Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Twilight Boating

On Friday night at the Risør Festival , musicians and audience packed into boats and headed to Stangholmen. This tiny, rocky island has a lighthouse, a newly constructed glass stage, a superb and elegant sound system, and, of course, the Norwegian glow of summer twilight that deepens as the hours go on. The audience can drink local beer and choose their piece of rock (cushions provided) to sit on. The Directors came up with a beautiful program that included the Norwegian Soloists' Choir
atmospherically stationed around and in the audience, moving toward the stage while singing haunting folk songs of Norway. Also on the program, Brahms, Haydn, Liszt, Donizetti. The final piece featured the deeply moving voice of Thomas Quasthoff sending Schubert's "Auf der Bruck" into the dusk and far, far out to the gleaming horizon.
The picture above shows a little boatful of highly valuable musicians and their highly valuable instruments, with a bigger boatful of highly valuable audience members.
Here's a look at the little rocky natural amphitheater on the island, and a shots from the lighthouse.

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