abbatoday (at) gmail.com 
Maria Ylipää said in Gothenburg that when she went to KRISTINA audition in Helsinki, she knew nothing about the musical, she had not heard about it at all. Maria thinks that it was after the 100th KRISTINA performance at Svenska Teatern the main cast got to know that they will be able to do KRISTINA also in Sweden. Maria did not hesitate a second. She  had never before been in Gothenburg before Monday.
Robert Noack told that he tried to get in to acting school in Gothenburg in 2001 but failed. But he got in to the same school in Malmö a few years later,  and directly from it got the role of Karl Oskar in Helsinki. Robert and Maria look forward to be on stage in Gothenburg. Robert says that they hope it is not just popping in to the old roles. They want to find something new and as there is partly a new ensemble it will be a new trip for them. Maria says that they hope to find the same intimacy as at Svenska Teatern though the stage of GöteborgsOperan is much bigger.
Here Swedish TV´s culture news video. At 2:00 for ex clips of MIN LUST TILL DIG and DU MÅSTE FINNAS. Main issue in the insert is however Bjorn's donation for Reporters without borders.
Svenska Teatern´s Donna, Mia Hafren told on TV on Monday that late 2014, when her band Fork performs at Alexander theater in Helsinki, she will be away from MM!. Fork´s homepage states that the concerts will be November - December, starting 3rd of November, but no other exact dates announced yet.
Maria Ylipää did short lunch concert at GöteborgOperan's foaje today.
Mia Hafrén, Donna in Svenska Teatern's MAMMA MIA! is guest in popular chat TV  show Bettina S today at 21 Finnish time. The show will be available online later on. Last Friday there was large interview with Mia in big newspaper Iltalehti.
Here Swedish TV´s news clip from GöteborgsOperan with Maria Ylipää singing DU MÅSTE FINNAS and interviews with Maria, Bjorn and Lars.  And here some photos of the clip.
Gothenburg department of Swedish radio P4  interviewed Bjorn and Lars at GöteborgsOperan. Björn describes how the new version is many ways more compact  than the original one.
Björn is asked what projects he is involved in. He says there are many, for example a possible new musical with Lars, one day. He says they have a chance to discuss about it today in Gothenburg. Neither Bjorn nor Lars were willing to tell what this possible new musical would be about.  Bjorn has hinted before about this possibility.
Bjorn said at GöteborgsOperan's press conference  today:
-It is unbelievably fun to have KRISTINA again at the operan.
Early 90´s when Benny and he started to write the musical, Bjorn had no idea it would become so long living piece as it turned out to be.
Robert Noack and Maria Ylipää were in Gothenburg aswell and sang a song at press info. Later today there is one hour presentation of the next season of the opera for public. Probably Ylipää and Noack will appear there. Tomorrow afternoon a pianist and Ylipää will perform songs, for ex. from KRISTINA, at foaje of GöteborgsOperan.
Bjorn Ulvaeus donates 1 million Swedish Crowns for the organization "Reporters without borders". The organization was originally formed in France in 1985 and came to Sweden in 1994.
Bjorn will attend the GöteborgsOperan press conference today, where he will present KRISTINA. Obviously also maria Ylipää will be there, too.
The filming of CIRKELN, the novel by by Sara Bergmark and Mats Strandberg,  has begun today. Photo of the female main actors has been published. However, neither RMV Film nor distributor Buena Vista International want to unveil the names of the actors at this point. Locations for shooting are Södertälje and Grängesberg.
Says Ludvig Andersson: We  want to make justice  for the wonderful universum of Sara and Mats. CIRKELN is a story about reality and magic, about loneliness and community, about being young and about saving the world."
The musical HJÄLP SÖKES will run at Østre Gasværk Teater in Copenhagen from April 12 to June 7,  2015. The song lyrics and dialogue will be translated into Danish by singer Anne Linnet and author Pia Taftdrup. Danish title is "Hjælp Søges"
Cast: Jesper Asholt, Jesper Lohmann, Suzanne Berdino, five musicians, cows Ronja og Cindy, pigs Frora oand Kira, horse  Doglas etc...and Kalleman from Stockholm production.
Tickets from here.
GöteborgsOperan has published the performance days of KRISTINA. 
CIRKELN film will premiere February 18, 2015.

CHESS IN CONCERT will be done at Dalhalla outside Rättvik on July 4 and 5. On stage will be seen
FLORENCE: Gunilla Backman  (Donna in Swedish MM!)
SVETLANA: Sarah Dawn Finer
FREDDIE: Anders Ekborg (did the same role at Cirkus in Stockholm in 2002)
ANATOLY: Philip Jalmelid (was seen in this role at Gothenburg Opera a few years ago)
MOLOKOV: Johan Schinkler (did the role in CHESS concerts during 90´s)
Stockholm Concert Orchesta conducted by Anders Eljas
Pop band and chorus led by Svante Persson
Chorus with 50 singers
Tickets will be released March 24. 
All the lyrics from all the contributing authors will be  recorded by Helen Sjöholm. The winning one will be recorded by BAO.
-One of the authors, Bjorn Ranelid, has cancelled his involvement in the project, he says he has no time to write lyrics for the song.
-Susanna Alakoski´s text has already been recorded
-Horace Engdahl´s version is called NYÅRSBALLONGEN (New Year Balloon) is a sad story och hope and love that flew away
-In every Babel programme of the season, a version by an author is presented. The first one to be presented, is by Mikael Niemi, who says that Benny´s melody is full of major, it gives image of light, sun and summer.  
Svenska Teatern´s own, funny video from the press conference yesterday.
In a press conference today, Svenska Teatern announced the actors  for MAMMA MIA!, which opens at their theatre in September:

DONNA Mia Hafren

SOFIE  Lineah Svärd   from Sweden

TIM Anton Höggblom originally Finnish, now lives in Sweden

TANJA  Veera Railo

RITA Anna Hultin / Maria Sid  (Maria Sid is alternative in the role in 2015 when she comes back from Gothenburg)

TANJA  Veera Railo

SAM Vallu Lukka

HARRY Riko Eklundh

BILL Kristofer Moller

LISA Tara Toya  from Denmark

ALI: Katariina Lantto

EDDIE: Johnny Johansson (from Sweden)

CHILI Markku Haussila

Johan Storgård, chief for Svenska Teatern and Bengt Bauler from Swedish production company Per C have made a new translation of the original script. Director Paul Garrington is recently working in Vienna with MM! but will start working in Helsinki in May.
The production costs several hundreds of thousands euros, most of the money goes to salaries, says Storgård. At present 160 performances for sale. If MM! will be done 150-200 times, Svenska Teatern will cover their expenses. Storgård first contacted Littlestar back in 2005 for the rights of the MAMMA MIA! During the years, the rights of MM! have been adjusted and fine tuned, so now the musical can be played at middle sized theatres. Svenska Teatern is the first repertoire theatre to get the rights.
Did you know that Bjorn owns an electric car?  
Creative producer Bengt Bauler (who was also Harry in Swedish production of MAMMA MIA!) and Svenska Teatern´s chief Johan Storgård have made a new translation with "Finland´s Swedish" tone of the script for Svenska Teatern´s production of MAMMA MIA!
Paul Garrington is director (as was in Russia, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Spain, Korea and Japan), Sean Alderking is Associate musical advisor Nichola Treherne Assosicate Choreographer.
For our Finnish readers: MAMMA MIA! cast members need flats from Helsinki. Read more here.
Ticket sales for KRISTINA at GöteborgsOperan starts April 28. Tickets will be available for October 2014 - March 2015. Tickets for April-May 2015 will be sold later. A few weeks ago was announced that the ticket sales  starts April 28, but from that day on KRISTINA tickets will be sold only to people who buy  the subscription series package of season 2014/2015.
MAMMA MIA! will open at Roma theatre in Warsaw in February 2015. Both dialogue and song lyrics will be in Polish language.
MAMMA MIA! is now the 9th longest running show on Broadway! Only four of the current Top 10 shows are still running so MM! has good chances to step even higherer.
10. Rent – 5,123
9. Mamma Mia! – 5,123
8. Beauty and the Beast – 5,461
7. Oh! Calcutta! – 5,959
6. A Chorus Line – 6,137
5. Les Miserables – 6,680
4. The Lion King – 6,791
3. Chicago – 7,185
2. Cats – 7,485
1. The Phantom of the Opera – 10,860
Peter Jöback has published a pic of his recent meeting with KRISTINA costars Åsa Bergh and Helen Sjöholm!!!
GöteborgsOperan has announced most of the cast and crew of their 2014-2015 production of KRISTINA.
We already knew that the Helsinki main cast Maria Ylipää, Birthe Wingren, Robert Noack and Oskar Nilsson will re-create their roles in Sweden aswell. Glenn Daniel Nilsson who did Pastor Jackson at Svenska Teatern, will do the same in Gothenburg, though with his current name Glenn Daniel Edell. Also Kaj Hagstrand from the Finnish production will be seen in his familiar role Per Persson. From Helsinki ensemble Kinga Szabadvary (who was also understudy for Ulrika) does the role of Danjel´s wife Inga-Lena at GöteborgsOperan.
Otherwise the cast is new. From GöteborgsOperan´s ensemble have been found actors for roles of Fina Kajsa (Ingahlill Wagelin),  Danjel (Ole Forsberg), Brusander (Sven Törnell), Karl Oskar´s father Nils (Lars Hjertner). Other bigger roles are casted with Tobias  Ahlsell (Arvid), Kristin Kindström (Elin), Timo Nieminen (Nöjd) Marcus Liljedahl (Abbot) and Andreas Konvicka (Thomassen).
What comes to crew, Kersti Vitali Rudolfsson, who was costume designer in Helsinki, will have the same duty in Gothenburg, but she is also responsible for make-up and wig design. From Svenska Teatern production sound designer Andreas Lönnqvist, lighting designer Linus Fellbom, choreographer Lena Josefsson, assistant director Maria Sid and conductor Hans Ek have been hired to GöteborgsOperan production.
Ticket sales will begin March 31.
Maria Sid, who was assistant for Lars Rudolfsson during the rehearsals of KRISTINA in Helsinki, (and took care of the production after premiere) said after the last performance in May 2013, that Benny and Bjorn have offered her new job. In today's issue of newspaper Huvudstadsbladet Maria Sid tells that she will be repeating the same work for KRISTINA at GöteborgsOperan. She says it is amazing to work with B&B again, ten years ago she  would not have believed it.
Earlier this month, Benny and Ludvig were in Berlin to promote CIRKELN at  BMW&Bunte Festival Night, a part of the Berlin International Film Festival.
Babel, the literature programme of Swedish TV2 got last year exclusive entry to follow when B&B recorded their ABBA THE MUSEUM audio guide with Catherine Johnson. Now they have something extra again.
On March 16 at 8.pm. one of the features is, as SVT writes: "Benny Andersson special writes a melody for which Sweden´s best author gets the chance to write lyrics for."
The pre-info of Babel does not tell, has Benny written the song right that moment when the episode was filmed. And did the unnamed author, write the lyrics right after Benny wrote the music. Or did Benny write the song at same stage for Babel, and then the author wrote the text later on. Or does the author write the text during the filming.....However it happens, it is great to hear new music from Benny and see who writes the lyrics.
On March 28, in Kalmar in Sweden will be arranged a seminar about why investors should put money into projects in the Kalmar area. One of the investors, who has decided to do so, is Bjorn Ulvaeus, and he will attend the event telling about his Slottsholmshotellet project in Västervik.
Lulea University will offer for students who recently have completed their studies, a course about forming own company/business. The course is distance training via internet, with pre-recorded lectures, for example by the university´s honorary doctor Benny Andersson.
The last few days Swedish Radio has been criticized by statistics experts and artistes  for the rules of the radio chart Svensktoppen. Voting system is not believable and new music doesn´t get the chance to get attention when same songs stay ages at the chart. Even artistes like Bjorn Skifs and Helen Sjöholm,who hold records od Svensktoppen, think that changes should be made. Helen thinks there should be a limit how long a song can stay at Svensktoppen and hold the number one position. Sjöholm thinks 10 weeks would be enough
Swedish Radio has decided to make changes to the voting system. Voting will be done by web panel in the future, instead of traditional letters.
Last weekend, Linda took part in the annual Arjeplog Film Festival in north of Sweden. The guests have every year chance to drive snow mobiles and drive cars on ice. here a photo of Linda at this event.
Linda does one of the Swedish voices of the new hit film LEGO. She has dubbed the lines of the character Wyldstyle/Lucy, that in the original version is done by Elisabeth banks.
Same team that made the recent highly successful film about the life of Monica Zetterlund, is planning to film the life of Ted Gärdestad. At present a TV series is more likely than a movie. Gärdestad was discovered by Benny, Bjorn and Stig and started his career at age of 15 at Polar.
The celebrations for 100 years of birth of Eric Sahlström that were arranged in Uppsala in 2012, have now been released as two  DVDs. Benny appeared in the jubileum gala concert, and on the DVD made of that conncert (Jubileumsgalan – Till Erics minne) is seen when Benny performs BRUDMARSCH with Cajsa Ekstav.
The DVDs can be bought at Uppsala Concert and Congress Hall for 150 Swedish Crowns each. We don´t know yet, if the DVD can be purchased online somewhere.
The new Las Vegas production of MAMMA MIA! at The New Tropicana premieres on May 8. The show will mainly be done on all other days of the week, except for Fridays. On Saturdays two performances per day.
MAMMA MIA! in Czech language opens at Congress Center of Prague on December 14. Performance days here.
Finnish TV channel AVA screens MAMMA MIA! movie this Thursday at 9 pm. Surely not a bad thing for ticket sales of Svenska Teatern' s MAMMA MIA!.....
At present GöteborgsOperan seeks dancers for their production of KRISTINA. Choreographer Lena Josefsson worked also in Helsinki. Musical leader for Gothenburg is Hans Ek, as was in Helsinki aswell.
Tickets for spring 2015 season of MAMMA MIA! at Svenska Teatern will be released next Monday at 10 am.
There will be 92 performances, dates can be found here.
"Universal will release a live album, which is the last concert at Wembley, that we did. Whenever it was. 79?. As it was. Nothing fixed. Just  sort of...we mixed it and it will come out later this year."
ABBA received Swedish Goverment´s honorary export prize this week. Benny confirmed that the final 1979 Wembley concert will be released later this year as CD.  As it is, no fixing. About CIRKELN film, Benny told that there´s more and more work to be done as the day when they start to shoot, gets closer.  Benny will attend every day of the postproduction. He will also attend some of the filming aswell, but not all the time, as there is not much what he can do during shooting.
Here you can watch a video of performance by Benny and Tommy Körberg at film award gala Guldbaggegalan yesterday.  
35.000 tickets (72%) of autumn 2014 tickets for MAMMA MIA! at Svenska Teatern have already been sold. On February 10, starts the sales of tickets for spring 2015.
As the company that run the festival Visfestivalen i Västervik belongs to the estate of late Hansi Schwarz, a new company has been formed to run the event. The leading group of the new company consists of Hansi´s son Calle Åstrand, Morgan Johnsson and Anna Hydbom Ulvaeus, who is the booker of artistes.
The announcement of MM! Helsinki  cast has been postponed til spring 2014.


