play. Now it should be without the buffering.

  • I never thought I’d have reason to complain about hearing Helen’s voice, but they really needed to turn down her mic during the choral parts of "We Open Up the Gateways." The glory in the piece is the way all the voices erupt as one in joyous anticipation of their prospective freedom. One voice standing out (and singing harmony at that) dampens the effect a little. Even so, it was awe-inspiring. And those places where the mic should have been turned down let us hear Helen in a way we wouldn’t ordinarily be able to. How lovely! even if a little bit out of place.

  • re: mikespeir.
    I have to disagree with you.
    Hearing Helens voice and her sadness actually adds to this song. She is the main character and hearing her sad harmony in the big chorus says that even though everyone is going, she is not happy to leave. I see what you are saying, but I like that you can pick her out from the group.

    This is one of my favorite songs from the musical. There is so much determination and hope in this song even though it is mostly in minor chords. Pure genious.
    And Bryn is very good in this too!


  • I have been listening to the Swedish version on and off for nearly a whole year now and recently seem to listen to nothing else.

    I love these two versions and have had Open up The Gateways in my head for days. God help me when the double CD arrives. If the recording is of the same standard as here we are in for a treat beyond imagining. Suddenly a beautiful musical becomes understandable lyrically and this makes those lovely musical nuances stand out even more.

    Remember the days when your whole life simply revolved around the constant sounds of the latest Abba album in your head? Get ready for this to happen again with Kristina.


  • Helen had said in the days leading up to the New York concert performing the piece in English was challenging. She really has mastered it now. I’m very confident a musical version will someday come to Broadway.

  • Open up the Gateway
    Benny Andersson , Björn Ulvaeus
    Herbert Kretzmer

    BRUSANDER: Now surely you know that the country you go to is ruled by the law of the heathen, it?s a land of deceivers. Hear me out Kristina; their nation is Godless, their prophets are pagans and never true believers.
    ROBERT: They say it?s a country where nobody?s master
    KARL OSKAR : Where farmers like me can look forward to the harvesting season.
    KRISTINA: With a heavy heart I will go with my husband, I go for the children and that?s my only reason.
    BRUSANDER: Fifty years from today there will be no America you know.
    SHERIFF, SCHOOLMASTER AND CHURCHWARDEN : Yes America it will have disappeared, fifty years from this day.
    BRUSANDER: Just you mark my words, you?ll be sorry if you go.
    KRISTINA, KARL OSKAR, ROBERT: There is nothing to hand me, we?re leaving whatever you say
    EMMIGRANTS: So come / We open up the gateway / We?ve started on the quest / the stories from America will come in to describe us / Yes come / We open up the gateways/ Wheat opens to the West / The promise of a second chance of spreading our new fire.
    BRUSANDER: This Country you go to is full of pretenders, they bow to their idols and all they seek is trifles and treasure. Their only command is only yield to desire, the land full of lewdness, treachery and pleasure.
    DANJEL: I trust in my God he will lead me to freedom, he?ll light up my path I?ll rely in the signs that he shows me.
    ULRIKA: I must get away from his back-stabbing lectures and start good as new in a place where no-one knows me.
    BRUSANDER: Fifty years from today you will see how America will fail.
    SHERIFF, SCHOOLMASTER AND CHURCHWARDEN: Yes America it will have been erased fifty years from this day.
    BRUSANDER: Just you mark my words, you?ll be sorry if you sail.
    DANJEL, ULRIKA, INGE-LENA, ELIN, & ARVID: There is no more to hand me, I?m leaving whatever you say.
    EMMIGRANTS: So come / We open up the gateway / We?ve started on the quest / the stories from America will come in to describe us / Yes come / We open up the gateways/ Wheat opens to the West/ The promise of a better life, of spreading our new fire.
    It?s a slow and hesitant beginning / in a land of little change / Hard to summon up the steel to break a world unknown / And the thought of breaking up with home / is unfamiliar and strange / yet so many risk their lives / and everything they own

    We open up the gateway / the mighty river flows/ The promise of a better life/ we?re taken with the notion / we open up the gateway / the mighty river flows / the tide has turned and time has come to reach across the ocean

    Corrections welcome 🙂

  • At the point where everyone joins in with "We open up the gateway" I noticed that my breathing had stopped and I had goosebumps all over.

    I never thought I would say this, but if ABBA’s breaking up was necessary in order for Kristina to exist, it was worth it.

  • Hi, I’m a newbie here, but I just saw the SVT Trettondagskonserten and I’m still amazed at her (Helen Sjoholm’s) singing. She never fails to take my breath away in at least one song out of the concert.
    However, did anyone notice that her performance in "You Have To Be There" was a little less powerful than usual? In all the other songs she was great, like "Time Heals Everything", but in "You Have To Be There" she seemed a little subdued.

  • Hi, would anyone be kind enough to instruct me how to find this whole part one on the SVT Play? Thank you very much

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