Home Theatre Life-affirming comedy in Dala-Floda – the right antidote to present world issues – Seen and Heard Worldwide

Life-affirming comedy in Dala-Floda – the right antidote to present world issues – Seen and Heard Worldwide

Life-affirming comedy in Dala-Floda – the right antidote to present world issues – Seen and Heard Worldwide


SwedenSweden Donizetti, Kärleksdrycken (L’elisir d’amore): Soloists, Refrain and Orchestra / Miguel Ramos (conductor). Björbo IOGT, Dala-Floda, 30.7.2023. (GF)

Jessica Elevant (Adina) © Göran Forsling

Director – Christina Ros
Costumes – Christina Ros, Birgitta Federley
Units – Christina Ros, Kjell Wanselius
Lighting design – Bengt Norling, Erik Johansson
Props – Christina Ros, Lars Redhe
Masks – Julia Mattei
Wigs – Ewa Barrsved Larsson

Adina – Jessica Elevant
Nemorino – Joel Forsström
Belcore – Karl Peter Eriksson
Dulcamara – Erik Johansson
Gianetta – Elisabeth Leyser
Linus – Teodor Frej

This 12 months’s opera competition within the little village Dala-Floda, within the province of Dalecarlia within the coronary heart of Sweden, is the thirteenth since its inception, and I’ve had the pleasure to report my impressions from the very starting. It’s a distinctive competition, focusing not solely on opera and live shows but in addition on the event of younger folks with ‘particular’ skills. It is usually a folks’s competition, insofar as kind of your complete village is concerned in a technique or different. Everybody can contribute indirectly.

This 12 months, on the suggestion Dala-Floadian Lena Nordén, it was determined to do one thing light-hearted and entertaining, as an antithesis to conflict, terrorism and the cruelty that surrounds us in at present’s world. Thus the competition administration settled on Donizetti’s Kärleksdrycken (operas are at all times carried out within the vernacular in Dala Floda), a wonderful selection, since Kärleksdrycken is straightforward to grasp, amusing, stuffed with stunning music, there are usually not too many roles to fill and it may be carried out with a decreased orchestra to good impact – and all rejoice within the finale. In that respect it’s a priceless, although utopic, antidote to the trauma unfolding round us.

The orchestra is minimal: a string quintet who play the unique string elements with an added piano masking the important wind solos. It really works surprisingly properly, and the signature trumpet fanfare heralding the arrival of the charlatan physician Dulcamara is performed with bravura by the chorister Julia Mattei. Director Christina Ros, who additionally offers in costumes, props and units, has positioned the story in a café within the countryside – most likely in Dala Floda, as there usually is an area twist to productions right here – however the story follows Romani’s unique libretto, sung in Magnus Lindman’s congenial translation.

The story is well-known: Nemorino is secretly in love with Adina, however doesn’t dare inform her, and she or he will not be fascinated about getting tied up with any man. However Sergeant Belcore involves the village on a recruitment tour to enlist new troopers. He proposes to Adina, and Nemorino is heartbroken. Enter Physician Dulcamara, providing medicaments that may remedy something, together with lovesickness. Nemorino buys a bottle of his love elixir and waits for the consequence …

Ros has definitely finished a terrific job creating particular person characters among the many choristers, who indulge of their ‘roles’ wholeheartedly, and it’s a nice pleasure to expertise how amateurs and professionals can collaborate so effortlessly – although behind all this little doubt there’s numerous arduous rehearsal work. Nonetheless, the last word proof of profitable rehearsals is that the appearing seems to be fully spontaneous – and it does. And the choral singing enormously contributed to this success. An enormous armful of roses to everybody concerned! As for the efficiency usually, there’s not a uninteresting second. Effervescent together with infectious excessive spirits, it by no means resorts to low cost slapstick humour.

The eminent pickup orchestra, below the protected course of Miguel Ramos, can be worthy of nice reward. Within the comparatively small venue that Björbo IOGT constitutes, a string quintet produces fairly a meaty sound and pianist Ola Ottosson deputised honourably for the wind devices, although initially it was a bit odd to listen to the bassoon solo within the introduction to ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ performed on the piano.

Joel Forsström (Nemorino) and Erik Johansson (Dulcamara) © Göran Forsling

I’ve left the soloists till the top of the evaluation since that is firstly a singers’ opera. Nemorino the simpleton was sung by the affable Joel Forsström. What an unsure, ungainly farmhand, one felt sorry for him – however on the identical time he radiated attraction aplenty and was a real comic, singing the position with disarming simplicity and sweetness, in addition to seasoning his recitatives along with his piquant Finnish-Swedish accent.

Adina, the best bride on the town, in response to the cast-list, was additionally a born comedienne – of the hard-boiled type. Jessica Elevant, an excellent Musetta in La bohème two years in the past, contrasted eminently properly with the meek Nemorino and her singing was hurricane-like, highly effective and penetrating.

She softened significantly when the nonchalant and cocky Belcore entered in dazzlingly white uniform, making an attempt to impress all of the females. Karl Peter Eriksson, whose Schaunard was the glory of final 12 months’s La bohème, has huge charisma and dominates each scene when he’s current. His vocal sources are fairly imposing.

Charisma can be Erik Johansson’s hallmark. He has performed comedian roles in lots of operas at Dala-Floda by means of the years, usually in full beard. As Dulcamara, however, he was clean-shaven, with sideburns, the spitting picture of Elvis Presley. He even indulged in some pelvis gymnastics, of the type that made teenage ladies swoon within the Fifties, when he sang the fake-doctor’s entrance track, one of many biggest buffo arias within the repertoire. The 4 central characters have been definitely impressed, and the joyful environment additionally reached past the footlights and crammed the auditorium. The fifth wheel, Gianetta, has much less to sing, however Elisabeth Leyser’s charismatic appearing nonetheless made her a vivid persona. And we shouldn’t neglect Linus, the little errand boy wearing white, crept in, picked up a bottle from the bar and disappeared simply as discreetly as he had appeared. Teodor Frej was warmly applauded on the curtain calls.

Apart from all of the excellence I’ve accounted for above, I need to additionally commend the right enunciation of the textual content by each soloists and choristers. Each single syllable could possibly be heard. The sum of all this was riveting, light-hearted leisure that for a few hours made us neglect the world round us. Thanks, Lena Nordén, in your initiative, and thanks to all performers and those that labored behind the stage. You’ve got made life a bit simpler to dwell!

Göran Forsling



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