A3 Book chapter

A saga king in a Finnish Beijing opera

List of Authors: Kendra Willson

Place: Boston, Berlin

Publication year: 2020

Book title *: The Vikings reimagined. Reception, recovery, engagement

Title of series: The northern medieval world: on the margins of Europe

Number of pages: 21

ISBN: 978-1-5015-1815-7

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/9781501513886

URL: https://doi.org/10.1515/9781501513886


Sigurd Ring, a 2016 Finland-Swedish Peking opera based on a legendary 8th c. king known from 13th c. sagas, presents an example of translation across media and cultures. Elias Edström's debut as director and playwright, following studies at the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts, is freely adapted from Erik Johan Stagnelius' early 19th c. Romantic play Sigurd Ring: Sorgspel, which in turn was loosely based on saga sources. The modern fusion of two different ancient traditions highlights parallels between the conventions of the source genres. Both show restrained and stylized expressions of emotion; both have clear formulae for character introductions and pacing that varies from very slow set up to intense battle scenes. Typical verbal features of 13th c. Scandinavian texts are translated into the movement and music of Chinese theater. In some ways the modes of expression of the formal Peking opera are closer to the saga ethos than to the Romantic intermediary.

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Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 10:03