Article in the paper Issue of Vikebladet 15.12.11
Journalsit: Mone Celin K. Skrede. Photographer : Jan Erling Davidsen
Articles found by Olina Novikova. Translation by Tessa Lande.
Beautiful winter pictures
Friday 9th of December it was a full booked church and very expectant mood in Ulsteinvik. The artist trio Alexander Rybak, Dennis Storhøi and Anne Vada met with singing, storytelling, a lot of good spirits and beautiful tones from well-voted instruments.
It was people in all ages present this evening, and the whole church buzzed expectantly minutes before the concert was going to start.. The scene was suddenly illuminated, and in a red light the actor, radio voice, and film and TV face Dennis Storhøi come walking up the aisle.
Fixed gaze, firmer voice
To quiet background music Storhøi started with the first winter picture for this evening. With solid ice blue eyes and even firmer voice, he told the first text clip, before singer Anne Vada came in and shared the stage with him, wearing a red designer dress. She started the first song with a fine and evocative light voice and was eventually accompanied by the youngest of the trio, Alexander Rybak. He came walking in from the shadows in the background. One can say a lot about the young artist, but the violin, he really master.
Storhøi’s winter picture
After the duet “Det hev ei rose sprunge” with Rybak and Vada, and “Strålande jul,” with only the young violinist, we were greeted welcome by Dennis Storhøi. We had the chance to draw a little smile as he shared his winter picture. Initially, he painted a beautiful snow landscape from when he was 7 years old. He gave new life to a blue Opel Kadett in the snow with one blinking light, and film with Grace Kelly on NRK. That time NRK was the only TV-channel in Norway.
A little bit further inthe concert, after Anne Vada’s personal winter picture from Trøndelag, and an amazing performance of “Mitt hjerte alltid vanker» Storhøi read the famous poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling and reinterpreted by Andre Bjerke. It gave a dynamic touch to the Advent mood that during the concert’s start had been very warm and friendly. The pianist Øystein Lund Olafsen pleased the audience with a beautiful song. That was a welcome surprise for the Ulsteinvik people.
When Alexander Rybak again entered the stage and talked about his winter picture, he opened jokingly saying that he had no vocabulary in relation to the other two. He said he had to be on Vestlandet every Christmas, and that he has many friends here.
I do have friends! He joked with the audience, who laughed and enjoyed themselves in the pews.
Then it was time for sing-along, and everyone in the church willingly turned up in their song booklets. That was before they knew what would happen. “First, I want all men to sing together!” Rybak commanded. Then he revealed that all had to sing one octave higher. He demonstrated with a real pipe voice, so the whole church erupted in laughter. When the first verse of «Julekveldsvisa» was sung, it was the women’s tour, and just like the men they had to add about the voice. This time they were told to go an octave down, and it was obviously difficult to remain serious throughout the verse. It become even worse when everyone was tyold to pinch their nose through the very last part of the song and themood among the Ulsteinvik audience step if possible even more.
The concert in Ulsteinvik this Friday, was suppose to be a concert for the whole family. Especially Rybak cared a lot for the kids, as we were told in an earlier interview. “So nice that there are so many children here,” he commented during the concert. In the familiar style, he said artificial insecure that “Is any of the children mine?” And got the answer with even more laughter.
Fiddling, butter voice and butter shortages
We were now come to the last part of the concert and heard the story of Mary and more beautiful singing from Anne Vada. This was closely followed up by a beautiful and committed fiddling by Rybak. He played songs he learned as a child, songs he had learned from his father, and gave the audience a little insight into his musical upbringing.
Before a medley of various well-known songs, Storhøi compared with his story teller voices Bing Crosby’s butter soft voice with Norway currently lack of butter. This testified that the concert is a contemporary-oriented concert.
It was clear that he enjoyed himself among the people, and that people felt lucky to sit that close to one of the leading actors.
Christmas Angel Anne Vada
Anne Vada had the last solo before the last sing-along, and stood as a Christmas angel on stage with sparkling eyes and a red dress. She and Rybak ended the evening beautiful and full of Christmas spirit. Alexander with his soft voice with a known vibrato performed his favorite Christmas song, and Anne with light crystal clear voice, voice tones that carried out in the Advent night outside.
