A slimmed-down version of Norway’s annual Bergen International Festival is getting ready to open to both live audiences and those clicking in digitally. Events will be held indoors and outdoors, after organizers struggled to satisfy Corona-related restrictions.
“We’ve had some challenging months, with lots of uncertainty and many changes,” said festival chief Anders Beyer, who’s had to lead the huge cultural endeavour from his home in Denmark. He’s relieved that those involved in opening performances have received permission to travel into Norway, where borders mostly have been closed for months.
The 69th annual festival, called Festspillene i Bergen, will feature 76 performances during its two-week run. Fully 30 of them will be filmed and made available in digital format. Only 100 tickets per event could be made available to the public, after Corona containment measures drastically cut audience capacity.
The festival is due to open with the premier of The American Moth, a multimedia exhibition of winter guests and Alan Lucien Øyen, with Norway’s own Liv Ullman also on the stage in Bergen’s concert hall, Grieghallen. Musical events will include popular Norwegian trumpet player Tine Thing Helseth who’ll also help lead the opening ceremony. There will be classical concerts and music of many types, theater performances including Erasmus Montanus and Hull & Sønn, and dance.
Some performances had to be cancelled because of the pandemic and a majority of this year’s performers are Norwegian, because of foreign travel restrictions. The festival will run from May 26 to June 9.