Stars from afar: Top-tier concerts, operas, ballet coming to Longyearbyen’s stage via big-screen broadcasts

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For everyone who loves the opera, but wants to attend wearing jeans and an “I’m with stupid” sweatshirt, your opportunity has arrived.

Regular doses of aristocratic culture in Longyearbyen are scheduled to start next week via a series of large-screen performances broadcast at Kulturhuset.

“We are starting a pilot project with the screening of theater, opera, concerts, and ballets this fall,” wrote Roger Ødegård, the city’s cultural advisor, in a press release this week. “Most of the broadcasts are live, while some are previous recordings”

The first performance will be a free screening of the concert “Jazz in  Swedish – A Tribute to Monica Zetterlund and Jan Johansson” at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Zetterlund was a singer and actress whose credits include the landmark 1964 album “Waltz for Debby” with pianist Bill Evans. Johansson is a pianist who’s 1964 solo album “Jazz På Svenska” is the best-ever selling jazz album in that country.

“The broadcast is from Uppsala International Guitar Festival,” Ødegård noted. “One of the artists is bassist and composer Georg Riedel. It will not only look back during this evening. Some of the artists, such as Anders Widmark for example, will perform music specially arranged for the concert.”

Other upcoming performances include:

• Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” performed by the Barbican Theatre in London at 8 p.m. Oct. 16.

• Puccini’s “La Bohème,” performed by the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm at 3 p.m. Nov. 28.
• Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” performed by The Metropolitan Opera in New York at 3 p.m. Dec. 12.

• Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” performed at by the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm at 3 p.m. Dec. 19.

“As the offerings increases, both from Norwegian and foreign suppliers, we hope to be able to present concerts with a broad reach for different audiences,” Ødegård wrote.

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