The artist trio Alexander, Anne and Dennis are all warm and kind people. They took their time to a conversation with Vikebladet Vestposten
After the concert
Alexander Rybak, Dennis Storhøi and Anne Vada met Vikebladet Vestpost to a pleasant conversation after the concert Friday. About t fifteen minutes after the concert officially ended, there were still people left in the aisle. It was fans, both young and old, who wanted signed CDs and photos with the artists. In particular, Alexander Rybak, and he was ready with both pen and big hugs..
Warm and open people
Now we leave the porch and go back into the church, Anne Vada and Dennis Storhøi is help packing the equipment. We greet them both, and get warm words and smiles back. They are both open and warm people.
It was a nice audience. We learned from the parish priest that the people from the area is fond of concerts, and it was a very nice evening, Anne says. She is on her way to the second floor to get her stuff.
In the dressing room with Alexander Rybak
I feel at home here, Alexander Rybak smiling, when we have abandoned the other two and has come into his dressing room in the church. Between the questions from the journalist, he is high and low in the room and try to push his stuff into a small bag – which he impressively manage.
He thinks the people in Sunnmøre are especially warm and welcoming. It must have something to do with the nature, he concludes. He is crooning while packing and being interviewed, and it appears that he has had a good time in Ulsteinvik, although he has not had time to see as much of the area this time.
After we arrived at the hotel, went directly to the sound-checks, and then we were on, so there was not much time for anything else, he says kindly.
A bit of a walk
I was here once with Elisabeth Andreassen, and we are a bit like that, we think that everything in the country side is small villages with short distances to everything, the violinist laughing from the end of the bench we’re sitting on. He tells that they had found a restaurant they wanted to go to, and assumed that the trip was short, but they got a surprise. They had not calculated the distance from the hotel. It was quite a walk, he said
All have a boat
After talking with Alexander, we took the trip down to Sjøborg to continue the conversation with the artists. They have been in their rooms and packed to be ready to go later in the night, and the first to show up in the lobby is Dennis.
We can sit down here he suggests gently and refers to a small seating area under the stairs in the lobby. When we ask him about the first impression of Ulsteinvik, he has to think about it a bit.
“Everyone has a boat,” is his comments after about half a minute. He is not accustomed to that numbers of boats who lies on the fjord and at the quays. But insists with a smile that it’s very nice to see.
Wonderful to be able to travel together
In the middle of the conversation Alexander show up, and sits down next to the journalist. It’s really wonderful to be able to travel from church to church together. We can relieve on each other, he says. “Vinterbilder” is a tour with concerts in a total of 14 churches. The tour started in Lommedalen Church 2 December and ends in Ringsaker Church on 22 . Ulstein Church was No. 7 on the list.
Dennis says that they have had a great trip up here with so much beautiful nature. Earlier in the day he got away a bit of the Christmas stress, and bought some Christmas gifts in a bookstore in Ulsteinvik. It was in this bookstore they also had the mini-concert and album signing the same day.
“I was not really aware of that mini concert,” confesses a laughing Alexander.
We changed subject a bit and talk about movies for a while. We are told that Dennis act in the play “Jul i Blåfjell” at the National Theatre this year, in which he plays “Erke”. He goes on about the film “High Society” with the actress Grace Kelly. “I have to thank her for being an actor,” he smiles. He adds jokingly that he is a movie freak.
“Hødd is from this area?,” Dennis asks, and we suddenly change to something completely different. He get confirmed that this is completely right, and even mentions a couple of former players, and shows that he is also interested in football.
Would like to return
Now Anne has entered the lobby, and signals that it is time to go. They are in fact invited for tapas at Vicar Margaret Holte.
“Could you imagine coming back to Ulstein?
All three, plus piano and singing talent Øystein Lund Olafsen, who also has taken place in the sit group, seems to be very positive about that.
“I would definitely like to come back, Anne smiles with clear pursuance from the others. Then the trio is ready for taking the last picture. The journalist get a nice hug from Alexander and Anne.
“See you at the next crossroad” Dennis smiles and gives the journalist a firm handshake.