Jussi Bjorling Centennial Celebration at Gustavus

Posted on June 19th, 2011 by

Jussi Bjorling

As part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jussi Bjorling, the Jussi Bjorling Society-USA, in cooperation with Gustavus Adolphus College, will present a concert in memory of the legendary Swedish tenor on Friday, June 24. The performance will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Jussi Bjorling Recital Hall on the Gustavus campus.

Jussi Bjorling’s flawless vocal technique, silvery beauty of tone, gleaming upper register, and interpretive skills have made him one of the greatest and most beloved tenors of the twentieth century. Numerous colleagues as well as music critics have long placed him at the very pinnacle of vocal excellence. It was to Jussi that Dorothy Caruso, widow of Enrico Caruso, said, “you are the only one worthy to wear his mantle, bear Rico’s crown!”

The Centennial Concert will introduce three Swedish opera singers; mezzo soprano Ingrid Tobiasson, Royal Court Singer; baritone Bengt Krantz; and tenor Mats Carlsson. Also participating will be baritone David Templeton as well as two young American singers; baritone Nathan Matticks and tenor Johnathan White.

The concert is one of the highlights of a three-day conference June 23-25 on the Gustavus campus. The conference will feature a series of presentations on Bjorling’s career, personal recollections of his life and more general discussions on the significance of opera as an art form. A presentation will be made by the great American baritone Sherrill Milnes on the Verdi Baritone; Andrew Farkas, author of the biography Jussi, is the keynote speaker; Stephen Hastings, editor of the Italian magazine Musica; writer and opera critic Simon Williams will talk about Jussi Bjorling’s performances as Des Grieux in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut.

A new pictorial Bjorling biography will be introduced in the U.S. by its editor, Jacob Forsell, grandson of John Forsell, the director of the Royal Swedish Opera during Jussi Bjorling’s formative years.

Tickets for the concert are $15, and are available at Swedish Kontur Imports, 310 S Minnesota Avenue, St. Peter (507-931-1198) and at Twin Rivers Council for the Arts, Mankato and on line at twinriversarts.org

Tickets for all other presentations are $10 and are available at the door of the Jussi Bjorling Recital Hall at Gustavus Adolphus College. Complete schedule of the conference is available at jussibjorlingsociety.org


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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