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Home arrow 2013 WALL TOUR arrow August 13th - GOTAPLATSEN, GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN (�a Ira)
August 13th - GOTAPLATSEN, GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN (�a Ira) Print E-mail

Capacity: 40,000 (tbc)
Concert starts: 9pm

Address of venue: Götaplatsen, Gothenburg 41134, Sweden. MAP




In the midst of his tour of The Wall, Roger takes an evening off to attend this show, which is a staging of Ça Ira. Whilst the performances thus far have, at best, had Roger introducing the evening, this one is quite different. Part of the Göteborgs kulturkalas/Gothenburg Culture Festival, Roger Waters will himself take part in his opera. He will be narrating the opera, clearly visible to the audience, sitting in a leather armchair on one edge of the stage. The opera was written for the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, but received its world premiere in 2005 in Rome. has more details of the event, the festival, and the venue. The performance is free - no tickets required - but we would naturally recommend that if you are attending, you arrive early to secure a decent place in the audience area.

YOUR HELP NEEDED! We want to cover Roger's concerts the best we can, to share the experience with everyone, especially those who won't be able to attend the shows. We'd love to see ANY pictures, posters, reviews, newspaper reports, and anything else you come across for this show - we look forward to hearing from you!

In the meantime, here's the official advert for the event:

UPDATE - the show itself:
From various reports we've seen, the event was a big success, and the performance was one of the better ones of Roger's opera. The man himself DID appear, and narrated the show as promised. To kick off our coverage, here are four video clips shot on the night:





So, the concert went down yesterday evening. About 30 minutes before the show some threatening thunder clouds moved by but they never bothered us which was nice since this was an outdoor show. Funny thing though, when sound effects of thunder was played during the performance (as a part of a surround speaker set up, very nice, very "Floyd") large parts of the audience looked anxiously at the sky… Well played, Sir.

While introducing, Roger told us the story behind this. Some years ago he was having dinner with Thomas Johansson from Live Nation in Sydney, and Thomas suggested the arrangement. RW liked the idea, and TJ suggested Roger write a letter to the mayor of Gothenburg. They had no paper, so he wrote it on the table cloth - click the thumbnail to the right. The letter arrived, and now they were here.

Roger Waters - tablecloth that lead to 2013 Ca Ira concert in GothenburgAccording to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet this is what the letter read:

"My Dear Mayor!
My old friend Thomas, well he's not that old! But you know what I mean! Happened to mention that Göteborg has not only the best Symphony Orchestra in Sweden but also a great annual festival. Also that he might persuade you to consider a semi-staged concert version of my opera "CA IRA" (There is Hope) for inclusion. Should that happen, I would be very happy.
Thank you for your consideration!
Roger Waters"

The reason for RW narrating was also explained. They had had to cut the opera short about 35 minutes, so his narration was there in order to fill in the gaps, “I will be sitting there, trying to act”. He was in a big armchair the entire performance, very well into the show, reading the music as it went along, making notes and obviously enjoying what he heard. You could see him sort of “conducting” for himself and more than once he exclaimed “Bravo!” after some aria before reading his narration. After the show he expressed his thanks to all the performers saying that more than once he had been moved to tears. I was not close enough to be able to confirm that, but according to his body language, it might very well be possible.

The performance gathered more than 200 people on stage, including a full Symphonic Orchestra as well as two choirs, one of them a children choir from a local school. The soloists were as follows:

  • Marie Antoinette & Marie Marianne, the voice of liberty and reason - Sally Matthews, Soprano
  • Spoken Narration - Roger Waters
  • Narrator - Christian Van Horn, Baritone
  • Revolutionary Priest and Officer - Bryan Hymel, Tenor
  • Troublemaker and King Louis - Oren Gradus, Baritone
  • Revolutionary Slave - Rickard Söderberg
  • Conductor - Rick Wentworth
    (Noteable that they played several parts, some of them)

On the screen behind the orchestra pictures from a production of Ça Ira in São Paolo in May 2013 was displayed, giving a good feeling for the ambience of a full stage set production. You could easily link the singers’ performances on stage with the pictures. The performances were great, some better than other. In my opinion, especially Bryan Hymel stood out. The duet between the king and queen during their imprisonment is absolutely fabulous.

Ça Ira will probably not go down in history as a memorable opera that will be played for ages, but you cannot help to be impressed by the sheer scope of the whole production, I mean, how do you actually do it? How do you know what to combine and when? Bearing that in mind, you can easily oversee the fact that the libretto is more “plot driven” than a classic opera and that it may lack an obvious theme to tie it all together. It tends to “stray” from time to time. As both a Floyd and an Opera fan it is a nice combination though. You can clearly hear RW “thumbprints” here and there, both musically and lyrically as well as in special effects (dogs barking, birds singing, footsteps) and I am very happy that I got the opportunity to see and hear it live.

There was a simple program handed out before the show, and t-shirts were on sale as well, and you can see both below. From the local media, there's a review in Swedish here, which so far is the only coverage there's been in the press.

Roger Waters/Ca Ira, Gothenburg 2013 programme Roger Waters/Ca Ira, Gothenburg 2013 t-shirt
Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 August 2013 )
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