Maria Ylipää attended a movie premiere last week (photos here and here). She said in August her family will move for about two years in Sweden. So it looks like KRISTINA will be done in Stockholm til spring 2016.




live by Oskar Nilsson this week.



Newspaper Expressenś theatre prize of 2013 goes to Lars Rudolfsson for his 30 years long career.



Maria Ylipää comments in a Finnish newspaper the coming Swedish productions of KRISTINA.


She says it feels good to continue as Kristina. The play and the role are great ones.  It is also a welcomed change for her to enter new scenes and see how things are done elsewhere. Maria also looks forward to improve her skills in the Swedish language when she lives in the country. Her whole family, two daughters and husband, moves to Sweden next August as rehearsals begin in Gothenburg.




Production of CIRKELN starts on March 31, 2014. For the main role,  the chosen girl is non-professional.


Score of the film will consist of pop songs by Ludvig, with Benny supervising.  


Benny and Ludvig chose to produce the film themselves to have full artistic freedom. But the film needs to be sold outside Sweden to get the expenses back.


If CIRKELN does well at box office, they will produce film of the two other books aswell.





Maria Ylipää performed (singing most of the song in Swedish) the dramatic and beautiful classic STORMSKÄRS MAIJA yesterday at concert for Finland´s Independence Day. She told afterwards for the press that her baby girl is four months old. Maria will make real return to work next summer. Here video of Maria´s performance and video interview. Do watch the performance, Maria is brilliant as is the song.




Swedish tenor John Kluge has published a pic of himself with Bjorn in the train to Gothenburg, taken late last month 
Blogger Klara K. writes (with a photo) about an event at Rival hotel. Benny has been there to take people´s coats and put then in the garderobe. After the event (Klara K. explains about the fantastic meal offered, but not what this promo event was for) Benny chose three jackets from the garderobe and explained that owner of each jacket gets free dinner for two at Rival´s restaurant.
Last week another crew member was hire for the CIRKELN film project, Cilla Rörby.
The ETOUR institute has researched the ABBA tourism in Sweden.
An average person who visits ABBA THE MUSEUM spends averagely 2.000 Crowns per day and stays 3 days in Stockholm. Around 250.000 persons, half of them from abroad, have visited ABBA THE MUSEUM since May.
Further on ETOUR´s survey shows that many of the visitors are long time admirers of ABBA. Almost 7 of 10 visitors were 12 years old or younger when became ABBA fan in the 70´s.
5 of 10 of people who took part in the survey, have visted Sweden because of ABBA. 75% of the visitors of ABBA THE MUSEUM visit also other Stockholm attractions like the Vasa Museum, Gamla Stan etc.
More that 8 of 10 vistors intend to re-visit ABBA THE MUSEUM during the next couple of years. 96% of the visitors recommend the museum for others.
Here and here new photos of Maria Ylipää. She says her baby is three months old, but does not mention if the baby is a girl or a boy.
Maria Ylipää has got another great job. Last year she was the celebrated guest at Finland´s President´s Independence Day reception. This year she is one of the four singers to perform at President´s Independence Day Concert.
Benny´s grandson, Charlie and Felix Grönvall enter the Swedish Eurovision Song Contest next year. They are part of the group Little Great Things and co-writers of their entry song SET YOURSELF FREE.
Benny continues his collobration with Marie-Louise Ekman. This time his music is used in her new web series DEN DRAMATISKA ASYLEN. The series has been filmed with camera of a mobile phone at Dramaten, The Royal Dramatic Theate of Sweden. Benny has written the vignette music. It has not been announced is it new music or are they using older music by Benny. Trailer is here.
The series will be shown at www.dramatenplay.se every Moday, Wednesday and Friday, between November 26, 2013-March 18, 2014.
The Nordic Music Prize will soon be given for the fourth time. The process to choose the Swedish candidates is going on at present. The Swedish jury (consists of  Kristofer Andersson, Elin Unnes, Niklas Elmer and chairman Jan Gradvall) has chosen 25 albums. For the next ca. 100 persons from music branch vote 10 albums of these 25 for the next step of the process. In the finale there will be 12 Nordic albums and an international jury chooses the winner.
Here are the 25 candidates:

Abidaz, In & ut

Daniel Adams-Ray, Innan vi suddas ut

Sibille Attar, Sleepyhead

Avicii, True

Axel Boman, Family vacation

Agnetha Fältskog, A

Ghost, Infestissumam

Håkan Hellström, Det kommer aldrig va över för mig

Melissa Horn, Om du vill vara med mig

In Solitude, Sister

Kaah, Matcha din look

The Knife, Shaking the habiutal

Könsförrädare, Curse all law

Lilla Namo, Tuggare utan gränser

Oskar Linnros, Klappar och slag

Mack Beats, Centrum

Veronica Maggio, Handen i fickan fast jag bryr mig

Petter, Början på allt

Serengeti, Rebellious hearts

Stor, Shere Khan XIII

Syster Sol, Mellan raderna

Tonbruket, Nubium swimtrip

Watain, The wild hunt

Jenny Wilson, Demand the impossible

Lars Winnerbäck, Hosianna

here you watch short clips of recent church concert where KRISTINA star Robert Noack and Linnéa Törnqvist performed songs by Benny and Björn. Robert does THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL and YOU AND I.
Benny and Mona attended the Portugal-Sweden football match at Friends Arena yesterday.
Finnish clothe and design product company Marimekko arranges on November 11 in Helsinki, close to Svenska Teatern, outside on a street a Christmas themed presentation of their products. Maria Ylipää will perform there.
National Theatre of Sweden, Royal Dramatic Theatre, best known as Dramaten,  stages Utvandrarna books as stage play  (not musical) next year, premiere on April 27. Stina Ekblad,59,  plays Kristina and in the role of Karl Oskar will be seen Rolf Lassgård, 58.
Director Mats Ek has had several years the idea to do something about Utvandrarna. Years ago he studied possibility to do his own version of Kristina från Duvemåla, this however was not possible. Benny will still be involved even in Ek´s version as director´s collobrator Niko Röhlcke will use and rearrange some music written by Benny. The music is not from Kristina från Duvemåla, but Benny´s folk music songs. Röhlcke has got from Benny  free hands to rework the compositions.
Incredible success for Svenska Teatern´s MAMMA MIA! in Helsinki. In a few days  already 60% of tickets for autumn have been sold. That means 30.000 tickets, Svenska Teatern has never sol so many tickets in such a short time. And there´s 10 months to the premiere! Group bookings for bigger groups is now quite hard. There are already 50 groups in line for the tickets of season spring 2015.
Cheapest way to buy tickets to ABBA THE MUSEUM is to do it online. If you buy tickets from the museum, tourist bureaus or from ticket stores of Swedish Railways (SJ), additional service fee is charged.

On Sunday it was unveiled that shooting of Cirkeln, the film based on the book with the same name, starts in April 2014 with premiere sometimes in 2015. Benny and his son Ludvig produce the film via their company RMV Film. They both have been very involved in the pre-production of the film.

Far this following production team members of Cirkeln have been announced:

Levan Akin, director

Cecilia Norman Mardell, producer

Sara Bergmark Elfgren and Levan Akin, script

Lisa Berggren Eyre, production manager

Hanna Bengtsson, visual effects supervisor

Roger Rosenberg, production designer

Jonas Rydengren, location scout 

When one looks at reservations for the Helsinki MAMMA MIA! at www.lippu.fi, it looks like the musical will be a huge success. Lots of bookings/reservation made already by now when it is still 10 months to the premiere.

Says Peter Nordahl of Agnetha´s apperance in London:
-It was fantastic to see Agnetha enter the stage in front of a packed Apollo, who had no idea she would be there. Quite naturally, she goes in and takes the room. Invites you to dance with Gary Barlow,  both of who perform at the absolute top level. A small unexpected and historic moment. Jörgen and I never cease to be amazed by this wonderful and talented woman. She was absolutely amazing.

Agnetha and her team were presented with gold discs from England and Austalia. They celebrated the discs and the performance at Apollo by going to dinner together.

Official site for MAMMA MIA! at Svenska Teatern in Helsinki has been updated now: Finnish. Swedish, English.
Cast will be announced during December
Here you can see map of the theatre. Compared to KRISTINA, the three first three rows are not removed. Row 1 is in B-price category.
In March 2014 will be chosen the first artistes to the Swedish Music Hall of Fame. The jury consists of Kersti Adams-Ray (journalist host on Swedish radio and TV since 60´s), Per Sinding-Larsen (music journalist and program host on Swedish TV), Ametist Azordegan (music journalist) and chairman, music journalist Jan Gradvall.
10-15 music creators and artistes will be chosen to SMHOF next year. After that smaller number will be added every year. Artistes will not be chosen chronologically. All generations and genres will be considered equally, though recording debut must have taken place 20 years ago.


Opening times:

Dec 23, Dec 25-Jan 12:  10-17 every day, closed on Dec 24
In 2014: Friday-Tuesday: 10-17, Wednesday-Thursday: 10-20

Performance days autumn 2014, ticket sales begin November 15, at 10 a.m.
Ticket prices (Vuxna=adults) here

Tickets for spring 2015 will be released at some stage during spring 2014.

Some readers have requested listing of coming MAMMA MIA! productions. These are the one we know:
-in German
-at Raimund Theatre
-premiere March 19, 2014
-will be played til June 28, 2014
-in Swedish
-at Svenska Teatern
-premiere September 27, 2014
-ticket sales begin November 15, 2013
-playing period will be announced wen tickets come for sale
-Musical Theatre Consortium produces MM! with completely new set and costume design
Will be played at:

March 2014 – Auckland Music Theatre - The Civic, Auckland

May 2014 - Taieri Musical Society - Regent Theatre, Dunedin

Sept / Oct 2014 - Napier Operatic Society Musicipal Theatre, Napier

February 2015 - Rotorua Musical Theatre - Civic Theatre, Rotorua

April 2015 - New Plymouth Operatic - TSB Showplace, Rotorua

June / July 2015 - Hamilton Operatic - Founders Theatre, Hamilton

August 2015 - Abbey Musical Theatre - Palmerston North

Oct / Nov 2015 - Blenheim Musical Theatre - ASB Theatre, Blenheim-

April 2016 - Showbiz Christchurch - Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch

-at Tropicana
-premiere uring spring 2014, date not yet announced
-open end
-summer 2014
-new version, not clone of the original production
-tickets not yet for sale
Next July (4th, 7th, 12th, 18th and 21st) Maria Ylipää will appear at Opera festival in Savonlinna, Finland. She does the role "Blind singer" in the opera Kullervo, based on Finnish national epic Kalevala.  
Marianne Mörck, the original Fina-Kajsa in KRISTINA, has directed several operas in Savonlinna the last few years. In 2014 she directs CARMEN.
Official facebook-page for MM! in Helsinki,writes today that the official  webpage of the musical will get an update after two weeks. Exact performance days, articles and other material will be added. Svenska Teatern expects big interest into tickets, which will come on sale on November 15.
Here new production meeting photo from the CIRKELN film project. Benny wearing new glasses, MM! and Rival mugs and filled bird on table...

