Waiting by Calixto Bieito and Karl Ove Knausgård

Grieghallen Edvard Griegs plass 1, Bergen, Norway Wednesday May 22 2019, 18:45
Photo: Stephen Gill / from series and book: The Pillar / 2015 – 2019


by Calixto Bieito and Karl Ove Knausgård

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Peer Gynt from Solveig’s point of view.

​What is Norway’s national epic like, seen through Solveig’s eyes? What is the story of the one who waits?

The 2019 Bergen International Festival opens with the world premiere of a symphonic Passion to the music of Edvard Grieg. Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgård has created a modern Solveig in a poetic novella, and this forms a backdrop for the performance. Catalan director Calixto Bieito returns to the festival a decade after overturning Ibsen’s Peer Gynt and Brand.

‘The theme of “Waiting” is the inescapable of the loneliness of the human being, and the little details and stories that make up our existence,’ says the director.

The role of Solveig is played by Norwegian soprano Mari Eriksmoen, accompanied by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and sixteen singers from Edvard Grieg Choir under the baton of Eivind Gullberg Jensen. Video design is by Sarah Derendinger, whose merits include the opening of the London Olympics. And Peer? He may turn up, but in an uncredited role.

Waiting is an international co-production. After the world premiere it will tour the Nordic countries and Europe.

‘Above me some crows came flying inland. More followed, and soon the air was black with birds. It was like a carpet of flesh, I thought, with beautiful shifting patterns in blue and black, which dissolved the next instant …’


Calixto Bieito director, idea, concept
Karl Ove Knausgård libretto
Sarah Derendinger video design
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Edvard Grieg Choir
Eivind Gullberg Jensen conductor
Mari Eriksmoen soprano
Alexander Nohr Baritone