KRISTINA Makes UK Premiere At Royal Albert Hall
ABBA's Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the songwriters of the musicals "Chess" and "Mamma Mia!", are presenting, for one night only, the UK premiere of the concert version of their epic musical "KRISTINA" at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday 14 April. The concert will feature a cast of over 30 performers led by the original ‘Kristina', HELEN SJÖHOLM, along with RUSSELL WATSON, Louise Pitre AND Kevin Odekirk, accompanied by a 50-piece Symphony Orchestra, consisting of the finest musicians hand-picked by Isobel Griffiths, and the Choir who performed at the Carnegie Hall concerts, all conducted by Paul Gemignani.
"KRISTINA" tells the story of one woman and her family's struggle in Sweden and their subsequent emigration to America in search of a better life. Originally produced in Sweden, with music by Benny Andersson and lyrics by Björn Ulvaeus, this moving musical production has won awards and critical acclaim and is the most popular musical theatre piece in Swedish history. For the concert version, English lyrics have been written by Björn Ulvaeus and Herbert Kretzmer, who also wrote the English lyrics for "Les Misérables".
In her native Sweden, Helen Sjöholm (‘Kristina') has played ‘Hodel' in "Fiddler on the Roof", ‘Fantine' in "Les Misérables", starred in "Chess", played ‘Polly Peachum' in "The Threepenny Opera" and ‘Eliza' in "My Fair Lady", as well as creating the role of ‘Kristina' in the original musical production of "Kristina från Duvemåla" in 1995. She is a lead vocalist in the Benny Andersson Band and sang last year's single, Story of a Heart. Russell Watson (‘Karl Oskar') was the first ever British male to simultaneously occupy a No.1 spot in the UK and American classical charts, as well as being the first artist to have a classical album at the No.1 spot in the UK classical charts for an entire year. Having released nine albums to date and sold over six million records worldwide, he has won four classical BRIT Awards and is recognized as the UK's biggest selling classical artist of the 21st century. Louise Pitre (‘Ulrika') created the role of ‘Donna Sheridan' in the Toronto production of "Mamma Mia!", and went on to make her Broadway debut and earn a Tony Award® nomination for the same role, when the musical first opened on Broadway in 2001. Other leading musical roles include ‘Fantine' in "Les Misérables" and the title role in "Piaf". Kevin Odekirk made his Broadway debut as ‘Marius' in "Les Misérables", and has gone on to perform with people such as Barbra Streisand, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury and Julie Andrews.
The concert version of "KRISTINA" was presented at New York's Carnegie Hall in September 2009 and was a resounding success. In April, Universal Music will be releasing a double CD of "Kristina" at the Carnegie Hall. As at the Carnegie Hall, the concert at the Royal Albert Hall will be directed by Lars Rudolfsson.
Tickets, which will be priced from £17.50 to £75.00, go on sale to the general public on Friday 22 January and are available at www.kristinathemusical.com or 0845 401 5045 or in person at the Box Office of the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP. The concert will begin at 7.30pm.