Johan Kvandal’s opera based on Hamsun’s Mysteries’ is an engaging and most respect-worthy piece of music drama.
Most of the text is based more or less directly on Hamsun. With great accuracy and sensitivity, Kvandal liberates and strenghtens the latent musicality in the poets’s words. The equilibrium between stage and orchestra pit is also exemplary – the voices come into their own, but the orchestra is still present all the time, with a solid construction of the melodic lines and with its own purely musical presentation of the undercurrents, the ‘mysteries’ in action.
The composer writes with skill and voice insight, gives the melody line a natural curve and a natural breath, which the singers clearly feel at home with.
Excerpts from review, Arbeiderbladet, 17 January 1994