There have been two distinct reactions from people when I tell them that VTOP is presenting an opera about three Swedish explorers who attempted to reach the North Pole via hot air balloon. Both could be described as amazement but in entirely different ways. One is that a song cycle could be written about such an unlikely subject and could it possibly be any good and one is that a song cycle could be written about such an unusual subject and that sounds really interesting.
I will admit that when I first heard of The Andrée Expedition from our director Cynthia Stokes, who was then directing it for her own company San Diego City Opera, that I was in the first camp: someone wrote an opera about what?!? I couldn’t imagine how it could be a compelling story. And then I heard it. And I learned a bit more about what S.A. Andrée, Nils Strindberg, and Knut Fraenkel endured and I realized it was a gorgeous and intensely compelling story of three brave and crazy men.
There are ways to hear it via YouTube. I would recommend this recording with Bengt Norfers singing. I have listed other books and will continue to write on this.
I invite you to listen and enjoy this wonderful piece!