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Ragnheiður Ópera

3CD A101 (Actone, 2014)

A brand new Icelandic Opera, Ragnheiður, by the composer Gunnar Þórðarson and librettist Friðrik Erlingsson. 

The opera is based on true historical events that took place in Iceland in the mid 16th century. The title role, Ragnheiður, is the 18 years old daughter of the Bishop of Skálholt, the most powerful man of the church in the country. Passions rose between Ragnheiður, the daughter of the bishop and her young teacher Daði. They fell in love but had to conceal their affections since the bishop had other things in mind for his daugther. In 1661 the bishop demanded that his daughter, Ragnheiður, would take an oath in front of the whole congregation and swear that she was still a virgin and “as free from all dirty deeds as she was when she was brought into this world.” Nine months later she bore a child. For centuries people have discussed if she took a false oath or not.

The music score from the opera Ragnheiður was presented in concert form in the church of Skálholt in August, 2013. The concert was a great success and was praised by both the general public and the critics. The music of Gunnar Þórðarson is touching, romantic and powerful and the libretto by Friðrik Erlingsson is both beautiful and tragic.

It is worth a trip to Iceland to see and hear this impressive new opera, the first Icelandic opera to be staged in Harpa, the new home of The Icelandic Opera. The conductor is Peter Sakari and in the title role will be one of Iceland´s most adored soprano singer Þóra Einarsdóttir.

Artistic team
Conductor: Petri Sakari
Assistance conductor: Guðmundur Óli Gunnarsson
Lighting: Páll Ragnarsson
Costumes: Þórunn S. Þorgrímsdóttir
Set designer: Gretar Reynisson
Director: Stefán Baldursson

Leading singers
Þóra Einarsdóttir (Ragnheiður)
Viðar Gunnarsson (Brynjólfur biskup)
Elmar Gilbertsson (Daði)

The Orcestra and Choir of The Icelandic Opera