Jon Fosse has been hailed as the greatest playwright to emerge from Norway since Henrik Ibsen. A dark, moving and liberating version of Jon Fosse’s first drama – the opera by Knut Vaage was a huge success on stage. And here it is staged at the theatre of the mind, by Opera Vest and BIT20Ensemble.
With this in mind it is quite a bold move of Knut Vaage to take the most famous of Fosse’s plays and write an opera around it. The result is a dark, touching and liberating version of this drama, a sought after change in the stream of almost identical performances of the various Fosse pieces. And in just the same way as his texts are wonderfully suited for reading aloud, it is equally ideal for the mental theatre of the CD. SHE and HE have never seemed more significant, and THE MAN has never been more eerie: and is it not the ghost of the dead grandmother we feel lurking around in the shadow?
After the world premiere in 2000
– this musically inventive and dramatically tense work was well received and deserves a wider hearing. [BBC Music Magazine]
– a promising dramatic talent [Herald Tribune]
Knut Vaage and Jon Fosse
Knut Vaage (b. 1961) is at home in a variety of styles of music, though his primary focus is on improvisation and contemporary music. In many of his projects he explores the border zone between improvisation and composition. Vaage’s musical production ranges from symphonic works and opera to solo pieces.
Jon Fosse (b.1959) is one of the leading contemporary dramatists in Europe, and the most performed Norwegian dramatist after Ibsen. Of his writing Fosse says: "To me, form and content are one and the same: what I want to say must be said through form; form is to a large extent created through what is said."