Helen Sjöholm and Russel Watson to star in Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus Kristina in a concert event at Carnegie hall, featuring a symphony orchestra conducted by Paul Gemignani.
Helen Sjöholm, who originated the title role in the Swedish production of KRISTINA, and internationally renowned tenor Russell Watson, will headline the concert version of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’ musical at Carnegie Hall featuring a 50 piece symphony orchestra conducted by Paul Gemignani. Directed by Lars Rudolfsson, the complete 32 member company will be announced shortly.
Tickets for KRISTINA go on sale this Sunday, May 31 at 12:00p at the Carnegie Hall Box Office (57th Street & Seventh Avenue), via phone at 212-247-7800 or online at www.carnegiehall.org.
One of Sweden’s national treasures, musical theater star Helen Sjöholm made her breakthrough performance in the original Swedish production of KRISTINA. She is currently starring in My Fair Lady at the Oscars Theatre in Stockholm, and is a lead vocalist in The Benny Andersson Band, whose hit song “You Are My Man” has stayed at the top of the Swedish charts for the past five years.
Platinum selling recording artist Russell Watson, known as “The People’s Tenor” in his native Britain, is one of the biggest classical crossover stars in the world. Watson was the first ever British male to simultaneously occupy a No.1 spot in the UK and American classical charts, as well as the first artist to have a classical album at the No.1 spot in the UK classical charts for an entire year.
KRISTINA, with music by Benny Andersson and lyrics by Björn Ulvaeus, will be performed in a concert presentation for two performances only at Carnegie Hall on September 23 and 24, 2009. This will be the first presentation in English with lyrics by Björn Ulvaeus and Herbert Kretzmer.
Originally titled Kristina från Duvemåla, the musical premiered at the Malmo Music Theatre in Sweden in 1995 to great acclaim from critics and audiences alike. The musical ran for almost four years, winning four Guldmasken Theatre Awards (Sweden’s Tony!) and was seen by more people than any other musical in Swedish history.
In 1996, a concert version of KRISTINA was performed (in Swedish) at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Minnesota; a part of the country where many of the events in the Moberg novels took place. The Minneapolis Star Tribune called the concert “engaging, emotionally charged and haunting.”
Based on The Emigrants series of novels by Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg (The Emigrants, Unto a Good Land, The Settlers, and The Last Letter Home), KRISTINA tells the epic story of an extended family’s migration from Sweden to America in the mid-19th Century.
Universal Music is proud to promote the concert alongside Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. A cast recording will follow, released through Universal Music’s Decca Records.
Best known as the song-writing partners of ABBA, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus are also the composers of the stage musicals Chess and Mamma Mia!
HELEN SJÖHOLM, one of Sweden’s most beloved performers, began singing at a young age in a chorus in her hometown of Sundsvall and made her professional debut in 1988 touring with the entertainment troupe “Just for Fun.” For many Swedes, she will always be known for her major breakthrough performance as “Kristina” in Kristina från Duvemåla. The hit musical by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus was seen by over one million Swedes. Helen also played “Hodel” in Fiddler on the Roof and “Fantine” in Les Miserables. She starred in the Swedish production of Chess, as “Polly Peachum” in The Threepenny Opera and is currently playing “Eliza” in My Fair Lady at the Oscars Theatre in Stockholm. Helen has performed solo concerts on radio, television and on stages around the country. She is a lead vocalist in the Benny Andersson Band, whose song “You Are My Man” has topped the Swedish charts for five years.
RUSSELL WATSON. Adored by the UK public and widely known as “The Peoples Tenor,” Russell Watson offers a rare glimpse at a remarkable Tenor who has a unique ability of delivering both Classical and Pop Music. 2001: Watson was the first ever British male to simultaneously occupy a No.1 spot in the UK and American classical charts, as well as being the first artist to have a classical album at the No.1 spot in the UK classical charts for an entire year. Having released 9 albums to date and sold over 6 million records worldwide, he has won four classical BRIT Awards and is recognized as the UK’s biggest selling classical artist of the 21st century. 2001: Sang the opening theme of star trek, enterprise, “where My Heart Will Take Me”, 2006: Watson played Parson Nathaniel in the stage adaptation of Jeff Wayne’s musical Version of The War of the Worlds. He has performed for the President of the United States, the UK Prime minister, the Emperor of Japan and the Pope. He has collaborated with varying artists such as Cliff Richards, Lulu, Lionel Ritchie, Mel C (of Spice Girls fame) and Meatloaf.