Swedish night club queen Alexandra Charles is releasing a book of her life. ABBA members used to go to her night club, and for ex. the cover of VOULEZ-VOUS was photographed there. In the book Charles tells for ex. about the night when Benny Andersson testplayed a demo of DANCING QUEEN. Suddenly the dancefloor was full of people.
Maria Ylipää is slowly returning to working life. January 12, 2014 she will sing at Music House in Helsinki in a charity concert for the new children´s hospital to be build in 2017.
has quite some photos of ABBA, Agnetha, FridaBenny, Kristina,
The Association of Swedish Travel Journalists has had a nice meeting with Björn Ulvaeus at ABBA THE MUSEUM. A very interesting reply was delivered by Björn when he was asked wether he is writing anything new?
-Yes absolutely, we have a new musical in the working. But I can´t say more now.

We know that B&B will most likely be involved in new Swedish productions of KRISTINA in 2014 an 2015. But it hardly needs that much rewriting and  can´t be called as new musical. Travel journalists meeting took place September 19, GöteborgsOperan announced KRISTINA  September 23.

 Björn leaked the news of MM! in Helsinki, KRISTINA´s return to Sweden and his involvement in HJÄLP SÖKES before official announcement. So, maybe this is another similar case...Hopefully it has not been an misunderstanding during the meeting of the travel journalists and Björn and B&B really are working on a new musical. Well, he has said "we", hopefully it means him and Benny.  

MAMMA MIA! will return to Las Vegas. Open-end run at The Tropicana premieres sometimes during spring 2014.
Lasse Hallström and Benny Andersson telling about the film, hosted by Anna Serner.

and one from 2008:
KRISTINA Helsinki main conductor Hans Ek and actor Oskar Nilsson join forces in Norrköping during October. On stage also singer Hanna Lindblad and Norrköping Symphony Orchestra performing music from movies in a few concerts. Here you can watch short clip of the rehearsals.
KRISTINA star Oskar Nilsson has received another stipendium: Teaterförbundet (The Swedish Union for Performing Arts and Film) has given him the Carl Billquist Musical artiste stipendium. 
We have got questions where are now some artistes that Benny and Björn used to collobrate.
Ainbusk (Singers):
The group took a break, that still continues, in 2008. Late last year Marie Nilsson (who wrote the lyrics for ex. to the melodies by Benny) came out last year telling in an interview that she has been fighting with depression since her teen years. The last few years the depression has been very deep. Also her husband had health problems. Marie moved from Stockholm to home island Gotland and lives with her sister Josefin Nilsson and a dog. Marie is still married but her husband did not move to Gotland. Marie Nilsson does not say in the interview what Josefin is doing nowadays. Marie has had a biography in the works since 2008  and hopes to complete it one day. There are no plans for a comeback for Ainbusk. 
Two other former Ainbusk members, Annelie Roswall and Birgitta Jakobsson have together with Annika Fehling formed the goup Glimra.
Also Karin Glenmark and Anders Glenmark have been musically very quiet the last few years. 2005 and 2006 after release of Gemini´s greatest hits CD, the duo did Christmas concert tours and even Christmas album calling themselves Glenmark & Glenmark.  In 2006 Karin Glenmark gave a rare interview where she told that five years earlier she had got herself a new education/profession in the health care branch. She told that she enjoyed the normal quiet life in Ystad.
Anders Glenmark used to be quite productive both as producer and artiste. But fo many years we have heard nothing from his musical activities. Not anything if he, like his sister, is doing something completely different today. Anders still sometimes appears as guest at celebrity events, like the Polar Music Prize gala.
Maria Ylipää has returned to publicity after she withrew from limelights after KRISTINA. She has done this week a short performance at a company´s private gala.
News upate of the KRISTINA cast in the Helsinki and coming Gothenburg and Stockholm productions.
Oskar Nilsson has received Monica Zetterlund Fund´s stipendium (30.000 Swedish Crowns) in the category Newcomer of the year.
Some new pics of  Robert Noack who will sing with Linnea Törnqvist at Kvilling Church´s Thank you for the music concert on October 20. As title tells, the concert consists of music by Andersson/Ulvaeus
Back in the 90´s KRISTINA was performed 125 times at GöteborgsOperan for audience of 160.000. It is still their best selling production. The new version in 2014-2015 will  be done 95 times.
The four main actors come from the Helsinki staging. Now GöteborgsOperan is looking for about 15 artistes. They will be in the ensemble and also act as undertudies for the main roles. In the end of October, 100-200 persons will be invited to the first audition. There everyone has three minutes to show what they can. After that there will be two call back auditions and in the end of November the final casting will be clear. Later on there will be audition for dancers and child actors.
Rehearsals will begin August 18, 2014 and last performance of KRISTINA will be on May 17, 2015. 
KRISTINA FRÅN DUVEMÅLA premieres at GöteborgsOperan in Gothenburg in September 2014 to celebrate the houseś 20th anniversary. Premiere October 25, 2014. After that the musical returns to Cirkus in Stockholm in September 2015.
The Helsinki main cast Maria Ylipää, Robert Noack, Birthe Wingren and Oskar Nilsson will play the main roles in Gothenburg and Stockholm. Tickets for Gothenburg are planned to  be released in March 2014
Blixten&Co is the producer.
On September 7, Benny Andersson appeared at charity concert for Ersta children´s hospice at Ersta Church in Stockholm. The church was completely sold out.
Celebrating the music of Jon Lord concert will be arranged at Royal Albert Hall in London on April 4, 2014
The production team of the film CIRKELN, including Benny and Ludvig, took part in the event Magiska möten ("Magical meetings") on September 13 (Friday the 13th) in Norberg. Ludvig and writers of the CIRKELN book,  Mats Strandberg and Sara Bergmark Elfgren spoke about the book and the film. As far as we know, Benny did not take part in the actual event, but stayed among the audience.
Some photos from production period have been published to promote the film:
Swedish Sofia from Escape blogg has met Björn this week at ABBA  THE MUSEUM. Björn had told that he has invested 40 million Crowns into the museum. When asked about place he likes to travel, Björn replied:
- Recently I chartered a motor yacht in Split and slid around in the Adriatic Sea. It is unbeatable at this time of the year!
170.000 people have visited the museum during the summer. Largest number of visitors have come from Germany, Finland, Norway and Australia. Now as busiest tourist season has calmed down, the opening hours have been shortened for the winter season:
Saturday-Tuesday: 10-17
Wednesday-Friday: 12-20
Where does your driving force come from?
 - Something's coming, I think, that I literally was the poor cousin once in my childhood. My one year older cousin belonged to the family number one in Västervik and I was confronted with the material abundance in his home. His Italian shoes were far too expensive for us, my mom said, and inside me was born will for revansch, one day I would have all that, me too. I would have become a civil engineer, it was the fastest route to success in the paper industry, said my uncle, use manager. Luckily, I slipped on a banana peel into the music track and there I found my passion.
How has the success of ABBA influenced you as a person, what do you think?
- On a way that I had never imagined because success has been so large and has been going on for so long. There is not a day that doesn´t remind me of ABBA. Newspapers, TV, Internet, radio and people coming up to me, there's always something somewhere every day. So, I've forgotten what it's like not to be an ABBA. But I can honestly say that every day I am grateful and humbled by this that our songs still played everywhere in the world and that they in some strange way become so famous and survived for so long
How do you define success?
 - When something you set out to do to,  succeed in accordance with the measure used. A musical can get good criticism, and many would be satisfied with it, but I want it also to draw a large crowd to be a success in my book. It can also be a success when one attract his grandson to laugh.
What is required to achieve success?
 - It requires that you surrounds yourself with talented people if you are not sufficiently gifted for the task itself. And you seldom are. There you cultivate the good ideas and choose the ones that pass the  toughest scrutiny. Then you implement it in the hard work and if you are lucky with inspiration.
How and where do you find inspiration?
 - When it comes to song lyrics, so this happens when Benny Andersson (it is mostly him I work with) has a melody. We listen to it together, discuss a little bit and then I take the demo version at home. The I play again and again to see if it tells me what it's all about. Surprisingly often, melodies do that. Something pops up in the back of the brainlures out of obscurity in some miraculous way, and without knowing how it happened, you have a few words, an idea to begin with. I've learnt to trust what the song says. Sometimes it's mad and must be rejected, but not very often. And with this first embryo comes fluency, inspiration.
You have mentioned doubts about their own ability, low self-esteem in different contexts - and then regarde it as something negative, but it could not possibly be an asset?
- It means that I approach each new task with "What if this is the time when I do not get anything out of me! This I can never do!" So this  way the low self-confidence whispers, but reason and experience, which over the years has grown stronger, and has always emerged victorious from the battle sputters:" Bullshit! Roll up your sleeves and go ahead! "

- With me it is so I do not really understand how you think if you are not humble about their successes.
You are philosophic nature, active in  Humanisterna and are very interested in existential, philosophical questions of life. What are you looking for?
 - I think that the more or less autonomous networks that I am, disappears in the moment of death. I do not think there is an universal meaning to life. Everyone must create his own. It becomes very much a matter of trying to create a stable platform for the children and the grandchildren, for those who one loves, and to enjoy as much as possible here and now. Because I have a very skeptical and critical mind, I have it extremely difficult to manipulate myself to believe,  something that I lack is good reason to believe.
Your thoughts about idol worship?
 - I myself have never worshiped any idol, so I find it hard to familiarize myself with how it would be.
The finest of ABBA time?
 - The creative explosion. We had our window in time when nothing could stop us. That's how it felt.
Sides of it that you liked less of?
- Photo sessions.
How do you see the wealth?
- I say, as so many, that it was most important in it's first stage. Then it gave the artistic and personal freedom.
The importance of music for you, how has it changed for you in life?
 - It has always been around since I got my first guitar at eleven years of age. Perhaps it has slipped a little more in the background now. If I really sit down and listen, it is a symphony of Beethoven.
Johan Storgård, chief for Svenska Teatern in Helsinki, says that he is delighted that so many, 930 artistes, sent in their applications for roles of their MAMMA MIA! production. The period to announce oneself to the auditions was relatively short, just 17 days. Storgård is convinced that they will find a perfect ensemble for the musical with premiere on September 27, 2014. Auditions, to which will be called 500 artistes, start in the end of this month. The cast will be announced later this autumn.
4 points of 6
Björn & Benny's musical HJÄLP SÖKES premiered at Orionteatern in Stockholm in February this year. The staging, with lyrics by Kristina Lugn and directed by Lars Rudolf Petersson, received rave reviews and played with sold out house until June.

When musical songs now are collected on a CD, it's not quite as easy to be lyrical. It is so with musicals that a significant portion is lost when they are flatten into discs. Especially when, as in this case, there were live animals on stage.

That the CD still has become something more than a souvenir from the staging is not only due to the stabile Benny Andersson made some nice melodies that can stand on their own, but mainly because of Sofia Pekkaris vocal efforts. With a security that can be compared with Helen Sjöholm and a beautiful soulfulness that steps out of the speakers she raises the  songs given for her into musical heaven. Her vibrato in the rather wonderful country pastiche "Svarta silhuetter" is worth some sort of prize and should get continuation. Maybe a pure country band with Benny Andersson?

Lollo Asplund in Corren writes: “Benny Andersson´s music smells like Balkan music and klezmer. Beautifully singing Sofia Pekkari makes moving interpretation of Björn & Benny's ballad "Den jag ville vara", a given Svensktoppen (radio chart) hit,  just like ""Svarta silhuetter".

