In comparing a piece of work to a rainfall I see myself – as the director – as the drainpipe collecting the raindrops to enable the audience to drink it in great gulps.
I dream about opera as a form of art placing itself in the midst of society, discussing universal and existential matters. A state of tension where drama of the blackest genre tilts over into raw humor
– that, to me, seems like the utmost means to discuss such matters with the audience and at the same time doing it in an entertaining and pleasurable way.
WHERE DID IT START?
Dan Turdén’s interest in opera was aroused when he, 19 years old, got a walk-on part at the Gothenburg Opera, and was absolutely enchanted by Yannis Houvarda’s production of Richard Strauss’ opera Electra. Since then he has endeavored to create scenic art works with a direct address to the audience, placing the art of opera in the midst of our time.
Since his graduation from the Master’s Programme in Opera Directing at the University College of Opera, in Stockholm in 2014, he has worked professionally at The Royal Opera, The Dramatic Theatre, Baltic Sea Festival, The University of Uppsala, Estrad Norr, Opera Hedeland and the University College of Opera.
Dan was born in Norrköping, where his parents – Yvonne Lundeqvist and Walter Turdén – were engaged as actors at the municipal theatre. As a matter of curiosity one may mention that he, at the tender age of 5, made his debut on stage as a piglet in a musical called The Pig Who Wanted to Get Slim. In senior high school he chose the music programme with the tuba as his instrument. After that he went on to study to become an actor at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Art, graduating in 2008, after four years of study.
Finishing the Master’s Programme at the University College of Opera in 2014 Dan directed the operetta Pierrette & Jacquot by Jacques Offenbach at the Malmö Opera, in the south of Sweden. In 2014 he was also one of two finalists in the international competition in opera directing: The Ring Award. He was the first Swede ever to qualify for that, in the very keen competition.
In 2007 Dan set up Kamraterna (The Companions), an independent opera company. Since then he has been the president of the company as well as its artistic director. From 2011 on Kamraterna has established itself as complementary to the big institutions, by challenging them regarding form as well as up-to-dateness and methods of working. Kamraterna aims to prove – without lowering the standards of quality – that opera is a living and contemporary art form.
WHAT I STAND FOR ARTISTICALLY
In comparing a piece of work to a rainfall I see myself – as the director – as the drainpipe collecting the raindrops to enable the audience to drink it in great gulps. In doing this I am the intermediary between the originator, the actor and the audience. This calls for my placing myself in as close a relation as possible to enable me to do an exact analysis, to use as a foundation for my interpretation.
In quite the same way as the rain doesn’t have any single origin but is more like a circulation I see the art form of opera as an ever-changing circulation where every single piece of work at every moment must be invented anew. Every art form not in a dialogue with its own time becomes a museum presenting itself.
I dream about opera as a form of art placing itself in the midst of society, discussing universal and existential matters. A state of tension where drama of the blackest genre tilts over into raw humor – that, to me, seems like the utmost means to discuss such matters with the audience and at the same time doing it in an entertaining and pleasurable way.
“Pleasurable, safe and inspiring”
”Working with Dan is pleasurable, safe and inspiring! He is prepared and has a clear vision, but at the same time gives a lot of freedom and is prestigious. Dan creates a nice climate for everyone to work in. I look forward to the next time I have the chance to work with Mr Turdén!”
Miriam Treichl, mezzo soprano
“In Dan Turdén I see an artist who with his non-compromising passion for opera really cares for true communication in his productions.”
Ulrika Tenstam, mezzo soprano