Folie à


When to see it



Studio USF, USF Verftet, Georgernes Verft 12


150kr - 200kr


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Insanity, electricity and love collide in a sonic voyage into the shared psychosis known as ‘folie à deux’, where a delusion is transmitted from one person to another.


Bergen National Opera and Borealis present a sonic voyage into the shared psychosis known as 'folie à deux', where a delusion is transmitted from one person to another.

Songs are woven together for two singers and a specially created electro-magnetic harp in this modern folk tale performed against a backdrop of responsive light and sound.

Directed by Frederic Wake-Walker, Folie à Deux is a collaboration between British composer Emily Hall and Icelandic lyricist Sjón and features experimental jazz artist Sofia Jernberg and the tenor Finnur Bjarnason.

Composer - Emily Hall
Librettist - Sjón
Director - Fredric Wake-Walker
Lighting Designer - Dan Large
Live Sound Design - Sound Intermedia
Electro-magnetic harp design and build by David Sheppard and Jonathan Green

Vocals - Sofia Jernberg and Finnur Bjarnason
Harp - Helen Sharp
Electro-magnetic harp - John-Paul Gandy





Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English


Contributing actors


Fredric Wake-Walker

Frederic Wake-Walker is a director, producer and curator of opera and multi-disipline arts. His distinctive style of theatre is highly physical with an instinctive connection to the music. His preoccupations are with exploring the space in performance and consequently the relationship between audience and performer and taking a bold approach to dramaturgy in both reworking existing pieces or creating new work. He is artistic director of Mahogany Opera Group, runs Mica Moca Berlin and works regularly with children’s opera company Jubilee Opera. He has written new texts for Stravinsky’s Renard and Krasa’s Brundibar. He has directed at Glyndebourne, Scottish Opera, Buxton Festival, La Monnaie Brussels, Opera North, Oviedo, Konzerthaus Berlin, RCS Glasgow and Aldeburgh Music. He studied Philosophy & Systematic Theology at Edinburgh University and has trained in Noh theatre, Gambuh and Action Theater.


Emily Hall

Much of Emily Hall's music is formed from close creative relationships with singers and writers. Her music is direct and transparent and takes as much from classical as it does from folk. She has written a trilogy of song cycles with author Toby Litt, about first love ("Befalling"), motherhood ("Life Cycle") and death ("Rest"). Her award winning film-opera, "The Nightingale and the Rose" was written for Streetwise Opera with filmmaker Gaelle Denis. Her first opera, "Sante", was premiered at LSO St Lukes and described by Geoff Brown (The Times) as "a dynamic new opera worth everyone's time and hopes». In 2013, Emily Hall received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists, in 2006 the Genesis Opera Prize and in 2005 the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Award. Emily Hall is a founding member of C3, the Camberwell Composers Collective with Anna Meredith, Mark Bowden, Christopher Mayo and Charlie Piper. Her recordings include releases from the London Sinfonietta ("think about space"), Streetwise Opera ("The Nightingale and the Rose") and Mara Carlyle ("Befalling").



Sjón (Sigurjón Birgir Sigurdson) is resident in Iceland. At 15 he debuted with a collection of poems published by his own publishing house, and in the 80s he was central to the surrealist art collective Medusa in Reykjavik. Since then he has released several collections of poetry, a children and four novels. Sjón working within several genres; visual arts, music, literature, performance and film. He writes lyrics for Björk, and stood behind the libretto for Lars Von Trier's Palme d'Or winner, Dancer in the Dark. He received an Oscar nomination for this music. For novel Your eyes saw me, Sjón was awarded one of Iceland's most prestigious literary awards. For Skugga-Baldur he received the Nordic Council Literature Prize. instrument, the electro-magnetic resin.


Sofia Jernberg

Ethiopian-born Sofia Jernberg spent her childhood in Ethiopia, Vietnam and Sweden. After singing in choirs since she was 10 years old, she discovered as a teenager that she was interested in singing beyond the western choir tradition. So she dived into a new musical world and was inspired by throat singer Sainkho Namtchylak, jazz vocalist Sidsel Endresen, improviser Phil Minton and avant-garde singer Diamanda Galás.

Jernberg works within a broad musical field. She is one of the leaders and composers of modern jazz group "PAAVO og kvartetten The New Songs". She has also performed Arnold Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire" and has a central role in Salvatore Sciarrino opera Lohengrin, which was staged by nyMusikk Bergen.


Finnur Bjarnason

Finnur Bjarnason was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, and studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. His operatic experience includes roles at Glyndebourne, English National Opera, The Netherlands Opera, the Komische and Staatsoper in Berlin, and the Châtelet and Champs-Elysées in Paris. As a recitalist he has appeared at Wigmore Hall with Graham Johnson, and at St George’s Brandon Hill with Eugene Asti. In concert Finnur’s appearances as a soloist include Handel’s Messiah in Boston, Alexander’s Feast with Marcus Creed and the Bayerischer Rundfunk, and Monteverdi Madrigals with Le Concert d’Astrée.

Light Design:

Dan Large

Dan Large's lighting work spans a broad range of performance disciplines from live music to Opera, focussing on new ways to use and communicate through light. His principle work in the theatre has involved international tours emanating from the Old Vic Theatre and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and working across London's West End theaters making and providing all things that glow. Dan trained in Lighting Design at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

All play times

  • 11/03 Wednesday 22:00

    Show ended

  • 12/03 Thursday 19:00

    Show ended

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