ASO © 2012

2005: Eden's Gift - Svend Hvidfeldt Nielsen

Principals: Helene Gjerris; Mathias Hedegaard; Jesper Mikkelsen
Director: Niels Pihl
Designer: Camilla Bjørnvad
Conductor: David Riddell
Randers Chamber Orchestra

The libretto was written by the composer, Svend Hvidfelt Nielsen, and is based on Svend Åge Madsens novel Eden's Gift, which in turn is based on an earlier Madsen play entitled R.S.V.P. In contrast to the sprawling immensity of Tugt, Eden's Gave was an intimate chamber opera, with only 3 singers (each playing two diametrically contrasting roles). The vast net of plots and subplots in Tugt og Utugt was replaced by intense scenes with only two or three participants, in styles ranging from "swing door" farce to King Lear. Whilst Tugt og Utugt burst the seams of Helsingør Teater's small stage, this opera was tailor-made to the intimate atmosphere of Denmark's most charming theatre. An intense, passionate, opera experience, describing a society on the brink of devastation, brought about by it's own hedonistic actions. The production was given rave reviews across the board, and played to full houses.

"Aarhus Sommeropera has pulled off a coup with this production which comes alive through its polished orchestral playing, and its sharp and vital character direction. Three brilliant singers, in more or less constant activity throughout the entire evening, make an impessive contribution with their abrupt personality changes and momentary breakdowns. You laugh a lot, shiver often, painfully wonder, are continually delighted, and really get something to think about." (Jan Jacoby - Politiken)

"Edens Gave has therefore become something rarely found, a modern Danish opera, brave enough, and successful enough, to set great important topics such as science, ethics, human vanity, and technological chaos on stage. It is also someting even rarer - a new Danish comic opera. Denmark's absolute contemeporary music diva, Helene Gerris, together with the younger gentlemen, Mathias Hedegaard and Jesper Mikkelsen, give their respctive double roles a well defined musical and dramatic life, such that one believes in, and sympathises with all the characters on stage. Svend Hvidtfelt Nielsen has composed music that is simultaneously compact, refined and expressive. It is thourghly well performed by Randers Chamber Orchestra, led by David Riddell." (Jakob Levinsen - Jyllandsposten)

"Hvidtfelt Nielsen and Svend Åge Madsen's opera is a strong and very relevant piece of musikdrama, which gives much food for thought in our present situaton. And Aarhus Sommeropera tells the story with great conviction."
(Steen Søgaard - JP Århus)

"The singers do a great job. The opera is vocally demanding, with its dramatic changes of expression, and drammatically challenging because of the double personalities of the characters. Helene Gjerris covincingly changes from the strict Barbara to the directly provocative Lilia, and sings both parts with great conviction.. Jesper Mikkelsen is good in the change from the inventor Geo,who doesn't seem to take his own wonder-pills, to his trusted employee, Henrik, and finally Mathias Hedegaard's is incredibly sure in his change from the shy and innocent Daniel to the smart and lecherous lawyer Verner. The environment is marvelously captured in the director's good-humoured staging, and the designer's costumes and set." (Ole Srtraarup - Aarhus Stiftstidende)



½LELUJA! 2013

Cosi fan Tutte 2012

Korus Kabaret 2011

Il Nozze di Figaro 2010

The Vapours of Love 2009

L'elisir d'amore 2008

Soapera 2007

A Shambles in Shaving Foam
2006, 2007


Eden's Gift 2006

Vice and Virtue
in the Middletime
1998, 2000, 2002, 2004


Die Entfürung aus dem Serail
2003, 2005


The Revenge of Olympia 2001

Mozart and Salieri 2001

Cosi fan Tutte 2000, 2001