Thora paa Rimol (Thora at Rimol) is a dramatic opera in two acts, based on the ’Olav Tryggvason’s Saga’ in Snorre Sturlason’s Heimskringla; (the Cronicle of Norwegian Kings).
Hjalmar Borgstrøm (1864-1925) has written both the music and text (libretto in both Norwegian and German) to this dark drama. Borgstrøm’s key to making this story into an opera is putting the powerful Thora in centre. As the opera opens, Thora’s heart has not yet recovered from being left by her beloved Haakon. And here he comes hoping she will give him shelter, with a mortal enemy at his heals. All the ingredients of a true opera are now at hand; betrayal, hate, love and lust. In addition one of course needs divine intervention, and the battle between Haakon and Olav is also the battle between the old norse gods and Christianity. At the peak of tension even Odin himself makes an off-stage appearance.
This is one of two operas written by the now virtually unknown Norwegian composer Hjalmar Borgstrøm. That the man knew his business is evident. His handling of the orchestra is that of a master, giving him the tools for both subtle nuance and powerful statement. For those listening for references, Wagner has to be mentioned, but also Donizetti and Puccini.
The very finest of Norwegian singers have come together to make this premiére recording possible, and 108 years after the making this music reaches audiences world wide through Simax Classics’ Nordic Edition.