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Thrilling and exciting festivals play host for Norwegian artists

The Norwegian authors Åsne Seierstad and Lars Saabye Christensen were invited to participate at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival, together with both local and international authors. Both Seierstad and Saabye Christensen were reading from their latest novels - "The Bookseller of Kabul" and "The Half Brother" respectively - and the public had a chance to meet their favourite author and ask them questions.

The Norwegian Consul General, Arne Sivertsen, hosted a reception in the
honour of the two Norwegian authors, where guests amongst others comprised members of Edinburgh's cultural scene, media and fellow authors participating at the Book Festival.

Christina Bjordal has already performed at the International Festival in an exciting remake of Peggy Lee and George Shearing's "Beauty and the Beat". [More...]

At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Nordic Theatre Company from London will contributed with their latest plays including,

"The Snow Queen"
"Strindberg Triple Bill"
"Nordic Play Reading"

Nordic Theatre Company presented extracts from some of Scandinavia's hottest and most exciting contemporary playwrights in this unique and exclusive play reading.

Furthermore, Norway was also represented at the International Festival with Marianne E. Andersen and Carsten Stabell singing the celebrated opera "Das Rheingold". Read the brilliant critique from The Herald here.

[ Åsne Seierstad ]
went to Afghanistan two weeks after September 11. And she stayed, until New Year as a war correspondent for the Scandinavian press and media, and from January 2002 she lived with an Afghan family with the purpose of getting to know and understand the Afghan way of life. The result is a book in 16 chapters about life in an Afghan family during the first Spring afther the fall of the Taliban. The bookseller of Kabul was published in Norway in September 2002, where it was immediately a No. 1 Bestseller.

Ms. Seierstad is a Norwegian journalist and author, 31 years old. Graduated in Russian and history of philosophy at Oslo University. Correspondent for Norwegian newspapers in Russia and China. Reporter for Norwegian television. Covered the war in Kosovo. Spent three months in Afghanistan in the Fall 2001 reporting to a number of major Scandinavian newspapers.

Best TV journalist, Norway 1999

Writer of the year, Norway 2000

In 2002, she was awarded the prestigeous Free Speech award for "brave and independant war-reporting".

Nominated for The International Women's Media Foundation's 2002 Courage in Journalism Award.

Published Med ryggen mot verden (With their backs to the wall, portraits from Serbia) - Cappelen, Oslo 2000. Rights sold to Germany, Italy, Poland

[ Lars Saabye Christensen ]
is the author of ten novels as well as short stories and poetry. His novel The Beatles sold over 250,000 copies in Norway; while another, Herman - 'a gem' – Boston Globe - was filmed by RKO Studios. Christensen has won many prizes, including the Nordic Prize 2002, the Tarjei Vesaas Prize for First Fiction, the Literary Critics Prize and the Booksellers Prize. His writing has been published throughout Europe, in the US and in Pakistan.

The Norwegian literary sensation of 2002 and winner of the Nordic Prize for Literature will soon be available in UK book shops after it was fomally introduced to booksellers and media on 1 April at the Norwegian Ambassador's residence in London.

"Through his works, and in particular the novels, he has given me a lot. He is a gifted storyteller, an imaginative narrator who at the same time is down to earth. He is poetic and at the same time very contemporary and metropoliran in his language", said Tarald O. Brautaset, Norwegian Ambassador to the UK, when Lars Saabye Christensen was introduced.

Saabye Christensen will present his new book The Halfbrother on the festival which has just recently been launched in the UK.

Marianne E. Andersen ]
was born in Oslo and studied in London at the Royal
Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio. Her teachers include Ileana Cotrubas and Vera Rozsa. Her operatic roles include Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Norwegian National Opera; Wellgunde in das Rheingold and Gotterdammerung, and Second Lady in the Magic Flute with Scottish Opera; Mercedes in Carmen, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Don Ramiro in La finta giardiniera for Staatstheater Darmstadt; and Bradamante in Alcina in Wiesbaden and Oldenburg. She interpreted the role of Hulda in the world premiere of Glenn Haugland's Hulda and Garborg, a role especially written for her. She has also appeared extensively on the concert platform with leading norwegian orchestras, and abroad, most recently in NewYork and Barcelona. She had appeared at numerous international festivals, includingthe Edinburgh International Festival, the Israel festival in Jerusalem, Thuringen Bach Wochen in Germany and the Bergen Festival in Norway.


Carsten Stabell ]
was born and studied in Oslo, and has sung throughout Europe
and North America, appearing ar the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the Theatre
du Chatelet and Opera Bastille in Paris, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Chicago
Lyric Opera, Scottish Opera and in Philadelphia, Marseille, Amsterdam,
Dresden and Antwerp. His wide repertoire includes King Philip and the Grand
Inquisitor in Don Carlos, Ramfis in Aida, Colline in La Boheme, Fafner and
Hunding in the Ring Cycle, King Henry in Lohengrin, Landgraf in Tannhauser,
Osmin in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, Commendatore and Leporello in Don
Giovanni, Sarastro in the Magic Flute, Konig Marke in Tristan und Isolde and
Banquo in Macbeth. His recent engagements have included Konig Marke for
Houston Grand Opera, Daland in Der fliegende Hollander for De Vlaamse Opera,
and Sarastro at the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome.



Royal Norwegian Embassy: 25 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QD T: 020 7591 5500 F: 020 7245 6993 E: emb.london@mfa.no
Royal Norwegian Consulate General: 86 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 3BU T: 0131 2265701 F: 0131 2204976 E: cons.gen.edinburgh@mfa.no