Sofia Pekkari, 28,  tells in Aftonbladet that she has been obsessed by KRISTINA FRÅN DUVEMÅLA since her childhood. It started by the music of the musical, she then read the books and saw the films.
Pekkari did audition for KRISTINA in Helsinki, and got quite long in the process. Some time later Benny phones her, who he knew was pregnant. Benny asked how short time Sofia could imagine to be on child leave.  Benny told that he had another project, he could not tell much, but Sofia said yes, thanks, after hearing that it would be mixture of music, theatere and animals.
It was no problem for Pekkari to hear Helen Sjöholm to sing "her" HJÄLP SÖKES songs during BAO´s summer tour. Helen Sjöholm has been her goddess since Pekkari was 12-13 years old. Sofia was happy to hear Helen doing the songs, she danced into them with her man.
Here you listen to short clip of Sanna Nielsen rehearsing HEMMA with piano behind. And here a clips where she does the same song all alone without any intsruments. TV4´s clip has snippets of GULDET BLEV TILL SAND, STANNA, ALDRIG and HEMMA. Also SVT´s clips includes short part of HEMMA plus ETT HERRANS UNDERVERK.
Today there were 1.000 tickets left to the concert.
Complete Dagens Nyheter´s online review is only for subcribers, but the points that they give is visible for everyone: 3 pointsof 6
Swedish radio´s P1´s Kulturradion has a feature and interview with Phyllidia Lloyd on September 4, at 14:03. It is mainly about her recent theatre project in London. Benny is also interv iewed, he tells about his experiences on working with Lloyd on MAMMA MIA!
The advance sales of the 4.500 available tickets for KRISTINA concert in Jönköping has not been very good. The arrangers are however are not very concerne. They believe that the concert day getting cloer, the ticket sales will get boost.
Swedish radio P4´s "Dans" tomorrow at 19:30 has featurette, with backstage material, about BAO´s summer concert in Piteå.
Cast recording of HJÄLP SÖKES will be released on September 4. The songs SVARTA SILHUETTER and SJÄLV ÄR BÄSTE DRÄNG  from it will be performed on Swedish TV1´Moraeus med mera on September 7, thois was recorded earlier this summer in Orsa.
Benny was in Oslo during weekend to wittness the success of his horses at Scandic Norsk Derby. His horses won 860.000 Crowns. Benny seems quite happy...
MAMMA MIA! will be staged at Svenska Teatern! Premiere on September 27, 2014. Auditions begin September 30 and ticket sales November 15.
By Rosenstolz member Peter Plate. Read more here.
Jörgen Elofsson has been interviewed  by Lotta Brome on radio and he was clearly moved when heard how Agnetha Fältskog describe him. Agnetha´s words were read on air by Brome:
"An energetic music man who handles the entire registry, full of ideas, lyrics, new songs and solutions! In the middle of a conversation, he can take up the guitar and come up with a new song!  Also works with music when he sleeps! I, with my sometimes low self confidence, got new force. He knew and heard that the voice was still  there and psyched myself to the max - an unbelievably exciting person to work with! We tore a while but it was worth it! "
He had been a fan of  Agnetha and created her own image what sort of person Agnetha is. Then there was the image created by media. When Elofsson met and worked with Agnetha, it appeared that none of the images were true. According to Jörgen, Agnetha is very friendly and easy to work with.
The organisation "Svenska i världen" (Swedes in the world) are celebrating their 75th year. On Monday at Grand Hotel there was a lunch and among others Björn Ulvaeus, who a few years ago was chosen as Swede of the Year, was interviewed.
He is the son of Benny Andersson and his wife Nanne is not directly unknown. But myself keeps musician and producer Peter Grönvall a outside the spotlight. "My motivation is to make it sound good, being famous is not something I have fought for," he says. 

For years, Peter Grönvall has worked in the studio as a music producer. But the desire to write own songs remains. Since last autumn, he works on upcoming album of One More Time as he burns to complete it.

Since May of this year, Peter Grönvall been fully involved with his wife Nanne Grönvall's upcoming album - which this time is an original album, which means that all material is newly written - mostly by Nanne yourself. Peter's job is to take care of the technical things.

Though they have worked together for 32 years and been a couple for 27 of them - a very happy such that - they are very different when it comes to musical taste, explains Peter.

- There we do not have many commonalities. Imagine that you take two circles that overlap each other a little bit - it's the area we share.

- I like the most symphonic and classical. If I have too much influence, she tells quite sharply, haha. But we keep on until both feel satisfied. It might not be something that one expected, but it often gets really good though.

In the back of my mind, there are plans to do more own things, such as composing film scores. Most recently there were Kalle Blomkvist films that came from 1996 to 2001. And last fall, he began writing on  new One More Time album - Nannes and Peter's team that won the Eurovision Song Contest 1996 with the song Den Vilda, and where even the singer Maria Rådsten is included.

- It will be my next project and it gets a lot of newly written music that I myself make. I long very much after that.

Peter has a lot to chip off when it comes to music. Not least from father Benny Andersson, as he is one of Sweden's most popular musicians and hitmaker. Even mom Christina Grönvall has worked as a singer in the Elverkets Spelmanslag- it was also where she met Benny. Despite this, Peter dreamed as a child to be an astronomer. For various reasons, he also chose music track.

He tells that it started when as a very shy 12-year-old sat down in his dad's basement in Lidingö and played on the piano. Ten years later he formed with, the then girlfriend Angélique Widengren and Nanne group Sound of Music, which quickly gained great sucess. Since then things have rolled on.

What impact has your dad had on your music?
- Some seemed to think the Sound of Music had prawn sandwich all the way because my father's name was Benny Andersson, but it was rather a disadvantage. The first album we worked with very copious, and it became very good.

- Then it is clear that it has had an impact that I grew up with him. One has learned much from the beginning, it took me until much later to understand how important it was. Now it just feels good that dad  and I are doing the same thing, and it's reassuring. I always have someone to ask and someone to relate to
We have received some questions from site visitors: 
-We do not know wether Maria Ylipää (KRISTINA in Helsinki) has given birth to her second child. Propably, but obviously she wants to keep the baby as part of private life only  for some time.
-There still is no confirmation will MAMMA MIA! open at Svenska teatern in September 2014 (or later). The theatre did not want to comment MM! last week during the opening of their autumn season. A decision is expecteded to be done later this month or in September.
Kristina Lugn has been been one of the guests at På Djupet conversations at Stockholm Culture House during spring 2013.  Culture personalities discuss about their work. During the session Lugn has told that if they have a little luck, HJÄLP SÖKES may return to Orionteatern during spring 2014. Ans she also mentioned that the musical has been filmed for television. This was obviously the first time that a member of HS team tells in publicity about TV recording and possible new performances next year.
MAMMA MIA! will premiere at The Civic in Auckland, New Zealand, on march 4, 2014. Cast and ticket details will be announced during the next few months.
Radio Suomi, one of the channels of Finnish broadcasting company, has taken PERFUME IN THE BREEZE to their playing list. Last week it was 10th and the previous week 14th most played song. Previously THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU NOW was on the same chart.
5. (5:) BAO IN BOX
9. (10.) A
10. (8.) ABBA GOLD
21. (20.) MORE ABBA GOLD
The magazine Fokus has a large article about Benny Andersson. They have interviewed many people around Benny. The idea is  to describe how Benny has changed during the years and tell less known things about him. It appears that Benny has helped many people.
Lars Svensson, who made the bird singing set FÅGELSÅNG I SVERIGE tells about the project. Late 80ś Benny phones him and told that he is interested in birds, and has learnt hw many birds look like, but not how they sound like. And thought that many other people have the same problem. He would like to have a CD with singing of the most common birds, recorded digitally on stereo. Lars Svensson replied that he does not have a digital recorder. Benny said that he will fix it and one hour later Claes af Geijerstam arrived with a recorder. The next two years Svensson spent in the nature recording bird singing. The record became one of the most unexpected sales success, selling gold and new pressings taken several times. Lars Svensson tels Fokus that Benny was very generous when paying for the work. For 10-12 years after the release he got very good sum of royalties every year.
Kalle Moraeus tells that Bennyś interest and involvement into folk music had brought a lot of attention that this kind of music would not have got without him.
Economically poor artiste Peter Johansson tells that museum of Dalarna was interested to buy his works but did not have money. When Benny Andersson got to know this, he gave Dalarna museum chance to choose something from Johansssonś works, and Benny took care for paying for the artiste. Johansson tells that as public money into art is cut, bigger projects become impossible. In Sweden thereś no tradition to sponsor art, and in that climate, Benny Andersson is exceptional.
Folk music house in Rättvik had lost support from EU and there was a treath that they have to close down. Benny Andersson came in and helped.
Most recently he saved the filming of CIRKELN book, as the project was about to crash.
Lars Rudolfsson says that Benny Anderssons wants to support people who do not have money, and by that way can´t come into their own. This feature in Benny has grown stronger during the 20 years that Rudolfsson has known Benny.
Here a funny article about a Swedish lady, Marina Ingermardotter,  who recently met Benny in Leksand. Back in 1977 she had got ABBA dolls. She was a big fan of ABBA and became of course very happy about the dolls. She had wished that Björn and Agnetha were her parents. In 1979 the family moved and the Benny doll disappeared and her heart broke. All the years since that Marina has been wondering why Benny left the other members, and above all, why he left her! During BAO visit to Leksand, Marina managed to meet Benny and ask the questions. Lots of nice photos of the meeting in the article. Small local paper Leksandsbladet will have article of the meeting.
Aftonbladet´s reporter has followed BAO in the tour buss during the first concerts. A slideshow with over 50 pics mainly from backstage is included.
In the article Benny tells that the ABBA songs are the ones that average audience does not know. Even Kalle Moraeus and Tommy Körberg had not hear ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN before they rehearsed it!
Benny thinks the opening concert in Gothenburg was too long. He would like the concert to last four hours, not longer. New things during this tour are some towns that they have not visited before. In the set list there are 11 songs that they have not performed before. There are  more soulful songs thsi year, like BORTOM SOL OCH MÅNE, JAG HÖR, SAKNADENS RUM and the new DET FÖLL EN STEN FRÅN MITT HJÄRTA.
Leif Göras is the only BAO musician who likes to dance.
The band is taken carfe of during the tour. There´s breakfast, lunch and dinner is served one hour before the concert. In the buss there´s serving aswell. Calle Jacobsson says that one goes up ten kilos in weight during eight concerts.
Benny is DJ in the buss. For example " Smoke gets in your eyes” by The Platters, ”Runaway” by Del Shannon, ”Everybody’s somebodys fool” by Connie Francis and ”Seeman (deine heimat ist das meer)” by ­Lolita are played.
Apart from the musicans, also their family members travel  in the buss. Buss driver and sound and light technicians are the same ones as before.
Fave Benny songs of the BAO members:
Benny: FÖDELSEDAGS TILL MONA, Pälle Grebacken: BORTOM SOL OCH MÅNE, Helen Sjöholm THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL / whole KFD, Jörgen Stenberg THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL, Olle Moraeus DU MÅSTE FINNAS, Leif Göras THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL, Jogga Ernlund  FÖR DIG, Tommy Körberg BORTOM SOL OCH MÅNE, Calle Jacobsson CIRCUS FINEMANG; Perra Moraeus FÖR DIG though he thinks B&B have not yet written theirbest song, Kalle Moraeus VILAR GLAD I DIN FAMN, Janne Bengtsson WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE ME, Lars Rudolfsson BORTOM SÅL OCH MÅNE, Göran Arnberg BORTOM SOL OCH MÅNE, Nicke Göthe HEMMA, Leif Lindvall VILAR GLAD I DIN FAMN / BRUDMARCH
The attention around BAO tour has brought the band back on charts. Even their Xmas CD is selling during summer!
5. (13.)  BAO IN BOX
8. (14.) ABBA GOLD
10. (11.) A
20. (20.) MORE ABBA GOLD
During the first seven weeks, 70.000 tickets have been sold to ABBA THE MUSEUM. Typical visitor is a woman at her 40´s, who grew up with ABBA and has a lot of memories from that time.
 To keep the museum (and interest into it) alive, ABBA THE MUSEUM will arrange concerts, club and Sunday family events. And of course next year the 40th anniversary of WATERLOO will be made a big thing.  
excellent review and pics in Södermanlands Nyheter
review and lots of pics in Hej Kalmar!
brillinat review and pics in Barometern
short review i KalmarNytt
less favourable review in Helsingborg Dagbladet
Review in  Göteborgs Posten
Reviews in Expressen
Review in Aftonbladet
MAMMA MIA!, tenth longest running show on Broadway, will close at Winter Garden Theatre on October 19. It opens at slightly smaller Broadhurst Theatre on November 2.
BAO performed around 53 songs in Kalmar. Hej Kalmar´s rather young reviewer Emma Hulander gives 4 of 5 points. She thinks the best thing in the concert was Helen Sjöholm and worst that it was quite chilly as soon as the sun disappeared.
BAO´s concerts include new B&B song, DET FÖLL EN STEN FRÅN MITT HJÄRTA (It dropped a stone from my heart)
BAO played no less than 56 songs during their first summer concert in Gothenburg. Number of audience over 5.000
-two songs from HJÄLP SÖKES, including BORTOM SOL OCH MÅNE
-SAKNADENS RUM was performed live for the first time live
-four ABBA songs, including ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN
-the intrumental song LAUREEN has now English lyrics, called SIT TIGHT and vocals by Tommy Körberg
-JAG ÄR BLOTT EN MAN (written by B&B and Stig in 1972 for Jarl Kulle)
-TIVEDS HAMBO by Stikkan (ABBA sang this on video for him in 1986)
-DU ÄR MIN MAN was performed as quite different version
-everyone sanf happy birthday song for Kalle who recently reached the age of 50
Göteborgs Posten´s Joanna Wahlsten  gave 4 of 5 points.
Same points from Expressen´s Anders Björkman, who lists DU ÄR MIN MAN, O SOLE MIO and TIVEDS HAMBO as hightlights.
Also Aftonbladet´s Jens Petersen comes up with 4 of 5 points.
Musikindustrin writes about the effect of the BBC documentary to the sales of A in the UK and Australia. They have interviewed also Peter Nordahl. Says he about the next single:
-DANCE YOUR PAIN AWAY  has already landed number one on BBC Radio 2, and just jumped from place 80 to 27 on the total airplay chart in the UK, which is amazing after only a week or so.
-We have had a fantastic start with a new single that directly settles high on many national radio charts
-We expect it to be able to step up further in conjunction with the official release of the song and the new video. In parallel, we see the BBC's new documentary about Agnetha and her album to have "prime time" screening in most countries during the summer and early fall so the album should have great chances to go with the flow into the autumn sales.
Chair group of Svenska Teatern in Helsinki had a meeting today. They still could not yet make a decision about MAMMA MIA!  Chairman Sten Palmgren says that there´s principle decision that they want to make MAMMA MIA!, but some pieces of the puzzle are still missing, there´s still unclear economical details. There´s still a chance that economics can´t be fixed and MAMMA MIA! will not be staged in that case.  Final decision will be made during autumn when the chair group has better view about economical situation. It is also possible that the planned premiere in autumn 2014 will be moved to a later date.
KRISTINA taught to Svenska Teatern that counting working hours during a massive production is important. If there is a date set for a premiere and something goes wrong, lots of extra hours are needed and that is expensive.
Today, they are seen as one of the world's biggest pop bands, but it's easy to forget how mocked ABBA actually once was. The four members respond in personal interviews to questions they never received. In a unique story revises Di Weekends Jan Gradvall story of ABBA.

