June 14 –17

Anne Pedersdotter

A Norwegian opera about the witch trials, in a concert performance

Intro

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Anne Pedersdotter, by Edvard Fliflet Bræin (1924–1976), premièred at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo in 1971. Since that time, the opera has been produced on a number of occasions and has become something of a classic in Norwegian operatic history. We want to tell this story with the help of the National Opera’s strong soloists, the Opera Choir and the Opera Orchestra.

Anne is married to Absalon, a much older man. Absalon has a son, Martin, from a previous marriage. Martin is the same age as his father’s new wife. Sparks fly when the two first meet each other. But is this the work of Satan?

In the light of the flames

Anne Pedersdotter takes us back to the brutal witch-hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries. Around 50, 000 people lost their lives during the European witch-hunts between 1500 and 1750. Some 310 people were executed for witchcraft in Norway, between 1578 and 1695. Anne Pedersdotter (ca. 1530–1590), from Bergen, was one of these. She was burnt as a witch at Nordnes in Bergen, on April 7th, 1590. The circumstances of her trial and death are among the best documented in Norway.

Anne was married to the well-known priest, Absalon Pedersson Beyer. He was an important man in Bergen. He penned Om Norges Rike, was an active social commentator and the nation’s first theatre director. Anne was accused of murdering the bishop of Bergen, so that her own husband could take his place. She was later accused of killing six other people – and a pear tree – through the powers of witchcraft.

Burning desire

Even though Anne Pedersdotter is based on a real person and actual events, they only provide the basis for further artistic interpretation. Bræin’s opera is based upon a play of the same name, written by Hans Wiers-Jenssen (1866–1925), from Bergen. The play premièred at the National Theatre in 1908.

The story unfolds as an intense family drama, between man and wife in a marriage with a significant age-gap. Anne’s stepson is her own age and arouses passions in the young housewife. Anne is afraid of her own powerful emotions, and the powers of attraction she controls. She herself interprets these as inherited witchcraft. The raw power of her sexuality can only have one source: «Satan can come and tempt your flesh, as he did your mother.»

Absalon dies after she says: «Yes, I have wished you dead a hundred times! But never so strongly as from that day when your son entered this house.» She is thus accused of murdering her husband and committed adultery with his son. Anne herself claims that she is a witch, to thundering kettle drums, whilst the people pray to the Lord against a backdrop of organ and church bells.

«We recognise the people of those times in ourselves. We still have witch-hunts. The only difference is the masks we wear.» So wrote the composer himself about Anne Pedersdotter. The opera adapts historical material which is still relevant for us today. Bræin’s musical language is tonal, with clear melodic motifs which draw us into the intense drama.

  • Free introduction one hour before the performance
  • Music Edvard Fliflet Bræin
  • Libretto Hans Kristiansen etter Hans Wiers-Jenssens drama
  • Conductor Peter Szilvay

Roles

Main roles

  • Anne Pedersdotter

    Marita Sølberg
    Playing the following days
    • 14. Jun 2019
    • 17. Jun 2019
  • Absolon Pedersøn Beyer

    Magne Fremmerlid
    Playing the following days
    • 14. Jun 2019
    • 17. Jun 2019
  • Merete Beyer

    Ingebjørg Kosmo
    Playing the following days
    • 14. Jun 2019
    • 17. Jun 2019
  • Martin Beyer

    Thor Inge Falch
    Playing the following days
    • 14. Jun 2019
    • 17. Jun 2019
  • Bente

    Ingeborg Barstad
    Playing the following days
    • 14. Jun 2019
    • 17. Jun 2019
  • Mester Laurentsius

    Jens-Erik Aasbø
    Playing the following days
    • 14. Jun 2019
    • 17. Jun 2019
  • Mester Johannes

    Emil Havold Næshagen
    Playing the following days
    • 14. Jun 2019
    • 17. Jun 2019
  • Biskop Jens Schelderup

    Ole Jørgen Kristiansen
    Playing the following days
    • 14. Jun 2019
    • 17. Jun 2019
  • David Syngemester/ Anfører for bysvennene

    Mikkel Skorpen
    Playing the following days
    • 14. Jun 2019
    • 17. Jun 2019
  • Herlofs-Marte

    Astrid Nordstad
    Playing the following days
    • 14. Jun 2019
    • 17. Jun 2019

Buy tickets

Select date for Anne Pedersdotter

  • Scene
    :
    Main House
  • Price
    :
    100 - 595 NOK
  • /
    1 intermission

June 2019

Ticket status
For sale
Ticket status
For sale

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