Sjöholm and Watson to Star in Kristina Carnegie Hall Concert

News   Sjöholm and Watson to Star in Kristina Carnegie Hall Concert
Initial casting has been announced for Kristina — the new musical from ABBA songwriters Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (with English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer) — which will be presented in concert this fall at Carnegie Hall.
Helen Sj
Helen Sj

As previously announced, Kristina: A Concert Event at Carnegie Hall is scheduled for Sept. 23 and 24. Show time both nights is 8 PM.

Helen Sjöholm, who originated the title role in the Swedish production of Kristina, will repeat her work for New York audiences. She will be joined by internationally renowned tenor Russell Watson.

Directed by Lars Rudolfsson, the complete 32-member company will be announced shortly. Paul Gemignani will conduct a 50-piece symphony orchestra.

Universal Music's Decca Records will record both evenings and will release a CD at a future date.

The show's plot is based on four novels by Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg. Kristina from Duvemala premiered at the Malmo Music Theatre on Oct. 7, 1995, and has played Gothenburg's Opera House and Stolkholm's Cirkus Theatre, among others. In October 2005 Ulvaeus had this to say about Kristina: "It's about immigrants going from the south of Sweden in the 1850s to America," Ulvaeus told "It's about their lives. It's an epic saga really. We did that in Sweden successfully — ran for about three years in various cities. . . . And then we wanted to translate it [into English] because we thought it was American history as well. It's really more American history than Swedish. Herbert Kretzmer did [the translation] with me, and we did a workshop here in New York in March to find out what people didn't understand, what the weaknesses were and what it would be like to do it in English. And, we really learned a lot from that."

Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson also collaborated on the rock musical Chess (with lyricist Tim Rice), and their songs are heard in the international hit Mamma Mia!

Helen Sjöholm's breakthrough performance was in the title role of the original Swedish production of Kristina. She is currently starring in My Fair Lady at the Oscars Theatre in Stockholm, and is a lead vocalist in The Benny Andersson Band.

Platinum-selling recording artist Russell Watson is known as "The People's Tenor" in his native Britain. Watson was the first British male to simultaneously occupy a No. 1 spot in the U.K. and American classical charts, as well as the first artist to have a classical album at the No. 1 spot in the U.K. classical charts for an entire year.

Tickets for the fall concerts will go on sale May 31 at noon by visiting the Carnegie Hall Box Office (57th Street and Seventh Avenue), by calling (212) 247-7800 or by logging on to

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