What has influenced and shaped ABBA,  is adversity, both on the personal level and career-wise. 1980s was a cold  decade for ABBA. The group's last two singles flopped, the world had moved on to other music. From 1982 to 1992, ABBA songs were seldom heard  on the radio. Group's albums were listed as expired and disappeared from the shops.
"We were totally committed that everything was over," says Benny Andersson.
"We believed that royalties would continue to come in during 1983, possibly that it would last until 1984, but beyond that? Never. There ais  even a paper (decision) that we were convinced of that. "

"In the 1980's we were away from the radar," agrees Björn Ulvaeus.
"The general consensus then was that ABBA was really uncool. If, like me are prone to low self-confidence, then it was hard not to think, 'Well, that's it, this is the end.' "

ABBA  never split officially. Releases ran dry only. In conjunction wit UNDER ATTACK, the group's last single, was released in late 1982 was also a double compilation album with the optimistic title THE SINGLES: THE FIRST TEN YEARS.

But there was no "The next ten years". It was a break that got longer and longer and longer. And that lasted until now, when the members symbolically reunited by all four signed this cover for Di Weekend - yes, all the signatures are fresh - and everyone agreed for own interview.

"I know it is regarded as a shame to do this, but I like the most when it's freezing," says Agnetha Fältskog, looking out to the sides and spoons then up a couple of ice cubes in her glass of wine with chablis.
For ten days in May, Agnetha Fältskog lives at the Corinthia Hotel in London. She checked in under a pseudonym.

London trip is Agnetha Fältskog's first overseas stay and airfare for decades. A journalist from one of Germany's largest newspapers is informed that his interview time has been postponed in the tight schedule. He replies, "No problem. I can wait, I've been waiting for this for 30 years. "

Agnetha Fältskog is not just a glamorous leading lady, she was and is also deeply involved in all aspects of music making. She is a driven pianist and songwriter.
Those who worked with you highlights that apart from your voice, you also have a unique ability to make lyrics alive, to interprete them.
"It's always difficult to tell yourself what you are good at. I know I can sing, I can write. But what I'm really good at is just that: to understand what the text is about. I always ask questions about the background of the text, go into it, the text becomes. "

A bit like an actor working?
"Yes. I go into the bubble when I sing. During the recording, there is nothing else. "

How often do you sit down at the piano?
"Unfortunately, far too seldom these days. People wonder what I've done in all the years I have not been seen in the media, but I've been busy. I have a farm with horses to care for and I have grandchildren.
The four ABBA members were all very young when they began  in the music seriously. The journalist Malcolm Gladwell has a theory that all who are truly good at something, whether it be science, business, art, and have spent at least 10,000 hours to improve themselves.

ABBA members had all 10,000 hours behind them before they started the group. Björn Ulvaeus was 16 when he formed in Västervik West Bay Singers, model Hootenanny Singers, 18 when he got a record deal with Stig Anderson.

Benny Andersson played piano for the audience when he was 13-14 years old and was 18 when he became a member of the Hep Stars. Anni-Frid Lyngstad was 13 when she began singing with various dance bands. Agnetha was 15. When she was 17, she got her first number one in Sweden.
One reason that ABBA both formed and finished to appear as band, are the two marriages in the group. Agnetha and Björn were married in 1971, had two children and divorced in 1979. Frida and Benny met early 1970s, married in 1978 and divorced in 1981. They had no children together, but they both had with their children from previous marriages.

ABBA also did the music of their divorces. THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL has its origins in the divorce between Agnetha and Björn.WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE  is Frida's and Benny's counterpart.

After the divorce, Frida met in the 1980's Ruzzo Reuss, German prince and landscape architect. When they married in 1992, she received the title of Princess Anni-Frid Reuss, Countess of Plauen. Seven years after the marriage, Ruzzo Reuss passed away from cancer.
She lives in the Swiss alpine village of Zermatt with view to Matterhorn. Her latest solo album, DJUPA ANDETAG, was released in 1996. Since then she has not made an album and have no plans to do.

Anni-Frid Synni Lyngstad was born in Norway in November 1945. His father was a soldier from the German occupying forces. Because of the way "german-child" was received in Norway after the war, Anni-Frid moved to her  grandmother in Torshälla where she grew up.

Anni-Frid was the main stage artist in ABBA, who most clearly showed that she liked being on stage. One of ABBA's hallmark is the contrast between Agnetha´s bright pop voice and Frida's darker soul voice. The depth she reaches in songs such as THE KING HAS LOST HIS CROWN, makes one  shiver.

"I love soul. I have listened my whole life soul and R & B. "
What is the soul that you like so much?
"The fact that it goes straight to the heart. There is a deeply language. There is a resonance in the soul, a way to process all kinds of emotions. Body and soul are merged and become one in soul music. "

Is it a dream that sometime sing with Stevie Wonder?
"I've actually done! At a friend's birthday (EF-billionaire Bertil Hult) I sang with Stevie Wonder and Elton John together Happy birthday on his birthday party. It was great for me. "

Benny is the one of the four ABBA members who is by far the most active today. He tours and releases new album with BAO, Benny Andersson Orkester. Parallel with their musical projects,  Björn and Benny collobrate in silence with BAO. Bjorn pulls in and write lyrics to a few songs on each album. Each BAO album thus has a couple of new songs with Andersson-Ulvaeus as composer name, a world news if they bothered to advertise it.
Benny Andersson continuously produces music for films, theater and stage productions. He did the music for the Palme documentary. Right now he works with his son Ludvig with the film adaptation of the acclaimed youth novel Circle, where they have stepped in as producers for the movie.

"I like to keep going."

How often do you sit and write new music in this way?
"Every day. I sometimes get asked, 'How long does it take to write a new song?'. A few years ago I made a list of how much music I have written in my life. Hep Stars, ABBA, Chess, Kristina från Duvemåla, BAO, the works. Alltogether around 20 hours of music. No more comes out of them. If you divide the 20 hours in 50 years, you get the answer: how long does it take to write a song. "
Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson first met in June 1966. Two of 1960's biggest Swedish band was out touring in the summer Sweden: Hootenanny Singers with Bjorn on vocals and guitar and Hep Stars with Benny on keyboards.

Hootenanny Singers had to join in the military service. At the roadside, they encountered the Hep Stars, and invited them to an after party by shouting: "Party in Lidköping"

"We were somwhere in Skara neighborhood," recalls Benny Andersson.

"We thought: fun, we will! In the evening we drifted around in Lidköping and were looking for their hotel. But there was no hotel with that name. After we called someone, it turned out that we had heard wrong - they had said Linköping. It was not so much to do. We drove there instead and arrived a few hours late. "

"We partied so long that we are forced out of the hotel," says Björn Ulvaeus.
"Early in the morning, when the sun came up, I sat and Benny in a park with acoustic guitars and played Beatles songs."

In today's history books state that Benny Andersson wrote the music and Björn Ulvaeus wrote the lyrics.
It was not so. All ABBA songs they wrote together, although Benny pulled the main load musically and Björn Ulvaeus wrote the lyrics.

Even during their heyday in the 1970's, ABBA got no recognition at home. Profiles and powerbroker in Swedish television and radio - there were only government channels - declared that ABBA's music was shallow and reprehensible. ...Nynningen and NJA Group were better. Even the music teacher at my school laughed at ABBA.

When ABBA had just won the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton with WATERLOO, they were met by a reporter from Rapport, who did not  congratulate, but held out the microphone under their noses and asked if it was distasteful to make entertainment of a fight where so many people died.

"The media brought up prog as the world thing. But record sales during the same time gives a very different picture of what was widely rooted in folk depth. It was aus and the dance bands. When prog wave peaked, we issued an album (ABBA THE ALBUM, 1977) which  in Sweden alone was pre-ordered in 760,000 copies. It felt pretty good. "

The revaluation of ABBA began in 1992. One sign was that U2 during their visually groundbreaking Zoo TV Tour played a cover of DANCING QUEEN. During the gig at Globen in Stockholm  Björn and Benny stepped, without warning, on stage and  backed Bono on guitar and piano.

Another sign was that when Nirvana - the world's hottest bands during that year - played at the festival Reading in England, Kurt Cobain personally wanted to have ABBA Coverband Bjorn Again as support act. Kurt Cobain said that he loved ABBA, and shockwaves went through the grunge crowd. That it was regarded gay to like ABBA was solely for the benefit of Kurt Cobain who hated rock's guy culture.

In May 1989, Stig Anderson sold the company Sweden Music, including the entire ABBA catalogue, to the multinational giant Polygram. The sale created strained relations with ABBA members. The price has been stated to be around 300 million Swedish crowns - a gigantic understatement, in retrospect. But, as I said, nobody thought ABBA was worth something at the end of the 1980s.

ABBA catalogue was until Polygrams takeover, spread across a variety of record labels in different countries in a way that differs from ABBA from other world class groups. In the U.S., ABBA was at  Atlantic, in England at Epic, in Australia at RCA, Polydor in Germany, in Sweden on Polar.

"Stig simply took the whatever deals he got when he traveled around with WATERLOO," says Benny Andersson.

"The interest was pretty weak. Stig said by that time, 1974, everal record labels said that it's out with the piano in pop. "

Polygram cleaned up the label  confusion, pulled out all the old editions, all the old albums and collections, and focused instead on collection ABBA GOLD  that was released in late 1992. Opening song was DANCING QUEEN. It proved to be one of therecord history's brightest decision.

ABBA GOLD has today sold in 30 million copies worldwide. In Sweden, the album is still this week on sale list. In Britain ABBA GOLD recently passed the Beatles Sgt. Pepper on the list of all time best selling albums and is now in second place. (Number one is Queens Greatest Hits).

Update: here complete list of played songs.
The Duellen programme with Benny Andersson and music journalist and critic Camilla Lundberg was aired last week.
Lundberg chose the first song, LAUREEN from SÅNGER FRÅN ANDRA VÅNINGEN film.  Benny chose then Schuman´s piano quintet. After that she played French music then Benny wanted to play in his opinion one the best pop recording ever, Beach Boys´GOOD VIBRATIONS.  Scott Walker´s rare song  was Camilla´s next song, Benny had not heard it before. In the beginning of his career Benny felt that the music was the most important thing, later on he discovered that is important that the singer is good, production is good and everything else, the whole package must be good. FIELDS OF GOLD  by Eva Cassidy (1963-1996) was the next song from Benny´s wishlist. Benny discovered her after the singer´s early death.  For the next we got to hear Francis Polland´s music. Benny wanted to hear choir music.
Benny told how he found classical music. During Hep Stars time on a gig in Falkenberg there  was no place for Benny and Svenne Hedlund in the place where they intend to sray the night and they got place to sleep at Walter Petterson, record store owner. He played a record of Rossini for Benny and there it started.
When Benny, for reason that he can´t remember, met Camilla Lundberg when he was working on CHESS, Lundberg said that they must go to London and record with London Symphony Orchestra. During the chat Benny remembered that they met on stairs at dinner of Swedish King, and there Lundberg suggested using LSO.  Camilla then played MOUNTAIN DUET from CHESS.  Benny thinks that Tommy Körberg today is even better than during CHESS period. He wonders how long a singer can get better and better.
Maria Callas was discussed and Benny played SAMSON ET DELIA.  Both duel partners then chose pieces by Bach. For the next hear Pavarotti & co doing Quartet from Rigoletto.

Benny and Björn were interviewed in Stockholm, Frida answered questions from Majorca. And Agnetha at hotel Corinthia. jan Grandvall tells that team of the latest Star Trek film and actor Jeremy Piven stayed at the hotel at the same time. But when Agnetha walked in the hotel, people stopped and had another look.

