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A new musical work about the terror in the islands.

It is spring 1942, and the Nazi Germans raze to the ground the fishing village Telavåg on an island west of Bergen in a brutal act of vengeance. They blow up or burn all 300 houses, sink all boats and empty the village of people. The men are whisked off to arrestation or concentration camps, while children, women and old people are interned at Framnes in Hardanger. This has been referred to as the biggest terrorist attack on Norwegian soil before 22 July 2011.

This is the dramatic backdrop for the musical work The Telavåg Tragedy, written for the Norwegian Naval Forces' Band, to be premiered during the 2024 Bergen International Festival. The work is a tale of the experiences of individuals, a lament of fear, terror and frightful suffering from our recent past. Through selected moments and episodes the music tells of the dramatic conflicts which the people of Telavåg end up in and the impossible choices they are forced to make.

Håkon Berge has composed the music and written the libretto in collaboration with Lars Berge. The Norwegian Naval Forces' Band, Edvard Grieg Vokalensemble and six soloists will give body and voice to a musical performance of one of the most gripping and inhuman events from the Second World War in Norway.

The Telavåg Tragedy is the second work in the Norwegian Naval Forces' Band's trilogy of events along the coast in the defence of Norway. The first work was The Battle of Vågen by Håkon Berge and Cecilie Løveid, which premiered in 2017.

They burned our homesteads, they killed our men,
May our hearts beat loudly, ever and again.

Image: The pillage of Telavåg, 3 May 1942 (photo: Aud Johannesen)

Last Updated: 03/02/2024

Source: Visit Bergen

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