"Mary Poppins, Cats, Miss Saigon, My Fair Lady and Kristina from Duvemåla. The list of successful musicals that have been produced at the Göteborg Opera can be made long."
”We have some musical performers in our permanent ensemble,” opera director Lise-Lotte Axelsson continues. ”But most of the musical artists are freelancers. Before the production of a new performance we have comprehensive auditions. It's enormously inspiring to be present when a promising soloist comes in."
Göran Gademan is a dramaturgist at the Göteborg Opera and is involved in all of the opera and musical projects. He is the creative adviser to the opera director and plays an active role in the discussions leading to the choice of performances that are to be on the repertoire. It takes several years of planning in order to get the desired team together.
”Some of the directors, choreographers and soloists are extremely hot favourites on the market and need to plan a long time in advance,” he says. "Musicals are often performed over a long period so each role also needs a stand-in. It's a security measure for the sake of the audience, so we don't have to cancel a show because someone gets sick."
The new musical.
For a long time musicals were associated with a glittering wonderland. Beautiful people, catchy music, spectacular dance numbers and happy endings. Broadway in New York had found a miracle formula that worked. But then something happened. In 1978 the musical Evita had its premiere at the Prince Edward Theatre in London. It was the exact opposite of anything that had been seen before. In one way it was a classical Cinderella tale where poor young girl meets rich man and falls in love. But, subjects like war, politics and fraud were also taken up in this musical. And, what's more, the leading character dies at the end! The reaction among producers was tumultuous. But amongst the public it was a roaring success.
A year later Evita came to Broadway and was performed as many as 1567 times. In its footsteps came a number of musicals with entirely new content. Les Misérables, Cats and Sweeney Todd are all examples of the new musical.
"At the Göteborg Opera we mix old and new musicals,” says Lise-Lotte Axelsson. "But we always do them in our own way. This season we're performing Sunset Boulevard. It has it all, both well-known melodies and fantastic dance scenes. It has a whole lot of romance too."
See more about our musicals in the archive.