The University Record, April 23, 2001

Behind the scenes of the opera ‘Edda’

University Musical Society (UMS) closes its season with the premiere of Ping Chong and Benjamin Bagby’s theatrical production Edda: Viking Tales of Revenge, Lust and Family at 8 p.m. April 25–26 in the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. The legends found in the ancient Icelandic Edda, one of the earliest medieval manuscripts, form the basis for the production. Sung in Icelandic and spoken in English, the music comes from Bagby’s research of Icelandic folk traditions.

An open rehearsal of Edda was held April 16 in the Video Studio, Media Union. Clockwise, from top left, Elizabeth Gaver plays a reconstructed ancient four-string fiddle; Christopher Caines dons finger extensions; Lena Susanne Norin rehearses her vocal performance; stage manager Courtney Goulden (left) and Chong (both from behind) direct the rehearsal; and Bagby plays the harp.

Chong is a theatre director, choreographer and video and installation artist. Actor and musician Bagby is the director and co-founder of the medieval music ensemble Sequentia. Both were visiting fellows at the Institute for the Humanities April 2–6. The Institute for the Humanities, School of Art and Design, UMS, and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program have contributed to the planning of the performances. For tickets, call (734) 764-2538 or (800) 221-1229. Photos by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services