Sweden En julsaga (A Christmas Carol): Soloists, Children’s Chorus and Gothenburg Chorus and Orchestra / Josef Rhedin (conductor). Gothenburg Opera foremost stage, 15.12.2023. (NS)
Idea, lyrics and e book by Tobias Ahlsell, David Lundqvist and Anders Wängdahl.
Composition and Musical association – Mats Sköldberg
Original path – Erik Ståhlberg
Revival director – Mia Nerenius
Set design – Katrin Pettersson
Costume design – Anna Carlberg, Therese Schimmelsohn
Video design – Katrin Pettersson, Niklas Elfvengren, Ludde Falk
Lighting design – Niklas Elfvengren
Sound design – Jonathan Assarsson
Choreography – Cynthia Kai
Scrooge – Carina Söderman
Ghosts – Mats Almgren, Julia Carlström
Narrator / Mrs Cratchit – Tobias Ahlsell
Narrator / Fred – David Lundqvist
Narrator / Bob Cratchit – Anders Wängdahl
Tiny Tim – Allan Olsson
Child Scrooge – Ingrid Bosaeus
Child Simon – Alexander Friberg
Young Scrooge – Tiina Markkanen
Young Simon – Christopher Napier
This 12 months’s Christmas musical on the Gothenburg Opera is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, sung in Swedish and set to a large however considerate number of music – from Allegri to Stevie Wonder. A trio of musical artists have tailored Dickens’s story and achieve telling it in a manner which is by turns humorous and deeply transferring. Their Scrooge is a lady, however the setting continues to be visually Victorian, filling the stage with attractive interval costumes and an enormous Christmas tree. The set was easy however skilfully used video to make easy scene modifications. This and the versatile lighting introduced the viewers into the story, particularly within the scenes with the ghosts.
Tobias Ahlsell, David Lundqvist and Anders Wängdahl created an amazing reference to the viewers once they launched the present as narrators and confirmed off their shut concord in a gap quantity set to the music of ‘God rest ye merry, gentlemen’. They had been lively on stage for many of the present, each as a trio and as particular person characters. Anders Wängdahl and Tobias Ahlsell made splendidly comedian Bob and Mrs Cratchit, although Mr Wängdahl’s Bob Cratchit additionally confirmed nice generosity of spirit regardless of the appalling manner Scrooge handled him. David Lundqvist was affecting as Scrooge’s nephew Fred, being the one mourner at Scrooge’s funeral as proven within the imaginative and prescient of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
Operatic bass Mats Almgren made an amazing impression, first because the fairly scary ghost of Jacob Marley bursting out of Scrooge’s fire encumbered with chains and moneyboxes, warning Scrooge that she has just one likelihood to keep away from his destiny in ‘Var gång som klockan slår’ (to the music of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Pastime paradise’). Then he returned as a flamboyant Ghost of Christmas Present who seemed like he had stepped out of Aladdin, who then confirmed Scrooge his imaginative and prescient to the tune of Rocco’s aria from Beethoven’s Fidelio. This was in all probability the perfect costume within the present, although with sturdy competitors.
Julia Carlström was a glowing Ghost of Christmas Past, singing an upbeat authentic track by Mats Sköldberg and Micaela Sjöstedt. The two scenes she confirmed of Scrooge’s formative years had been very transferring, partly because of the wordless however efficient performing of Ingrid Bosaeus and Alexander Friberg and Tiina Markkanen and Christopher Napier.
Carina Söderman brilliantly captured Scrooge’s dour and greedy character, with a gap quantity to music by Danny Elfman from The Nightmare Before Christmas. She additionally had nice comedian interactions with the three narrators. Söderman developed Scrooge’s character and opened up emotionally and vocally when Scrooge repented in ‘Är det försent för mig?’, to the music of ‘What kind of fool am I?’ by Leslie Bricusse. Her joyful ensemble with the Narrators in ‘Vi firar jul’ (to the tune of ‘It’s raining males’!) was infectiously energetic.
Conductor Josef Rhedin and the Gothenburg Opera Orchestra performed with an infectious enthusiasm and gave a wealthy orchestral sound to the preparations they performed. The Gothenburg Opera Chorus and particularly the Children’s Chorus had necessary roles within the present, with the youngsters particularly sensible because the improbably massive household of Bob and Mrs Cratchit. The last scene was a powerful rendition of ‘O holy night’, began as a solo by Tiny Tim (Allan Olsson) and increasing right into a refrain and ensemble of the entire forged. It was a transferring finale to this sensible adaptation of Charles Dickens’s basic story.