Scan Magazine, Issue 121, February 2019

Page 107

Scan Magazine  |  Experience of the Month  |  Denmark

Top left: Set in a beautiful natural landscape, the changing light of the summer night creates a magical atmosphere at Opera Hedeland. Photo from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, performed in 2015. Bottom left: Many guests begin the evening with a picnic on the surrounding grass slopes or at one of the many picnic tables set up for the event. Right: This year, Carmen will be played by the Danish mezzo-soprano Andrea Pellegrini. Photo: Ulrik Jantzen

Experience of the Month, Denmark

A summer night in the arms of Carmen Surrounded by soft hills and with the darkening summer sky above it, Opera Hedeland has become one of Denmark’s most popular opera venues. This summer, the large amphitheatre is staging Carmen, a beautiful performance perfectly suited to the stage’s natural backdrop. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Mikal Schlosser

Staging its first performance in 2002, Opera Hedeland has enchanted more than 130,000 guests with its spellbinding combination of world-class opera performances, picnics and open-air summer magic. Every year, approximately 10,000 people attend the opera’s three performances, making it one of the largest operas in Denmark in terms of visitor numbers. The audience includes a remarkably high number of first-time opera-goers attracted by the informal setup. This, and the opera’s distinct setting, is why director of the opera, Claus Lynge, is especially looking forward to this year’s production of Carmen. “We’ve chosen to stage Carmen again [the opera was first produced by Opera Hedeland in 2007] because it’s a fantastic opera in its own right, but also because the space we have

complements it perfectly; the nature and the lake – it’s the perfect backdrop,” he says. “But we’re also staging it because Carmen is a beautiful introduction to opera for someone who has never experienced it before.” The performance will be directed by Norwegian Runar Hodne and the role of Carmen sung by Danish Andrea Pellegrini. Hodne was also behind Opera Hedeland’s production of La Sonnambula, which was named Opera of the Year in Denmark in 2016. To make the most of the changing light of the Danish summer night, the performances start at 8pm, but the grounds open as early as 5pm. “The set-up is very informal. People arrive two or three hours

early to picnic with friends, family or colleagues,” explains Lynge. “It’s like one big celebration – being surrounded by nature, watching this kind of performance alongside 3,000 other guests is a fabulous experience, especially when shared.” Dates: Performances are scheduled on 9, 16 and 17 August 2019. Getting there: Free parking is provided. Guided opera shuttle buses run from Copenhagen at competitive prices. Free shuttle buses run from Hoeje Taastrup Station. The weather: The August weather   tends to be stable in Denmark. However, performances may be cancelled in the case of severe rain and thunderstorms. Picnics: Picnic baskets by Meyers can be booked in advance (guests are also welcome to bring their own). Tickets: From 315DKK (37GBP) at


Issue 121  |  February 2019  |  107

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