Article from the local newspaper, published on November 24, 2011.
Found and scanned by Tessa Lande, translated by Laila S.H.
All photos: Svanhild Wide Valley
Alexander Rybak playing together with local cultural forces in Selje municipality, showed itself to be the recipe for success. One of the highlights came when Rybak accompagnied the local troubadour Bjørn Inge Berge on the county- top hit “Komme det som komme må” (Come what may)
“You are most welcome to talk between the numbers. So I won’t have to talk all the time”,- joked Alexander Rybak from the stage and set the mood for a good tone with the audience.
Alexander Rybak definitely got the audience with him from the stage in Sunnivahallen at Selje Hotel on Saturday.
– It was a great concert where all could participate. He impressed both with musicality and improvisation. He was also very engaging during the concert, and really pulled us along,- says Anita Otneim Hoddevik, leader of culture and bussiness in Selje municipality.
Great experience: Alexander Rybak appeared both as a talented artist and a nice person on the stage in Sunniva Hall on Saturday. He got people on both singing, clapping and some close encounters with the man page.
Alexander Rybak is known for liking to have close contact with his fans, and it was not different in Selje: Rybak was staying late into the night to rehearse with the locals, and as early up on Saturday morning to continue. He taught the cultural school’s students of the municipality in singing tecniques before the concert, and joked and laughed with the audience during the concert.
Together with Rybak on stage was the local choir “Frisk Bris”, a brass quartet, four Selje-girls as backing singers and a band with, among others, Bjørn Inge Berge and the organ player Jon Inge Sigerland. Sigerland, who has been teaching Rybak at the Barrat-Due music institute in Oslo, was also musical director. The concert reached over many genres, from pop and Alexander’s well-known hits, to classical music, folk songs and instrumental numbers. Rybak looked like he enjoyed company at stage, and praised his fellow musicians for their work. One of the highlights was Rybak’s violin playing along with Bjørn Inge Berge’s country’-top hit “Komme det som komme må”.
– He glanced at the notes, threw them away and then he played,- Berge laughs when he tells about the rehearsals before the concert. He is impressed by Rybak’s musicality.
– Have to give him respect for daring to bring along us half-amateurs and amateurs on stage, but what an inspiration it gives,- he says, and tells about a very including artist that is genuinely interested in those he meets.
Interplay: Alexander Rybak and Bjørn Inge Berge are playing “Komme det som komme må”.
Words like including and caring were actually used several times to describe the famous artist.
– A really nice guy, straightforward and not cocky,- says Atle Jon Teigen, who sang with the choir “Frisk Bris” during the concert.
– He is clear, caring in his messages to us and he has a good mood,- says the conductor of the choir, Bente Kvernevik Berstad.
– He is unbelievably clever, and very inspiring,- says Inger Vedvik Nygård, who played euphonium at the concert.
The fans also got theirs.
– It was great, very good! – beams Mathilde Heggen Listou (10) who got a “high five” from Rybak, when he was getting down from stage.
– It was just so big fun. Dad says I’m a blood-fan,- she admits.
Dad Leif Hegge sang with the choir
– It was great. It’s like something ‘trollsk’ (magical) when he gets going,- he says.
Not the first: Kim-Frode Moldestad got an autograph of Alexander, but he admitted that he already had one. – I like his music and he is so cool, says Kim-Frode.
Good for the local community
After the experience with Rybak on Saturday, many are hoping that something like this will be possible to do again.
– This was more than a concert. It raise up the local forces. It’s not often there are famous artists coming here, but it gives an extra push,- says Anita Hoddevik.
The initiative maker Gerd Kjellaug Berge was also satisfied.
– It was very good. The whole process was so great. Alexander is so engaging and inspired the local forces to raise the quality,- says the hotel director, who think it is essential to find the right person when you make arrangements like this.
– Alexander just suited, informal and with a nice way to give corrections,- she says,- and also mentions Jon Inge Sigerland, who has worked hard with notes, arrangements and rehearsals. – We wouldn’t have made it without him. It’s a good amount of work to make this happen.
Sigerland himself is well satisfied. He thinks it went very well. – There were a lot of things that could have gone wrong, but it didn’t. This project has been fun, but it wouldn’t have been done without the work from the local forces, who have been rehearsing a lot and been very enthusiastic, says Sigerland, who believes this is a concept that Selje could use again.
– It is fun for everyone, the local musical forces develope on it, as well as it gives positive interest for Selje. These things are important for our community.