Elisabeth in Sweden
There's now a Swedish version of
'Elisabeth', which opened on September 30th 1999 in Karlstad, Central Sweden. It is
performed in Swedish. Tickets are on sale.See their web site at
It runs only until January 9 2000, and will not be extended.
Picture: Björn Eduard & Cecilie Nerfont Thorgersen as The Imperial Couple (most pictures in this feature by kind permission of Musik Teatern i Vãrmland).
Musical director is Englishman Derek Barnes, Ronny Danielsson is Director, and the Producer is Camilla Nordström.
I must take this opportunity to thank Derek Barnes for his kindness in keeping me in touch with the production during its long gestation period, and inviting me to join the leads in the post-event party. I first heard from him in February 1999, and when I saw the show on October 2nd, the cast had only just had the premiere, but had been rehearsing for two months. I also want to thank Cecilie, Christer & Patrik for taking the time to talk to a crazy Englishman who'd come all the way from England to see "Elisabeth" again!
Now on with the story!
I've just come back from seeing the Swedish version of Elisabeth in Karlstad, central Sweden. It's really excellent and I'd recommend fans to see it. The theatre has only about 350 seats and quite a small stage, so there's a really intimate feel to it. The production team hadn't seen the Vienna version, and have done their own interpretation and often it's really striking.
The show opens with a dead Elisabeth lying on the quayside in Geneva, with press photographers taking flash pictures of her, as Lucheni is challenged to explain. There are few tricks (no carousels or cash registers), and the stage is sometimes bare; the director has concentrated on telling the story, and tells it well.
Lucheni is wonderfully animated - always a pleasure to watch, as played by Christer Nerfont, and his Norwegian wife Cecilie Nerfont Thorgersen is a stunning Elisabeth.
Death is well-played by Patrik Martinsson, not so heavily made-up as in the Hungarian version, not so androgynous, but wonderfully menacing, never less than when he kisses Rudolf on the lips as he dies.
Unfortunately, the planned 5-track cast CD has been blocked by Sylvester Levay, who was not happy with the performances he heard on a demo. I think he was wrong.
Here's the song titles from the show in Swedish - fans of "Elisabeth" will soon work out which song is which.
The translation to Swedish is by Magnus Lindman.
"Döden dansade med alla"
"Nu dras ridän"