THE BLUE MAN (Blåmannen)

A full-length drama based o
n the final days of Edvard Grieg’s life, when his will to live was stronger than ever. ‘Blåmannen’, the original Norwegian title, is the name of a mountain near Grieg’s home in Bergen which the composer visited a few weeks before his demise. New music was composed for the drama by Frank Tveor Nordensten.

Click here for a couple of reviews of the premiere.

This is not a study of the composer, nor of the ‘artistic condition’ – but rather a powerful and universal story about:
an elderly man who, early in his marriage, lost a child;
a young man who, in childhood, lost his father.
These two meet – just before it is too late for the younger man to make a difference in the life of the elder.

As the story commences, Grieg is disillusioned with the creative life behind him. He fears his approaching death, believing that his compositions will not be performed after his lifetime. He is not only afraid of death, but also of dying: his mind is crumbling under the influence of strong medication. The young man who now enters his life, Percy Grainger, is perhaps the only person who at that moment could have altered Grieg’s disillusioned condition. 

Between these two is Nina Grieg, who has devoted herself to her husband’s project in order to compensate, as far as is possible, for the loss of her child and a family life together. The young man’s arrival is a fact she struggles to deal with – that he can be of greater value to Grieg in this situation than she can.  Grieg even suggests to her that they adopt Grainger!

The central theme of the story is legacy. What can anyone leave of themselves to those that come after? The narrative moves from darkness to light. Though he was a dying man, Grieg sought and found in Grainger a renewal of his will to live.