'I want to invite our audience on a journey across artistic genres in a programme which features artists and performances who present a vast array of complex identities, Festival Director Anders Beyer says.
The 2017 Bergen International Festival will take place from 24 May until 7 June. The classical music programme was launched in December, with stars such as Lang Lang and Andreas Scholl. This week the festival launches the entire variety of music, theatre, dance, family events and exhibitions on the programme.
Searching for the Self
Who are we – and who do we want to be – facing the arts, the unknown and ourselves? The question of identity is also highly relevant for the festival, constantly evolving in response to its surroundings.
This year’s Festival Composer and Artist in Residence is Finnish Kaija Saariaho. Her music will be presented in chamber, operatic and orchestral formats at throughout the festival, as by London Sinfonietta.
Searching in Time
New work by prize-winning Norwegian composer-musicians Einar Selvik (Wardruna) and Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) features the festival with new collaborative endeavours combining indigenous and contemporary music with Norse and Norwegian poetry, accompanied by instruments from the Stone Age up to the present day. In Nordvegen, performed at four different venues along the coast of Western Norway, the audience is invited to a musical declaration of love to Norwegian coastal culture and Norse history, before commissioned work Hugsjá will receive its world premiere at Bergen concert hall Grieghallen on 31 May.
Canadian theatre legend Robert Lepage will perform, for the final time, his play 887 – a journey into the realm of childhood memories.
Tradition and revitalisation
Tradition and revitalisation go hand in hand at the numerous concerts in Troldsalen and the composers’ homes of Edvard Grieg, Ole Bull and Harald Sæverud.
The Bergen International Festival Programme features a number of collaborations, nationally and internationally. With Bergen National Opera, the festival presents the first published edition by George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, in a premiere multimedia performance created by director, designer and video artist Netia Jones, known for her imaginative staging of classical works.
World-renowned director Robert Wilson has taken twenty-five sonnets and created an epic piece of musical theatre – Shakespeare's Sonnets, which features as the festival’s opening performance. Sonnets composer Rufus Wainwright also appears in concert with guests Anne Sofie von Otter & Brooklyn Rider.
The Festival Opening Ceremony on 24 May will be attended by the King and Queen of Norway. In addition to HM Queen Sonja giving a speech at the opening Ceremony, KODE Art Museums of Bergen will hold an exhibition principally dedicated to the Queens work's within the fields of graphic and fictile art.