Bergen International Festival in 2005

14 April 2005

The Bergen International Festival 25 May to 5 June 2005 A full stage opera performance, a festival for children, a provocative political dance production and the Swedish national orchestra at this year’s Bergen International Festival. Twelve days of wide variety in a record-breaking total of 180 events. Ticket sales start immediately after the programme release. The Bergen International Festival proudly announces a long-awaited full stage opera performance, the Berlin Comic Opera production of Handel’s Alcina with a star-studded cast and the Gabrieli Consort and Players. The opening performance, Voyage is unparallelled stage art. Dumb Type, a Japanese artists’ collective, combines state-of-the-art technology and graphic art in an explosive mixture of sounds and visual effects. The underlying theme of this year’s Bergen International Festival is memory – what we choose to remember and what to forget. Voyage, a journey in the subconscious, announces this theme from the outset. The stage superstar line-up continues: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has astounded the modern dance scene with Foi, a mould-breaking, biting commentary on suppression and violence, bringing him renown as one of today’s most spectacular choreographers. Robert Wilson’s production of Peer Gynt is the Norwegian theatrical event of the year, as this internationally acclaimed director is working with Norwegian theatre companies for the first time. The Bergen premiere takes place during the festival! Martin Fröst, the 2005 festival’s Musician in Residence, and the pianist Joanna MacGregor both demonstrate in a number of concerts that brilliant technique and a commitment to the classics present no hindrance to juggling with genre and repertoire. In Pilgrim, a concert commissioned for the Bergen International Festival, Norway’s new pop music favourite, Odd Nordstoga, shows himself to be a consummate musician in the classical mould as well as an accomplished exponent of folk music. The children’s own festival – Nystemt – is a week filled with over 30 performances of various kinds, for children and by children. Several series of concerts may be found for the first time in the 2005 Bergen International Festival programme, such as the Church Music Series, with lunchtime, afternoon and evening concerts, including the young French cellist Gautier Capuçon, and the choir Svetilen, which is said to put audiences in direct contact with the spiritual world with its Russian Orthodox church music and its folk music. Another newcomer in 2005 is the Student Quarter – Kvarteret – where a further series of concerts will be held, in which artists can show themselves from lesser-known sides. The chamber music venues are Håkonshallen and the Masonic Lodge, with the Rosamunde Quartet gracing no fewer than three concerts. Many of the county’s choral singers join the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra for Mahler’s grandiose 8th Symphony, when the stage will be filled with some 500 musicians. This year’s closing concert has a Nordic theme: over 100 members of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra fly in from Sweden to celebrate 100 years of peaceful neighbourhood between the two countries, performing music by Danish, Swedish and Norwegian composers. The soloist in Grieg’s A minor Piano Concerto is the Finnish pianist Antti Siirala.