Anne Frank - monologue opera

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To what extent can humans influence their destiny, or is life eventually just a sum of haphazard events?

Anne Frank is a monologue opera composed by Grigori Frid in 1968, to which the composer himself has written the original libretto based on Anne Frank’s diary and letters.

 

The opera presents touchingly the way of thinking, dreams and hopes for the future of a teenage girl who is reaching adulthood. At the same time, an appalling thought creeps into a consciousness that life could be over before it even has begun. The young girl's gamut of emotions and the feelings of the era are interpreted by a brilliant soprano Anni Niemelä.

Anne Frank was performed at Alexander Theatre together with The Unpublished Tape of Eva Braun chamber opera at Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival in 2021.

Duration: 60 min (no intermission)

Language: German

Surtitles: Finnish, English

Creative Team

 

Composer: Grigori Frid
Librettist: Grigori Frid
Director: Ville Saukkonen

Costume and Set Design: Reeta Tuoresmäki
Lighting and Video Design: Petteri "Pietu" Pietiäinen

Production: Greta Productions & Finnish Chamber Opera


Soloist: Anni Niemelä
Conductor: James Kahane / Emilia Hoving

accompanied by a nine-piece orchestra:

Violin: Mauri Saarikoski

Cello: Liina-Mari Raivola

Double Bass: Aleksi Ruonavaara

Flute & piccolo: Nairi Azezian

Clarinet: Kimmo Leppälä / Aleksi Saari

Trumpet: Tintti  Simola / Sami Pöyhönen

Bassoon: Onska Ojanperä

Piano & celesta: Jussi Littunen / Joona Uusitalo

Percussions: Tuomo Lassila

Reviews

Tunnin mittainen ooppera on vaativa rooli sopraano Anni Niemelälle, joka hallitsee tehtävänsä loistavasti tyttömäisellä äänellään.

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 The hour-long opera is a demanding role for soprano Anni Niemelä who masters her role brilliantly with her girlish voice.

Hannu-Ilari Lampila /

Helsingin Sanomat

3.9.2021

Jag kan inte föreställa mig en bättre Anne Frank än sopranen Anni Niemelä. Rösten var klar, ljus och ungdomlig, och hon hittade en perfekt balans mellan humoristiska och mera allvarliga aspekter av karaktären. Frids partitur är rätt krävande med både stora språng och fina legatopassager, men Niemelä klarade allt med bravur, samtidigt som hon sprang runt scenen barfota.

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I cannot imagine a better Anne Frank than the soprano Anni Niemelä. Her voice was clear, bright and youthful, and she found a perfect balance between humorous and more serious aspects of the character. Frid's score is quite demanding with both big jumps and legato passages but Niemelä performed everything with bravura, at the same time as she ran around the stage barefoot.

Fiona Chow /

Hufvudstadsbladet

3.9.2021

Sopraano Anni Niemelä onnistui vaikuttavalla lauluäänellään ja luontevalla olemuksellaan eläytymään uskottavasti nuoren Anne Frankin hahmoon. 

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Soprano Anni Niemelä managed with her impressive singing voice and her natural being to be immersed in the character of the young Anne Frank.

Tuomas Rantanen / 

Voima

10.9.2021

Audience Comments:

Hurjasta urakasta vastasi sopraano Anni Niemelä, jolla oli tosiaan tunnin verran laulettavaa – eikä suinkaan helppoa sellaista. Ääni on kaunis, kirkas ja taipuisa ja noukkii erehtymättä korkeat sävelet, eikä minkään sortin väsymystä ollut havaittavissa. Hän oli myös notkeasti liikkuva näyttämön täysin haltuunsa ottanut laulava näyttelijä. Brava!

James Kahane johti sankarillisesti ja vakuuttavasti 9-henkistä orkesteria. 

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Soprano Anni Niemelä was responsible for the tremendous task, and she really had an hour to sing - and by no means an easy one. Her voice is beautiful, clear and flexible and unmistakably picks up the high notes, and there wasn't any kind of fatigue noticeable. She was also a flexibly moving singing actor who took over the stage completely. Brava!

 

James Kahane conducted heroically and convincingly the nine-piece orchestra.

Veijo Murtomäki

Photos