Christmas Crossover with Stephen Ackles, December 2004


A Christmas Crossover tour with Alexander Rybak and his family and Stanghelle family.

Variety: Stephen Ackles and Alexander Rybak offered powerful classic tones and lighter gospel tunes

Text and photo: Kristin Berge, published in the paper issue of Varden 19.12.2004.
Found and translated by Tessa Lande. Revision by Anni Jowett

It turned out to be a good idea by Stephen Ackles to call the concert on Saturday “Christmas Crossover”.
With a handful of classical musician friends and the concert “Christmas Crossover” Stephen Ackles made the Christmas mood in Langesund yesterday.

And the fact that Ackles met the tenor singer Thomas Stanghelle in a cabin a few years ago, can hardly have been accidental. In any case, it was a success, because it did not end with only singing together at the after-party.

The meeting led to a fertile collaboration – both summer and winter, and this Saturday 200 people had gathered to experience some of the results of that meeting.


This special Christmas concert started with some well-known and beloved Christmas songs, including “O Helga Natt” but there were also German lieder and classical pearls from Russia.
Because in addition to the two cabin mates, Thomas’ mother, the mezzo-soprano Turid Stanghelle, was present. And also the Rybak family, Natasha, Igor and Alexander, mother, father and son.
Originally the Rybak family came from Belarus, but now live in Nesodden. Alexander, aged 18, impressed the audience with his talented play and beautiful song.
– He is so talented, that he recently got Anders Jahre’s musician award of 100,000 kroner, Ackles told.


Ackles let his friends introduce themselves with their own genres, and that made the concert into something much more than the usual Christmas concert. And by adding Christmas songs in between classical pieces, the audience was reminded that it is Christmas in a few days.
And the musical friends also performed a funny potpourri based on famous American Christmas songs like “Jingle Bells”.

– It’s fun for them to do something not classical, Ackles joked. Ackles, who actually put the audience in a good mood with his funny lines.

There were three concerts that year. This one in Langesund on the 18.12.04 and at Sunnås Hospital and Alvearn church hall (Nesodden) on the 19.12.04

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