April sees the revival of Trollflöjten (The Magic Flute) in Swedish, produced by Rikard Bergqvist, with Julia Sporsén in the role as Pamina. We had a chat with the opera singer ahead of the premiere.
What has the preparations been like?
–We have just finished a week of technical rehearsals on stage. In this production we go a lot up and down with a small and large circle. You can go below the stage and high above it, and it takes a lot of rehersals to make it as safe as possible. But the technicans at the opera are very experienced and truly make us feel safe, so that's very good!
What can the audience expect from Trollflöjten?
–The audience will get a really entertaining and high-paced show with beautiful, bubbling music by Mozart. Everyone sings and speak in Swedish, which means we get a direct address and it is easy to keep up.
What's it like to be on stage at the Gothenburg Opera?
–I really like the good acoustic properties in the house and you get a feeling of intimacy with the audience even though there are 1,200 seats.
... and how will you be feeling on opening night?
–I usually have plenty of butterflies in my tummy on opening nights, which is actually something you have to have, or the performance will lack a real feeling. That's the cool thing about opera – it's a vivid art form that happens only in the meeting with the audience – and it only exists in the present.
Opera is a vivid art form that happens only in the meeting with the audience – and it only exists in the present.
Tell us about your relation to Gothenburg.
–I was born and raised a stone's throw from Stora Teatern (the grand theatre) where my parents where solo singers. I moved away n in 1999 and lived in Stockholm for a few years, followed by 10 years in London. I moved back a few years ago with my partner from Austria and our then 1,5-year old child ( we now have two kids).
–The city has changed quite a lot in 15 years, but life as a mom is also pretty different compared to being a young and single student – like I was the last time I lived here. The best thing about moving home (besides free babysitters) is the proximity to the sea. The Thames is a very poor substitute for real ocean winds and salty swims.
Julia's top tips in Gothenburg
1. Hop on board Älvsnabben
To just board the ferry on a sunny Saturday and get off at Eriksberg or Röda Sten to explore cafés, restaurngs and new playgrounds is something that can keep us occupied for the day – at any season.
2.Kaffebubblan in Mölndal
The only café (as far as we know) that has a whole playroom for kids. We have seen quite a lot of these in London and other European cities, but only one in Sweden! To be able to enjoy a coffee while the children play wiht new toys is awfully good!
Bergmansgatan 18, Mölndal.
3. The restaurant Gyllene Prag
Fried cheese and wiener schnitzel that get thumbs up even by my picky Austrian partner. Reasonable prices and always very nice staff. We come here a lot!
Sveagatan 25, Göteborg.
4. The indie cinema Bio Roy
Bio Roy is perfect for an evening out without the kids. It is one of few independent cinemas left in the city and they always have interesting movies in the programme.
Kungsportsavenyn 45, Göteborg.
2017-03-27. Portrait photos: Anna Hult