For the first time ever the Icelandic Opera will stage an Icelandic opera at Christmas. This is also the first time an opera is staged at Harpa Concert Hall at Christmas. There will be two shows, on Saturday December 27 and Sunday December 28.
The opera Ragnheiður is based on true historical events that took place in Iceland in the mid 17th century. The title role, Ragnheiður, is the 18-year-old daughter of the Bishop of Skálholt, the most powerful man of the church in the country. She and her young teacher, Daði, fell in love, but had to conceal their affections since the bishop had other plans for his daugther‘s future. In 1661 the bishop demanded that his daughter, Ragnheiður, would take an oath in front of the whole congregation to swear her virginity. Nine months later she gave birth to a child. For centuries people have discussed if she took a false oath or not.
Þóra Einarsdóttir in the lead role of Ragnheiður and Elmar Gilbertsson as Daði got superb reviews. The same can be said for the rest of the cast. Viðar Gunnarsson was bishop Brynjólfur, the stern father, Bergþór Pálsson as Hallgrímur Pétursson, the famous poet and friend of the family. Opera director Stefán Baldursson directs the staging of Ragnheiður.
The Opera Orchestra is conducted by Petri Sakari, a well known and respected Finnish director.
Extensive parts from the opera, interlinked with interviews with the singers, composers, and director can be viewed here.
Tickets for the final shows on December 27 and 28 can be purchased here.
“A superb staging of a magnificent opera... bravissimo” – Jónas Sen, Fréttablaðið newspaper
“The whole production is of high professional standard, a performance of great finesse and confidence” – Hlín Agnarsdóttir, DV newspaper
“A historical event” – Silja Aðalsteinsdóttir, TMM magazine
“An exquisite experience... wonderful performance... magnificent music” – Lísa Pálsdóttir, Icelandic National Radio, RÚV
“A 6 star performance, not to be missed... BRILLIANT!!!” – Gerrit Shuil, pianist
“Magnificent masterpiece, a milestone in musical history” – Eiður S. Guðnason, ambassador
“A fine, emotionally charged and very mature piece of work.”– Neil Jones, Opera Now
“Drei Stunden große Oper. ... Ungeniert romantisch.”– Wiebke Roloff, Opernwelt