Rolf Haglund met the musical future when Byrgitta had its première in Vadstena.
“As a dramatic musical work, opera is strange and interesting. In 1996 Carl Unander-Scharin aroused so much attention with his opera Tokfursten that it was produced again two years later. His Byrgitta opera has qualities which may very well make it equally successful.
“The virtuoso twelve-person ensemble – strings, a couple of wind players, guitar, cembalo and percussion instruments – make one think of the Renaissance but nothing more. Act I is the strongest in the opera, with a vocal and tonal sensualism I have not heard from Unander-Scharin before. The duets between Byrgitta and her mirror image (= conscience) are marvellously beautiful.
Opera: The Vadstena Academy´s production about St Bridget is a beautifully low-key analysis of the mazes of power, says Magnus Haglund.
“This is music drama at a high level. Byrgitta is so captivating and musically intelligent that it deserves the same success as the composer’s Tokfursten.
“In this, their fourth work together, the laconically poetic libretto alloys itself with the composer’s delicately transparent tonal fabric, whose light hints of contemporary isometrics (rhythmic homogeneity), hoquetus effects (‘hiccuping’) and Landini cadences create a new musical idiom so incredibly beautiful that one can never hear enough of it.”