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November 7, 2017

Opera in a
living room

Opera in a
living room

Stine Hulvej
UPCOMING CONCERT

elsebeth-dreising

On October 5th, the first opera concert in the Low-Fi universe took place, hosted and performed by soprano Elsebeth Dreisig.

Low-Fi has been involved in a lot of other types of gigs: ranging from rap being played in a kitchen, to loud pop in tiny apartments and contemporary minimalist piano music at a center for sustainable change – think.dk. But this time around, Low-Fi has explored new territories when it comes to home concerts.

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Expectations
A lot of people in my age bracket have a lot of prejudice when it comes to opera. Consuming opera or classical music in general is not the usual pass time for young adults in Denmark – unless you have been exposed to classical music from a young age, or perform it yourself.

 

"To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I entered Elsebeth’s home. What is this gig going to be like? I kept thinking to myself in anticipation."


As I enter Elsebeth’s private home, she greets us with a warm smile, while wearing this gorgeous midnight blue tulle gown. She looked like a starry night – so subtly beautiful. Tonight Elsebeth is both hosting and performing. She has opened her home to friends and strangers alike for a unique experience of listening to her singing famous opera arias. Elsebeth is an accomplished soprano, having toured worldwide.

Along on the piano there is a picture of her father performing music. It felt so lovely to take part also in her reveal of her family’s intimate moments. He asked her not to become a musician, but the impulse was so strong she had to become one anyway. Behind Elsebeth there was a painting of her 3 children.

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The magic begins

This is opera like I have never seen it before. (I have only been to an opera concert before, in January. I went to see La Boheme – and I had to use binoculars). This time – Elsebeth is so close to us. She stands by the piano, manned by none other than Kongelig Teater’s Thomas Rischel.


Elsebeth is magnetic and clearly a fantastic storyteller both with her musical delivery but also through her body.


She mentioned how the voice of a human being changes through the ages and how she is going through that transition right now: all the best parts are going to the young sopranos while the older ones are left to find alternative ways of performing, of using their voice. I understood how she felt.

The highlight of my evening definitely was when an audience member asked Elsebeth who wrote that particular opera she was going to sing from. Without skipping a beat, she brings out this tiny figurine of Puccini, places it on the piano and starts telling us about Puccini’s insane productivity, he wrote 13 major operas. It was so marvelous to have her educate us and bring us into his universe.

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I experienced opera in a new way through Elsebeth’s eyes. Her introductions before every aria she performed helped me understand opera better and also be more open to maybe invest more time in discovering opera.

Elsebeth’s voice is magical and full of emotions. I felt like I got a sound massage.
There was obviously, no microphone involved, and I felt the vibrations outside and on the inside. It is so beautiful to be so up close and see every change in the emotional journey of the songs she plays. We were sat so close to Elsebeth that we could see her entire body working to let go of the beautiful sounds.

Not a newbie anymore
I did not feel the stiffness I previously associated with opera – everything was loosened up. I didn’t need to pretend I was an opera expert. It felt like the perfect introduction to this magical genre and the layers of history behind it.

This format is the perfect intro for opera newbie – it’s a way of showing young adults that opera is not just for old people. I felt so inspired after the concert that I listened to some more arias when I got home. Suddenly, I felt I felt more enlightened about this genre.

You can watch a video with the highlights of the night to get a better understanding of the magic:

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