Expressenś Anders Nunsteds has written interesting ABBA chronicle:

They stopped at the right time

There is no longer any reason for ABBA to reunite.

The question is if there ever was one.

What unites ABBA to the Beatles, except they did immediate but complex pop music gone to music history, is also their short careers.

Beatles albums career spanned just over eight years. 1973 stepped Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid into ESC ("Ring Ring Ring" was third), later that year, they took the name ABBA. Eight years and some world successes later, the last studio album, THE VISITORS came out.

Then, put the point with a collection album. In perfect time.

in the  DI-interview  ABBA Frida regards  the band's final album as her personal favorite. That  is no stupid choice. Just as the Beatles last album, "Let it be".

But between the notes and text lines is  heard  the sound of the  four members on the way to elsewhere

The cries of reunion have never stopped, despite successful solo moments, acclaimed musical adventure and other projects, but in retrospect appears ABBA  members' disinterest to hike the nostalgic comeback road as one of their many genius.

Had they continued to give out records together had their magical 70's probably never reached the enormous recognition that met them in the form of "Mamma Mia". They had become the Bee Gees. They had been sharing museum sign with Roxette and Europe instead of getting their own.

Agnetha Fältskog is now the most current ABBA member. The album "A", which came in May, is a fine disc.

It is also very revealing where uartet stands today. They have moved on, a long ago.

The DI-story outlines a clear picture of a band that never had any problems wrestle comeback monster. The members ended ABBA 30 years ago. It was as bold,  as it was clever.

Weekend issue of newspaper Dagens Industri has 15 pages article of ABBA. Respected journalist Jan Gradvall has interviewed all ABBA members separately. Agnetha he met in London

Agnetha tells that she  has in her bedroom a box including photos. There are pictures of people who she loves, has loved , children, grandchildren, dogs. When asked how often she opens this box, she says "Often"

When Agnewtha began working on her comeback album, she got pain in the throat. About her studio routines Agnetha tells that she likes to sit close to the microphone. And she indeed prefers to sit, not stand, when singing in the studio.

Agnetha regards herself now as better singer after all the life experience. One gets so much to share out and for Agnetha singing is the way to shere what she has to give.

Agnetha tells about recording of THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC. They tried it different ways, for ex where she sings like Doris Day,. The version that ended up on THE ALBUM was recorded when Agnetha was pregnant . There was danger that she will give a birth too early, so her doctor ordered Agnetha to take it easy and mainly lay down. But ABBA had to get a new album out,  so re-recording of TYFTM was done Agnetha laying in kind of rest chair.

During the countless interviews in London, Agnetha has taken walks in Soho, and visited spa. Not really doing any sightseeing keeping in mind that she has not been in London for decades.

A new campus for Royal Music College in Stockholm is being built on Valhallavägen. The new music centrum will have concert halls and modern studio complex. The building projectt takes three years.

The college has decided to do the interior by themselves to cut down the rental expenses. Modern interior and technique is expected to cost  114 million Crowns. The money tha tthe college gets from the goverment, is meant for education, not for buying equipments. Two founds have donated alltogether 45 million Crowns.  So, 69 million Crowns are missing.

Benny Andersson wants to help the college to get private sponsor money for the college. Partly because he thinks that good education is important, but he als oadds:

-If things go as is expected, it will  also attract people who have nothing to do with music that way, actively. I think they will find their way here. They will find the Valhallavägen and say "this is a pretty nice place to be." We can see it, we can listen to it., It can really become a living place and I'll do what I can to contribute for it.

Last weekend Benny was in Orsa to record Moraeus med mera.

Benny is happy that things are going so well for Kalle Moraeus, who Benny regards as very talented. However, referring to himself, Benny said it would be good to watch out that one doesn´t say yes to all offers for projects that one gets.

Orsa is a very dear place for Benny. back in 1987, at 40th birthday party of Anders Hanser he met by then 23 years old Kalle Moraeus. A bit later on they met at pensionate in Fryksås and Kalle had brought in five friends from Orsa Spelmänslag. They played together music from all genres during the evening, til early morning. That is the best evening that Benny has had in Orsa. That was the beginning of Orsa Spelmän and collobration has continued since then. BAO was a natural developent for that.

BAO was a side project in the beginning, but is now Benny´s main thing. But it is not easy to get all the musicians together at the same time, who have their own jobs. Recently Benny tried to fix a meeting, but only four were able to  attend.

Concert at Sammilsdalsgropen in Leksand is something that Benny looks forward to. They try to play there on all summer tours, it is perfect place for concerts. As BAO doesn´t tour all the time, base of the repertoire will be the same as on previous tour. But there will be songs that were played for ten years ago for the last time. Usually BAO rehearses only once before tours, but this year they need to meet twice.

Though Benny has a long career behind him, se still burns to do more. he wants to find new ways, wants to develope and learn new things. He was reesponsible for all the music production for the MAMMA MIA! film and it was very stimulating. He now has the bigger film project CIRKELN with his son Ludvig. Premiere will likely take place sometimes during 2015.

During the last few years Benny has been active in political issues, but he can´t think of doing political music. For the first he doesn´t write lyrics and for the second it would feel wrong. In relation to what he has done this far, political music would feel strange. Benny prefers to say what he thinks, it works better that way than doing the same via music.

Artistes for this year´s season were announced today. No BAO nor Agnetha will be there.
MAMMA MIA! will be staged as German version at Wiener Raimund Theatre during spring 2014. Premiere march 15 and last show on June 29, altogether almost 90 perfromances.
A was number 43 on it´s third chart week in Finland. Number 1 for two weeks has been teen sensation Isac Elliot, he was chosen by B&B into one of the child roles of KRISTINA in Helsinki.
Good news for Agnetha is that Finnish broadcasting company YLE´s channel Radio Suomi has taken THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU NOW into their playing list and the song is their 4th most played song.
2. A
39. ABBA
A has sold gold in Sweden.
Agnetha´s A is number 2 on Swedish album chart this week. Gyllene Tider remains number 1 with almost double sales compared to Agnetha. Together numbers 1 and 2 take 1/3 sales of the whole album chart.
Svenska Teatern has published some statistics about KRISTINA:
-1/3 of the audience has been Finnish speaking, many of them had never before been at Svenska Teatern
-1/3 Swedish speaking Finns
-1/3 from Sweden and rest of the world
-after premiere on February 29, 2012 KRISTINA was performed 189 times
-total numbr of audience is 108.400 (average 573 per performance)
-filled capacity 96% is record for Svenska Teatern
-38% of the audience was for the first time at Svenska Teatern
-16% did not know that Svenska teatern exists before the ybought a ticket to KRISTINA
-34% have been at Svenska Teatern before KRISTINA
-over 200 people were involved into making of KRISTINA
 MAY 24: SWEDISH CHARTSAgnetha´s A is number 3 THIS WEEK.  MAY 24: MAMMA MIA AT SVENSKA TEATERNBjörn Ulvaeus said yesterday for newspaper Ilta-sanomat that Svenska Teatern is a wonderful theatre and KRISTINA was a world class production. He thinks very positively towards possible future collobration with Svenska Teatern, but did not say more.S venska Teatern admits for Ilta-Sanomat that it is no secret that they are interested in producing MAMMA MIA! At present it is question about money. Musicals, especially international ones, are expensive. Decision about MAMMA MIA! will be made in August. Although KRISTINA performances were 96% full and tickets cost over 80 euros, the musical has not brought much money for the theatre.  MAY 24: MARIA SID´S COLLOBRATION WITH B&B CONTINUESMaria Sid, who was director´s assistant in KRISTINA and took care of it during it's run unveiled yesterday that her collobration with Benny and Björn continues. She can´t yet tell how. Maybe she will local director of MAMMA MIA!? Sid has been working in Sweden aswell, so it could be a job in Sweden aswell. MAY 24: FINAL KRISTINA AT SVENSKA TEATERNYesterday, KRISTINA FRÅN DUVEMÅLA was performed for the last time  at Svenska Teatern. Benny. Björn and Lars were there, though they did not enter the stage during curtain call. From production team also Anders Eljas and Görel Hanser arrived to Helsinki. Another wonderful thing was that the original main couple of KRISTINA, Helen Sjöholm and Anders Ekborg attended the final KRISTINA. Today newspaper Ilta-sanomat dedicates two pages and Huvudstadsbladet one page plus half of the front cover for KRISTINA. Ilta-lehti has one page article.  Huvudstadsbaldet: Anders Ekborg tells that his whole life changed with KRISTINA. Anders willingly admited that he was moved by the performance yesterday , specially when watching Robert Noack doing his old role. He cried, the performance was like he expected it to be. I loved the perfromance, was Helen's comment. She learnt a lot of working during the five years she did KRISTINA.  Both Sjöholm and Ekborg sing certain "solo" KRISTINA songs in their concerts, though Helen thinks that duests are the most exciting songs. Maria Ylipää gets her second child during summer. She tells that the baby moves all the time when she is on stage, not during certain numbers. Maria says it is not that bad the baby grows with tones of Benny Andersson. The most important experience for Maria during the 15 months as Kristina? She has learnt to feel safe on stage. Oskar Nilsson is grateful for getting a lot of stage experience and said it felt empty and sad after the final performance.  Robert Noack says that his voice has developed and he has become a singer. His next wotk will be at Västmanlands Tweater in Vesterås. Birthwe Wingren belongs to Svenska Teatern´s ensemble and her next work in the autumn is the musical. JunglebookIlta-sanomat:Birthe Wingren tells that emotions were on surface during the last performance, every time that she met someone at stage, she felt this is goodbye. Oskar Nilsson did not yet even understand that they are finishing now. Maria Sid says that she usually cries during same scenes, she knows every line of the script. Lars Rudolfsson was sad, the team has been together since November 2011, people become friends quickly and the play becomes one´s whole life. Lars has visited Svenska Teatern about 15 times after the premiere. Helen Sjöholm comments that lyrics have changed a lot, they have become shorter and the play itself has changed, but the most important things are still there. Benny and Björn were impressed about the final KRISTINA. Benny: It was really, really good. The actors were still able to be focused after 190 performances. They played with full heart and concentrated. And how the music worked between them and the orchestra, the dynamics has developed really a lot. Iltalehti:We get to know that Maria Ylipää did the main role in during 170 of the 190 performances. Maria does not unveil her coming roles after baby leave. Oskar Nilsson next work will be in Norrköping. Maria Sid flew after KRISTINA finale to China to start the musical project Play me. Benny and Björn believed that some theatre in Sweden will soon againThey have no plans for a new musical. MAY 22: PICS MAY 22: MORAEUS MED MERAThird season of Kalle Moraeus TV show Moraeus med mera will be recorded this summer in Orsa. On the 4th of the 8 recording dates, June 8, Benny will perform with HJÄLP SÖKES cast members Sofia Pekkari, Johan Ulveson and Magnus Roosman. Screening of the shows start in the end of August.

Swedish Film Institute has started gender equality project collect Augmented Society. One of the first persons to write for their page is Benny Andersson.

This week KRISTINA closes in Helsinki with 110.000 people seen it. Finnish TV´s Swedish department have visited Svenska Teatern to meet the four main actors to hear their feelings. Robert Noack says KRISTINA has been a great experience, but now it is time to go on. Birthe Wingren tells that it is alway sad when something ends, but that is part of theatre job. Maria Ylipää, who is pregnant, says it is getting hard for h
ard for her to jump around the stage. Oskar Nilsson and Noack come from Sweden, both mention closeness to the sea as best part of Helsinki
MAY 19: A



Agnetha was presented the SKAP award at release party of A. Obviously she will not attend the speing party of SKAP next week. Attending the A party were Eva Dahlgren and Ingmarie Hallning.
Anders Samuelsson: *** of *****
Are you one A in ABBA, each new album release is a big event. Therefore, it is nice to Agnetha Fältskog, for once, may show that it does not fall flat. The ballads dominate, as Fältskog's characteristically bright voice, on a disc that breathes just enough ABBA.

