Hellstenius: Ophelias: Death by Water Singing


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Hellstenius: Ophelias: Death by Water Singing



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Release date:

29th July 2016





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Hellstenius: Ophelias: Death by Water Singing

Elisabeth Holmertz , Tora Augestad, Ivan Ludlow, Silje Aker Johnsen

Cikada Ensemble, Christian Eggen


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With this work, librettist Cecilie Løveid has taken the Danish myth of Hamlet and the Shakespeare play of the same name and virtually removed most of the men. She has also done away with many of the words. Shakespeare's deep and strongly expressive brooder has become a rather stuttering figure, with a fragility that is underscored in the music. Hamlet is in a borderline state, perhaps between adolescence and adulthood, perhaps between the parts of his consciousness.

Composer Henrik Hellstenius provides Hamlet with a wide scope of vocal articulation. The Prince’s voice traverses the full range, with rapid shifts from child-like melodies through to recitatives and booming, resonant timbres. This also renders him unstable. With Hamlet’s words fewer and his vocal register broader, it reduces and it complicates the character even further. Such a connection between words and sounds can be seen as an extension of both forms of expression, neither emphasising nor confirming each other.

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