Saturday, April 28, 2012

Utan Dej är jag en spillra på ett mörkt och stormigt hav

Kristina från Duvemåla at Svenska Teatern

I'll tell first a little story about dreams which came true.

Maria Ylipää and Robert Noack Photo: Cata Portin
The story of Kristina från Duvemåla follows the life of Kristina and her husband Karl-Oskar all the way from their marriage to America. They see death among their loved ones and life is not easy in Sweden nor in America.

The role of Kristina is played by Maria Ylipää in this production. Maria - who? She has previously done roles of Evita in Evita and Elphaba in Wicked for example. I've been a fan of hers since I saw Wicked for the first time. I was really looking for to see her as Kristina after hearing so much good things about her in that role.
Usually the role of Karl-Oskar is played by Robert Noack. And now it's important that you don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against him.
But I didn't want to see him as Karl-Oskar.
Why? Because the understudy for the role is Glenn Daniel Nilsson. Who? Remember the ÅST production of Les Mis? He was Marius during the first seasons (2010-2011). No, I never did see him. But I wanted, I really wanted. So, I was so happy to know that he is in the ensemble of Kristina från Duvemåla and an understudy for the role of Karl-Oskar.
Well dreams do come true sometimes. When we (me with my Swedish group) arrived to the theatre I saw papers on doors and walls telling that "Glen Daniel Nilsson does the role of Karl-Oskar tonight".
Is it that hard to write his name right?
But well, I was so happy that "my dream cast" of Kristina was on stage the day I saw it.

And while talking about the cast, let's just tell how they was when I saw them.

Robert Noack and Maria Ylipää with ensemble Photo: Cata Portin
Maria Ylipää never fails to amaze me. Her voice is gorgeous and her acting is great. And after hearing how she was praised about her role as Kristina, my hopes were high. Yes, she did good. But I guess she wasn't at her best when I saw her. I actually enjoyed her more as Elphaba than as Kristina. But I'm sure can do better with that role. She just didn't make Kristina so real to me. Maybe I should see her again as Kristina so I could tell how she really is in the role.

Lately I've seen many understudies, all of them has been at least as good as principals. I can't say how Robert Noack does the role of Karl-Oskar, but oh yes, Glenn Daniel Nilsson did the role so well. I couldn't have asked more of the role. He was really lovable towards Kristina, he had his mad moments... He was realistic. And his voice, it sounded great! I started to cry for the first time during the show when he sang Stanna. It was so beautiful. As I told, I don't know how Robert Noack is in the role, but I wish Glenn would be a principal Karl-Oskar in the future.

Oskar Nilsson, Maria Ylipää and child actors Photo: Cata Portin

Other mainroles: Oskar Nilsson did very well as Karl-Oskar's brother Robert. He was the most reliable character for me in the musical. And his voice wasn't bad, he sang Guldet Blev till Sand so beautifully.
Birthe Wingren was powerful as Ulrika from Västerghöl. Loved how she danced during Löss and how strong her voice was.
The ensemble was great too, even thoug it was sometimes hard for a Finnish-speaking-girl to understand what they were singing.

Maria Ylipää, Birthe Wingren and ensemble Photo: Cata Portin

About the musical itself. The story is beautiful and I love the score. The set was beautiful, after seeing it I don't even think why did it cost so much. Costumes were also good.
But then there is something that started to bother me right after the end. I don't know if it depends on my skills wth Swedish, but the story was hard to follow in some parts. And the most important thing that bothered me.
The musical didn't move me like I wished it would.

I heard everyone who had seen it, to tell how great it was. Actually I didn't find it that amusing. It's good musical but maybe I should see it again to enjoy every part of it. As on of my friends once said, you can tell something about how good musical is by how much do I cry.
I cried during Kristina. Only few parts including Stanna and Du måste finnas. But when someone died, it didn't move me so much. Only once during the musical I felt really bad when someone died. Only once.
I take one of my favourite musicals, Les Misérables, to an example. I really cry during it. It feels bad in my heart when people die. Kristina didn't make me feel same way.
And other thing still. That musical could be little bit shorther. It takes over 3 and half hours. It's long time. I would have made it little shorter. But this is thing that the creators of this musical have decided. And I must deal with it.

Maria Ylipää Photo: Cata Portin
After all the good reviews and everyone telling how good it is and how you should see it, I think the musical isn't that special. But still I recommend to see it, to see if it's your thing or not. The cast is amazing, music is gorgeous and the story is beautiful.

For those who don't understand Swedish, you can get one of those little maschines with texts if you want to. I didn't take one, so I could just watch the musical. But maybe it would have been great help with understanding some parts.

Maria Ylipää, Robert Noack, child actors and ensemble Photo: Cata Portin
Another tip! They're selling the complete cast recording from the Malmö production at the theatre. It's worth buying, the cast is almost as good as the on in Svenska Teatern. It gives more time to go through the musical in your mind.

Photos from

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Det är dags att börja gå mot en morgondag

It's been two months and a day since Les Misérables closed at Åbo Svenska Teater. And I returned to Turku.

It was a schooltrip. But at the very moment when I saw the railwaystation of Kupittaa and saw a train I felt home. Like I was going to see Les Mis again. Like the show never closed.
Then I saw the railwaystation of Turku. I watched out from the window of the bus. I saw a street I walked to ÅST..
I noticed tears on my cheeks.

Later we had some free time. We went to the center of the town. And then I saw it. The beautiful yellow building. I saw the beautiful doors of the theatre. I think I started to cry again. There may not have been tears, but I was crying.

We went in to the shopping centre next to ÅST. I saw the stage door. I saw that same lady selling tickets who had been there everytime I went to ÅST.
We walked towards a café. For everyone else it was just a cafe. But I saw a free table there. I sat there. I met some cast members. And yes, my soul cried even more.
Stairs. "I saw Josefine Isaksson here" thought I.

The flowershop. The Subway. All my memories.

And then, when we were going to the place we were supposed to meet others from that school trip. I saw it.
A bus. A Les Mis bus. I saw Mikaela Tidermark's face smiling. I saw Tomi Metsäketo as Marius.
A part of me broke.

That bus tells something about being a fangirl of this production. It has been over two months since the show closed. But that bus still goes on telling everyone that Les Misérables had the new premiere in October 2011.
And I'm still showing my love to the production. The show is gone. But I'm still going on.

Åbo Svenska Teater and Les Misérables.
Thank you. I miss you every day.

det är dags att börja gå mot en morgondag!