Jussi Björling Society - USA

 

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Jussi Björling and the Royal Theatre, Copenhagen

H. A. Brønsted

There were all too few occasions on which we at the Royal Theatre enjoyed the good fortune of being able to persuade Jussi Björling to sing on our stage. In return, though, these guest appearances became memorable events in our theatre’s little history. During the Royal Swedish Opera’s guest performances in Copenhagen in 1933 he sang the roles of Vladimir in Prince Igor and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. In 1942 he brightened the dark period of occupation as the Duke in Rigoletto and Rodolfo in La bohème. And he was with us in our joy at the liberation when, in September 1945, he sang Gustav III in Un ballo in maschera. Many remember these performances, and all his stage colleagues recall a wonderful and inspiring collaboration, as well as a pleasant spirit of comradeship. Jussi Björling was greatly loved by the Danish public and a significant reason for this was undoubtedly his unrivalled ability to give—although with his voice alone—full life to the characters he portrayed on stage. In this respect he was supreme and we are fortunate that this ability has been preserved on countless gramophone records. Jussi Björling will stand, for all time, as an example of the best in Swedish art and as a distinguished representative of Sweden’s rich operatic culture.

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