One can certainly pick on the harmless it and hackneyed lyrics. But it's dressed in a production that fit and ultimately, it sounds as a whole. Piano-based "I was a flower" and "I keep them on my floor beside my bed" stand out. In these days when the ABBA museum opens and a possible ABBA reunion is in the news again, it's nice that someone in the group looking forward.
Agnetha enters Swedish album chart´s position 2. That´s fantastic, as the album came out on Monday. and sales of just two days are counted to the newest chart. Gyllene Tider remains number one, with about double sales of A during seven days. Another new entry, Rod Stewart´s latest, is number 7.   
 MAY 17: "A" REVIEW FROM SWEDISH NEWSPAPER NYA WERMLANDS TIDNINGENJohanna Karlsson: ** of ***** Boring easy listening Of all the famous people in Sweden, Agnetha Fältskog, second only to the royal family, must be one of the most protected we have. 39 years after Brighton victory with "Waterloo" Agnetha still a mythical person, although her ordinaress becomes more and more striking for each rare interview made​​.The last time,  Agnetha "spoke out" was with Fredrik Skavlan in SVT. Then she told me that it was not intended that there would be more records, but to songwriter and producer duo Jorgen Elofsson and Peter Nordahl had ideas she could not refuse.Fanatical ABBA fans will of course love this course, but everyone else should see this album for what it is; watered down and boring easy listening. All credit, however, for Gary Barlow, who does what he can in the duet I should've Followed you home.  
Mikael Forsell: *** of *****
If looking at this record as an extension of the intelligent pop wonder Abba was one becomes disappointed. Looking at it as a sequel to the anxious cover album Agnetha did almost ten years ago, the singer has taken giant strides forward. Songwriters have written a bunch of mature pop songs that fit Agnetha really good. She sings in a thoughtful and special way, as if groping its way in an unknown environment, after so many years of absence from the recording studio. One wishes that she could take on a little more and at its best is when she actually does it, as in gumdiscolåten Dance the pain away.
You should be subscriber of DN to read the review online. But the few linesthat are freely available, promise quite positive review:
Agnetha Fältskog´s voice still holds
Agnetha Fältskog´s first record since 1987 is a strong comeback - sings about loneliness with straight nerves. But challenging it is not.
Swedish news agency TT Spektra has made a new item about Agnetha´s album being 4th best selling album in England on mid-week chart. The news is widely published in Swedish media.
Benny will take Swedish radio P2's "Duellen - A ping-pong match in music associations" on June 9 at 12:03:
Camilla Lundberg and Benny Andersson are the first in the summer series duel in P2. The program in which two musical personalities come together with the Swedish Radio legendary record archive and associate about emotions and musical references that are brought by the music they play for each other.
Amidst all possible music, one of the participants selects the first piece. Then  the other one is free to begin to associate the music and choose own piece from the archive.
The very first meeting is between music critic and journalist Camilla Lundberg and composer Benny Andersson. Here, for example, we hear the story of who influenced Benny's choice of orchestra  for CHESS and the Royal family's role in the process.

They of course speak about music and will include in on how hard it must be with perfect pitch.
- I don't think that  perfect pitch is needed to something, says Benny Andersson.
Lars Landström: *** of *****
Impressive comeback by Agnetha FältskogI stood a few feet away Agnetha Fältskog as she sat in a van and wrote autographs after ABBA's concert on the outdoor stage at Strömsborgsvägen in Nora, a dance hall in Kramfors. I had no pen and did not dare ask her if she had any myself.
In a few months it is 40 years since I saw ABBA playing in Kramfors. Agnetha Fältskog had the most charisma on stage of the  members of ABBA. I've seen it with my own eyes. She was also apart from Benny Andersson most seasoned songwriter. By the spring of 1967, she had her first hit with her own song ("Jag var så kär").

Agnetha Fältskog is not musically innovative with her first CD of new songs since 1988 (1996, she released the double-CD "My Love My Life").
Why would she be there anyway?

But Agnetha is back with all their creativity in full containers. There are songs on this record that belongs to the best she's done.
The powerful ballad "I Was a Flower" about a girl who follows a nice guy until she is no longer a flower.

Best pop song with a delicious chorus and the song that has the biggest hit-feeling: "Back On Your Radio".

There are a couple songs that float by without making a major fuss. "Dance your pain away" has a pretty good lyrics and she sings well, but it sounds like a disco song from 1973.
It discourages me from giving it a higher rating.

But with that exception, this is a CD that will not make any of her many admirers around the world disappointed.

It is 24 years ago Agnetha recorded her own song for the last time

It's just great performers as such does not mean anything at all.

Anders K. Gustafsson: *** of *****
Agnetha Fältskog has been often over the years been portrayed as odd and shy because she does not seem to have any interest in appearing in the media all the time. I think it seems to be perfectly normal. Just to live in peace as a former superstar with tons of money is not very eccentric, and to set up the interviews is the maximum voluntary.

Now she has been persuaded to venture into the limelight, with a bunch of songs that lure. And it is a worthy comeback, especially compared with 1987's "I stand alone" mode, where more effort was put on hair than the music.

A is a mature, rather than modern record, with aspirations towards the timeless classic and magnificent. Sometimes you find the right in the quest, as in the opening track "The one who loves you now", or brittle "Bubble", but for exmple in "Past forever" and "I'll keep them on the floor beside my be"  it sounds a tad dated. The echo from ABBA's discoera is nothing that sounds different in "Dancing the pain away". As a whole, it is stable, but a little boring.
Henrik Linberg:
Somewhere I was sympathetic until I started listening to Agnetha Fältskog's new album. I was hoping it would be fine, that this shy superstar would step forward and show her skills. Although the years have passed, her voice is  intact. It's still neat, clear, mild and slightly aloof.

Agnetha has no voice just knocks everything in it's path. But she has the ability to brighten a great dish. As in ABBA where everything rested on strong songs and distinctive sound.

A good team is needed around for Agnetha to get the best out of her.

But I collapse and shake my  head.

Do not know if Agnetha herself has handpicked songwriter and producer, or an untalented record company guy  got the mandate. Anyway, it just goes wrong.

Bungler with greasy fingers has been allowed to rampant in the studio. Not a tone, not a grant, nothing escapes the retina curse.

Anxiousty becomes so big that you can not even trust the forces of Agnetha's voice. For safety, the butter knife bre over her too.

It ends in some kind of cool rippling schlagerpop. Too bad, it could have been so much better.
Ulf Gustavsson: **** of *****
Agnetha on best form
Her best solo album comes unexpectedly late in her career - if one can say 'career' of Agnetha Fältskog's sparse, short-term return appearances as an artist over the past two-three decades.

As blonde boyhood dream in the phenomenon ABBA, she put the world under her  feet in the 1970s, along with Björn, Benny and Frida. Of this resembles the new ABBA museum on Djurgården in Stockholm. But Agnetha was far more than just a poster face. Her bright distinctive voice, both unmannered and softly sensual, was an important cog in the special ABBA sound, and it was her voice that stood out in several of the group's biggest hits - "The winner takes it all", "Take a chance on me" and "One of us", to name a few.

One should also not forget her earliest career as a young Swedish schlager lass who wrote her songs herself, which was to say the least unusual in an era when most songs of Svensktoppen radio chart had American origin, or came from established (mostly male) composers.

Then after ABBA's outrageous success and world tours, publicized marriage and divorce, she became known as pop music's own Greta Garbo. This is through her media timidity, and by consistently leaving limelights, with the exception of a few solo albums - the artistic comebacks that blew past almost as fast as they were presented.

Without wishing to appear as yet another stalker, I can not help but mention how I almost stumbled on her feet at the premiere of Kristina från Duvemåla in Malmö. There she sat iclose to me, and I - dropped mouth open. Just like the assembled journalists in the foyer immediately pounced on her.

Now the producer and songwriter pair Jörgen Elofsson and Peter Nordahl have unlikely succeeded in resurrecting Agnetha defunct career, with an album that has its strength in not trying to restyle or launch her in some special way, no catchy "modernizations" as in some previous solo projects but rather as a starting point to utilize and highlight her voice as much as possible.

And the voice is fully intact, despite several years of inactivity and the fact that Agnetha is 63 this year.May be that occasional singing lesson has been spent to get her on form again. The new album with the telling name A (ABBA) is a warm and romantic excursion in old embossed melodic pop that fits her still silvery, clear singing voice like a glove.

Jörgen Elofsson and Peter Nordahl seem to have been inspired both by the classic ABBA sound and Agnetha's early solo hits, in a kind of ABBA-pop of a little more homespun twist. With a large soundstage languishing in "When you really loved someone", and stylish ballad pop in her own "I'll keep them on the floor beside my bed" - yes, even 70s disco "Dance your pain away".

Or bubblegum type Middle of the road in the "Back on your radio". Musically hear the disc at home there and then, no doubt. But there's a bright and a bit naive root in Elofsson's and Nordahls light pop that appeals, at times almost like a 16-year-Robyn in mature vintage. Feels liberating unstyled, and really good. Patinated nostalgy pop for the wee hours.

Best track: When you really loved someone
Håkan Engström ** of *****
When ABBA split up, songwriters queued to give Agnetha Fältskog a sharper image with modern pop production. The outcome often felt halfheartedly.

When she returns with newly written songs, signed Jörgen Elofsson, in production of Peter Nordahl, the..pop songs are very few These sound without exception also mostly hollow. Do we want to hear Agnetha with autotune, as on the childish "Back On Your Radio"?

The heart is there in the big ballads, directly related to the oldies record that she did in the 00s: mildly pompous songs, carefully modernized, sometimes classy, sometimes just a cliché-ridden or so gracefully wrapped that they slide past. The voice she has left. It should get more to do.

Best track: The One Who Loves You Now
You should be a subsriber to be able to read HNś review. Only the very beginning of the review can bee read without logging in:
Mature pop songs at suit for Fältskog

It all depends on what expectations you have. Looking at this album as a direct extension of the intelligent pop wonder ABBA, one becomes disappointed. This is something different from it. One must understand that right away.
Jan Andersson:  *** of ****
Agnetha Fältskog has a sympathetic and sometimes roar stylished disc.
It takes fifteen seconds. Then ABBA
 rushes through your head.

Not because the opening track "The one who loves you" sounds like a hit, feels particularly Björn & Benny-scented or even Michael B Tretow-fleshy. No, the reason is of course Agnetha Fältskog's voice - the dreamy, clear, wistful, and in the cortex forever imprinted.
With her archetypal ABBA voice follows the memory of endless summer vacation, of dill chips and thumbed cartoonbook, wet towels on the bridge in Lerkil, tangled cassette tape and unplanned bike tours, Björn Borg-finals in the summer house, the old house, the one with woodmat and composting toilet.

The memories pile up, not only because of Agnetha Fältskog's surprisingly sustained voice, also the producers and songwriters Jörgen Elovsson and Peter Nordahl must be added.
Where Agnetha for nearly ten years ago went completely astray with her cover album "My coloring book", has Elovfson / Nordahl written songs that match Agnetha's voice perfectly, actually let her shine, and which also feel completely timeless. This could have been in 1973 as well as 2013. 
In good and bad.

"When you really loved someone" is vibrant and dramatic with lavish strings from the Royal Radio Symphony Orchestra, "Perfume in the breeze" sounds like a bittersweet Air Supply-hit from the early 80s (complete with whistles and a sound brass nod to Flash And The Pan) and the previously me
ntioned "The one who loves you"  a different singer could have easily make into a languorous Eurovision entry type Malta, but thanks to Agnetha's voice grows for each verse and landing finally in something like a sleek Bacharach flirt.

That was the good.
There are other things too.

"I was a flower" and "Past Forever" is a pair of strangely pale ballads which are not able to keep the interest alive, the duet "I should've Followed you home" had definitely worked better with Robbie Williams than with colourless Gary Barlow, and the bouncing disco ball "Dance your pain away" feel in this context completely ... well, apart.
Much like the melancholy sweeping "Bubble", a song that never gets out of that bubble where Agnetha obviously has been in since ABBA split in 1982.

That said, this is very ympathetic and sometimes roar sleek disc which allows us to iron the perhaps biggest question mark around a reunion. Agnetha voice holds.
Hannes Grönberg:
For simplicity, we can call the genre as adult pop. It's pop music designed for the everyday tribulations, pop for bills, work and pick ups  in kindergartens. It is also pop where every sound knows it´s place, as carefully decorated like a living room plastered on Solsidan.

Agnetha Fältskog has been Swedish champion in this genre ever since "Elva kvinnor i ett hus" from 1975, an album that still sounds quite unique in its blend of natural wisdom and blue-eyed naivete. Today's 25 year olds sing about line to the club, Agnetha sang the lunch line at work.

In interviews before her first album with new material in 26 years she still emphasizes how ordinary she is deep down inside. And nothing on the "A" says against her.

Songwriters Jörgen Elofsson and Peter Nordahl don´t try to recreate ABBA's great achievements, even less they want to make  Agnetha Fältskog to a modern electro queen. Instead, they dress her in the most casual adult sound you can imagine. "A" is a suite of songs that never play over, which is so tasteful that they are likely to melt down in the Ikea sofa, but also shows new details for each listening.

With another singer, it could have become very boring. But despite prestories of singing lessons and low self-confidence, Agnetha Fältskog sings as if the 70s never ended. The voice is crystal clear, and she still has the ability to become one with her songs, getting every phrase sound as if it's about her.

Therefore it is disappointing that the lyrics do not venture further away from love ballad's most beaten paths. A pop album as adult as "A" had deserved lyrics about falling asleep in front of the TV and flip through the paper at work.
Translated with Google
Geir Hovensjo: **** of *****
Does she succeed? She creates the same magic? The whole world knows ABBA, and when expectations are high when some of the members tries again.
Agnetha Fältskog has had a long sleep.

On her fifth album in English she uses her voice for the first time in nine years. Album of this year with the simple title of "A" is her first new material in 26 years.

The fresh ABBA museum in Stockholm was opened on 8 May, but she did not attend because of record launching overseas.

No, it's not Björn and Benny who have written the songs, but Jörgen Elofsson, known for collaborating with major ones like s Britney Spears and Westlife, and for a number of Idol songs.

