Some talents are precocious and reach fame early. Others gain their greatest successes later in life. Johan Kvandal belongs to the latter cathegory. After entering the retirement age he is more sought-after, diligently performed and popular than ever before. Tomorrow, the composer celebrates his 75th birthday. Continue reading
For the first time in history, it is possible to hear a novel by Knut Hamsun sung. Yesterday, Mysteries had it’s world premiere at The Norwegian Opera. Perhaps the genious writer would have been deeply troubled to his soul just by the thought of it. But Hamsun expert Robert Ferguson, who has heard the opera together with Dagbladet, is surprised and amazed by how well Hamsun’s spirit has been kept.
Klassekampen: – Thanks to Johan Kvandal’s strong, but introverted music, Hamsun’s “Mysteries” has survived the leap from literary existential foreignness to music drama.
– I was in Stockholm the other day and saw an opera about a composer who was unable to finish his commissioned opera. I couldn’t get back home to my piano quickly enough, to mye stacks of blank sheet music and Hamsun Books. Says Johan Kvandal in his home at the outskirts of Oslo, adding note by note to what will hopefully become an opera built on Hamsun novel Mysteries, all while the National Theatre cast all stage lighting on Knut Hamsun.