Wednesday, April 04, 2012

"The Ice Castle"


Unn, Catrine Brun & Siss, Mai-Britt Wagnild in Unns bedroom

Unn in the Ice Castle.

Moster, Tina Margareta Nilssen (right photo).

Mai-Britt Wagnild, produser & Ane Aas, director of "The Ice Castle"during recording sessions in Selbu.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Ice Castle in SjøbygdaKunstnarhus,Selbu

It all seems just like a dream. The "Ice Castle" has come to life and we´ve had our first four performances. It has been a long and patient journey, where I have learnt to have to let go of everything called control. Challenging, yes, very challenging for me who always wants to have control:D .On monday the 5 th of March Ane Aass and I travelled up to Selbu to do some recordings of dialogs from the "Ice-Castle" with some amateur actors from Selbu and pupils aged 12/13. Marit Dalhø met us with waffles and coffee as we arrived at Bell School and shortly the pupills age 12/13 arrive exited and full og expectations. Working with them really inspired me, such energy so much laughter and fun and Ane did an amazing job with them. We got some great takes and did some good work with the adult actors too. At that moment and in time the hours of writing and sending off applications to get money to be able to do this project finally is starting to feel worth it. " I am so lucky, so much talent and what an amazing director I get to work with. I can´t wait untill thursday" were my thoughts. Then on wednesday night I got a sad and worrying phone call. The actress who is ment to play the part as Unn is ill. What do I do? Cancell the whole thing? Puspone it once again? Find another actress on such short notice? I call Tina and Ane and Tina suggests an actress Cathrine Brun who lives in Oslo. We (Marte Huke, Ane Aass, Tina Margaretha Nilssen and me) have a meeting at "VerdensBesteStasjon" on thursday morning. We decide to carry on with a new actress, Within a couple of hours I have booked a plane for Cathrine Brun and she is on her way to Trondheim. It all seems to crazy to be true. But I trust my instinct and the pianist Tina agrees that this person is right for this part. Thursday night Cathrine gets the script and we start blocking the first sene. Intense, we have very little time, eight days to form a very difficult symbolic play with many layers. Cathrine has eight days to learn it all. Can she do it? Also willl we be able to portray this book/film for such a wide age group grownups to 12/13 years olds. Is this possible? The director says this is madness "Gale Mathias"! But I still believe that it is possible. After the first day we have done a lot of good and brave work. I love the new actress Catrine Brun, such talent, such courage and so easy and free to work with. I leave work very inspired and relieved after the first day. Tina and my instinct was right, this was a wise choice .She was made for this part. We carry on our musical and stage work at "VerdensBesteStasjon" in Trondheim the first weekend and on monday 12th of March we load up my little blue Toyota Corola and head towards Selbu. Our first stop is the local radio NeaRadio where we do a recording of some monologs and do a short interview. Then we head out to SjøbygdaKunstnarhus where we are going to work and live together until monday the 19th of March. The week is intense with long reheartsals, but we also have a lot of fun. The "Artists in residency" is just perfect. By Selbusjøen in the middle of the woods in a beautiful little school cottage "The Ice Castle" performance starts to take shape. The surroundings are so peaceful and gives us a break from the city life we normally lead. As one of us said " Fieldtrip, girlie time and time to do the work we love, perfect!" Because of heavy rain the road closes and we are closed off from the village for two days. But, we have everything we need and are so embraced in our work, that this doesn´t effect us much. I do have a slight worry for the public who are coming to see our performances, but manage to let go of these thoughts and focus on my work as an actress and singer instead. The week flies by and the three women who I didn´t know that well from before have become lovely new friends and great colleagues. So much laughter, so much fun:-) On the saturday of our first performance we do the final touches and changes in the script. Now i just pray that the public will like it! And they do! The house is full and people love the piece. We also have a good audience on the Sunday. Monday the school kids sit totally still and follow every move we make on the stage! After the performance we talk to them and get loads of possitive feedback.

We wish to take this performance to other venues such as this in Norway and who knows maybe we could take it elsewhere outside Norway with subtitles? I am so grateful and proud of this product. Such amazing music written by Eva Holm Foosnæs, Marte Huke has written an amazing script, Ane Aass has been such an inspiring director and done fantastic stage work and I have loved every minute on stage with Cathrine Brun and Tina Margaretha Nilssen. Wow, thank you so much guys! I am so so grateful.

Pictures: Kirsten Røsset, Nea Radio

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An unrealistic dream becomes reality

For a longer length of time the "Ice Castle project" has seemed an unrealistic dream. The finances never seemed to come together. Artist found other work that was paid and it was challenging to keep the whole thing going. This autumn we got some more financial support and I decided to just go for it! I feel a bit crazy doing this, but at the same time it feels good. The music is written, the script has had its final touches, the costumes are ready and the director and actors have started to prepare individually. In March we are going to work and live together for an intense week before we have four performances. The venue is very intimate; it is in an old school called Eggaodden skole, built in 1891, used as a school until 1956. An artist called Elbjørg Raknes has redecorated it and it is now open for artists in residence. Artists can rent the place, live and work there and hold performances. Really looking forward to start the artistic work now. Never saw myself as a producer, but I have learnt a lot so far. The work has given me great insight in the theatrical freelance world and has made me very grateful. I can now see how much work people have done for me behind the scenes. So I can concentrate on the performance work a local theatre group and some volunteers will be helping me with the marketing, selling tickets and some of the administrative work. I am so grateful. Feel so lucky and cant wait to start working with the other performers Tina Margaretha Nilssen and Kathrine Strugstad and the director Ane Aas. The whole thing kicks off on the 8th of March with performances 17th - 19th of March! Very exciting

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Being a singer isn't always easy. You often question if you are good enough. Always looking for perfection. Concerts such as these are such a good reminder of what making music and singing is all about. Enjoying yourself. Giving the audience a memory and bringing people together. I met so much kindness and people were so grateful. It was such a joy to sing with John again and I feel blessed that I am able to make a living out of my singing. Hope to return to the UK in the autumn and do some more concerts:)You never know in this buisness! Let the adventure begin!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Had a challenging day with these technical rehearsing, but although I at times find the whole thing tedious, there is a light inside me that keeps me going. It is such an amazing feeling when things just flow through your body effortless. These are moments that just keeps you going i guess. A singers world hey? The voice is a fascinating thing. Looking forward to the first Mahler rehearsal to day. The alto part isn´t that amazing on it´s own;) Great composer and fantastic piece of music! Feel lucky to be a part of this project!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Looking ahead

Found out that I had qualified, but that I didn´t get in to Norges Musikkhøgskole in Oslo.We were 15 singers who applied and they only needed one singer this year. Not everybody did qualify, so I am happy that i did, still a place there would have been fantastic. Very disappointed, but started to make other plans. Got a concert in Nidarosdomen and projects with TSO´s vocal ensemble in march. Sara Aimee Smiseth and I plan to do some concerts and maybe enter some duo competitions. John Mills and I have concerts in May and Rebecca Moon and I are having a concert in London in May.I just got to continue on working on my technique and do a lot of mental work. Never give up!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Audition in Oslo

A long period of preparation is over and I have started to look at Mahler and more solo repertoire. The audition for the Master degree on monday was a good experience, but I was a little bit to nervous. Did some silly mistakes, but also did a lot of good things. No matter what the result will be I have improved a lot through this process and intend to carry on working. I wish to develop my voices full potential and fulfill my dreams. You only live once!Think it plan it do it:-)