It starts with "The One Who Loves You Now" and the single "When Your Really Loved Someone", both powerful set of MGP-style, but without great character.

On "I Should Have Followed You Home» stepper Gary Barlow of Take That in duet.

It lubricated the thick of production - unfortunately, I must say. Pro pop, but far below the classics Agnetha got frolic with the ABBA.

The honest, lovely tenderness in her voice is well kept and captivates the moment, but is best expressed in the more quiet and simple songs - especially in "Perfume in the Breeze" and the lovely "I Was a Flower." Conclusion: Solid work, but far from brilliant.
Translated with Google
Alf Lars Rix: **** of ****** 
A wonderful, but suffered tame voice from the past
Agnetha Fältskogs vocal sounds just like - well, almost better - than in the glory days back in the 70s, where she as the blonde female part of the ABBA sang Swedish pop to the top of the charts all over the world.

Something can certainly be attributed to production, which is sublime and exclusive on this release.

But nevertheless sounds Agnetha, as if time has been her gracious. 'A' is the otherwise very private and withdrawn singer's first release since 'My Colouring Book' was published nine years ago, but she sings on the opening track 'The One Who Loves You Now " she is now:' Ready to risk it all once more. '

Too much syrup and for many strings

The risk involves the ten new tracks that, at its best, pulling reminiscent of Karen Carpenter on the fine 'Perfume in the Breeze' and 'Bubble', and when it is bad, leaning against a fixed musical tradition where it all dipped in sugary syrup with strings from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Unfortunately, we are mostly in the latter category with tracks like 'Past Forever "and" I Was a Flower' and a somewhat tame duet with Gary Barlow on 'I Should've Followed You Home'.
On the other hand there is a bit of a genuine surprise in the fast discounted flapping 'Dance Your Pain Away ", which must be one of the closest one gets the idea of ​​how ABBA would sound like if they had existed to this day.

Hats off to the now 63-year-old Agnetha, showing that you do not get too old for that kind of excesses.

Overall, however, this is most of all a publication that reaches more backward than forward. Not because there partout must be something wrong with it, but you miss sometimes a little more daring and just an attempt to put Agnetha Fältskogs amazing voice into some new frames.

At 'A' she most of all the voice from the past.
Jan Gradvall. **** of *****
"The snow is falling and we with it, far, far into the summer." It's Agnetha Fältskog singing chorus on Ulf Lundell song. The chorus also describes Agnetha Fältskog's voice. A soprano that cuts like a laser beam through the darkness and captures all the melancholy and longing that exists in a country that crouching shivers up by the Arctic Circle.

There is no other singer in the world who sings like Agnetha Fältskog. It's not just about clarity and power of her voice, but about her ability as a storyteller. Like a method actor, she becomes one with the content of the text.
Agnetha Fältskog has not sung so well for 30-35 years, as she does on her comeback album.

The album "A" is not written as a continuation of ABBA but óf  Agnetha Fältskog's sololabum from the 1970s.
Albums like "När en vacker tanke blir en sång" (1971) and "Elva kvinnor i ett hus" (1975) are Swedish classics where Agnetha herself wrote all the songs.

The songwriter Agnetha Fältskog settles this time down at the piano only once, at the concluding "I keep on the floor beside my bed" with a melody and an arrangement that takes thoughts to  photographers from the 1970s with its saturated colors.

The rest of the songs are specially written for  Agnetha by Jörgen Elofsson, one of Sweden's greatest hitmaker, earlier this year, Grammy-nominated in the U.S. for Song of the Year.

Together with arranger and co-producer Peter Nordahl, with a background in jazz, Jörgen Elofsson has made an album of a kind that is not really done anymore.
With real musicians in the studio as subordinate to the stories in the lyrics - listen to Mattias Torrells guitar - and so much detail in the production, that Quincy Jones described as "ear candy", the discovery of new things on each listening.

And then there's that voice. When Agnetha sings harmonies with herself, it is impossible not to think of ABBA. Initiation "The one who loves you know" sweeps aside the feet. Agnetha Fältskog has not forgotten the dance floor, a couple of songs glow in the lights of a rotating disco ball. Listen to how she makes her entrance in the Gary Barlow-duet "I should've Followed you home." Gary Barlow is falling and we are with him.
SKAP The Swedish Society of Popular Music Composers has announced the persons who will receive an award at SKAPś traditional spring party on Monday, May 20 Among them is Agnetha Fältskog....Agnetha will receive an award presented in memory of kai Gullman. The party usually takes place at Winter Garden of Grand Hotel. A Swedish singer, who has been living in Switzerland for about 29 years, stayed at the same hotel last week and part of the previous when she was visiting Stockholm.
*** of *****
Dan Backman: **** of ******
Stylish and worthy comeback
Agnetha Fältskog's solo career obviously can not measure up to the one she had with ABBA. The success with Anni-Frid, Björn and Benny was absolutely exceptional. But since her debut single in 1967 with "Jag var så kär" which went up on "Kvällstoppens" first place, solo artist Agnetha Fältskog has had an indisputable stardom. First in Sweden alone, after ABBA-time even globally.

After the English-language album "I stand alone", which came in 1987, there has certainly been a stagnant career more focused on the private person Agnetha than the artist. 2004 the silence was broken with a temporary cover-album 'My coloring book', an album that in retrospect seems like a parenthesis. Well made but little uninteresting.

When the now 63-year-old pop singer from Jönköping is once again stepping forward with a new album - appropriately timed to the opening of the ABBA-museum, -is situation differently. With the newly written original material, mainly by hit-maker Jorgen Elofsson, it is worth taking most seriously. An attractive and worthy comeback, although it probably does not mark the beginning of a new phase in her career. Agnetha Fältskog does not belong to the artistes who have to live their life in the spotlight, on the contrary.
The initiative for the disc does not come from Agnetha Fältskog herself but from the team Jörgen Elofsson and Peter Nordahl. The two wanted to continue cooperation from Björn Skiffs-album "Break the Spell" and courted Agnetha at home in Ekerö with three newly written songs. The singer has said in interviews that she did not intend any continuation after "My coloring book", but the songs were so convincing that she could not refuse.
And yes, mainly it is largely high-quality material she has got to work with. Grand romantic pop music of the fine old model (think 1970s) relating to his solo career instead of ABBA. Only in one song, "Dance your pain away", is flirted it with the ABBA sound and 1970s European disco kitsch. Thankfully it is, along with Gary Barlow-duet "I should've Followed you home", an exception in a more ballad-oriented album. The quieter and more luxurious instrumented the better.

Producer pair Elofsson / Nordahl has worked with a relatively small group of musicians, including guitarist Mattias Torell and drummer Per Lindvall, who laid the foundations. To this has been added the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded on the home stage Concert Hall under the direction of arranger and conductor Nordahl.
There preliminary reports have said that Agnetha Fältskog was a little rusty before the recordings, but when the final result is being presented, one can conclude that it sounds brilliant: she sings with the high clear voice she has always been associated with.

It's naturally no album that breaks new ground - especially the startling boring cover that seems to have been found on a shelf for unused cover art from the 1990's - but it is qualitative schlagerpop from beginning to end. Especially good is the opening of "The one who loves you now" and "When you really loved someone," and finishing with "Back on your radio" and "I'll keep them on the floor beside my bed." The latter, the only track that Agnetha herself co-wrote, gives the romantic strings and George Harrison-sliding guitar yearning for more. Much more


Swedish newspapers have today published article made by news bureau TT Spektra in London. Mainly nothing special except these bits:

Agnetha "hardly dares to tell" that she actually wrote two songs herself and Elofsson and Nordahl chose the better one for the album.

Comment about the album by from Elofsson:

-We wanted to make it as if she had not been in ABBA. We could not copy ABBA, it would have just been ridiculous. But when Agnetha started singing, it became ABBA, anyway - but with more singer-songwriter feel and more 70s

Elofsson  and Nordahl are mainly responsible for the costs of the album project.

Agnetha is not keen to sing  live:
- Yes, it's not my strong side indeed. Gary Barlow asked if I could do this duet we sing on the albumlive with him. And I said, "I have to think it over." But I do not think. I'll be very careful with what I undertake.

*** of ****
Fältskog pours smooth champagne in your ears
When some artists sing, time stands still. "A" could just as easily have been released just after ABBA split in 1982.

Producers and songwriters Jörgen Elofsson and Peter Nordahl have not attempted to place Fältskog's voice in the present. That she would try to compete with names like Rihanna or Gotye on the current hit parade is an absurd thought.
The only thing that is reminiscent of 2013, are euro synths in the single WHEN YOU REALLY LOVED SOMEONE.

The reason for Elofsson and Nordahl for taking the project project was simple.
They wanted to hear Agnetha Fältskog's voice on record again.
And here they also had the chance to, which was the whole idea from the beginning, to live out their analog '70s fantasies.

It gives for the sound of "A" space, reverb and richness of details - George Harrison guitar in "I keep them on the floor beside my bed"! - Which is rare today.
The strings, for example, are recorded by the Royal Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

The "Moonlight Shadow" smooth sound is champagne for the ears.
It's like being embedded into a bed where the mattress is formed by the body.

Thoughts settle down in a time machine and travel back to time when radio was dominated by The Carpenters wistful sound perfection, a group that feels increasingly underrated and forgotten today.
Opening tracj "The one who loves you now" could just as easily be released by Karen Carpenter.

West Coast pope is not far away. "Perfume in the breeze" lives up to its title - it's perfume for car radio´s softest stations.
And "I was a flower" is the album Black Rose, a cinematic ballad where Fältskog creates great drama even though she barely raises her voice.

Tracks that reveals her background in ABBA is kept to a minimum.
However, there is a blink of the disco song "Dance your pain away".

Additionally music´s melancholy mood reminds the last records that ABBA released. It is autumn in several tracks.
Several themes and melodies walk, emotionally, among yellowed and fire-colored leaves.

"A" would have deserved a stronger dynamic. The songs are a bit repetitive and there´s an Eurovision ballad too much.
But alot is so good, that the album paradoxically is like a new start.

Agnetha Fältskog was concerned in advance that singing wouldn´t hold. She can clean up the turmoil now. Her voice is still one of Sweden's most elegant instruments, crystal clear, and unsurpassed
Jewellery designer Krista Kretzschmar  has in collobration with Frida (!) made a special jewel collection for ABBA THE MUSEUM. The jewels are based on horoscope signs of the ABBA members.
Also Efva Attling has made special jewels for ABBA.
We now have the poster and more info of the KONSERTVERSIONEN AV KRISTINA FRÅN DUVEMÅLA in Jönköping on September 7.



Sanna Nielsen: Kristina

Christer Nerfont: Karl Oskar

Bruno Mitsogniannis: Robert

Åsa Fång. Ulrika

Marianne Mörck: Fina-Kajsa and narrator telling the storybetween songs.

Anders Eljas conducts Jönköping Sinfonietta






Björn has given a long intervieww for Swedish railways´s (SJ) magazine Kupe at his home. When you are in Stockholm (for the museum opening) do pick up a copy of this mag from a railway staiton. The pictures are wonderful!


Here the most important parts:

When asked about best memories from the ABBA period, Björn replies the songs, they are still alive. To question what Björn misses the least from that time, he says all the photoshoot that they had to do. They were tiring, like the travelling aswell

Relation to the other ABBA members:

-Benny and I meet every or every second week at work, even if we don´t socialize in privace any more. We are like two brothers who do not neeed to be together all the time.

-Agnetha and myself have two children and three grandchildren together, so we of course meet quite often. We celebrate Christmas together and on Saturday Linda has birthday , so there´s a party together for her.

-Frida splits her time in Switzerland, Majorca and London. But when she is in Stoclholm she usually lets me know and then we meet. The last time was ten days ago.


Writing lyrics was being discussed. Björn thinks the lyrics of DU ÄR MIN MAN and GULET BLEV TILL SAND are really good ones.

To question is it harder to write lyriics to a musical or a pop song, Björn says:

-The latter, no doubt about it. A pop song is supposed to be catchy, all words have to be in exactly right place. Words have to sound good, fonetically and not to chave. It is damn hard.


Have you ever considered writing a book?

-No, It is such a lonely work.

But Björn admits that he once began writing his memoirs, But it ended up quickly.

-I  have never written a diary and I realized that I remember too little. So there was no other choice than stopping with it.

If Björn wrote a book, it would be of pop music, not popular music, as according to Björn no-one has really written a book about it. Björn reads quite some. Not so many novels anymore, but rather books aboutr science and philosophy.

The last few years Björn has been publicly commenting religions, politics etc. it all began after 9/11,  Björn does not want to become a politician as politicians are  afraid to say what they really think.


Björn has money and would not need to work, just relax and enjoy of all achievements.

-Yes, sometimes i can take it easy. But the last year has mainly been 8 to 5 , every day, actually.

A lot of time went with  HJÄLP SÖKES, the book publisher Fri Tanke that Björn owns with a few other persons and real estates. Björn unveils that he for example has bout former Ericssson headquarters at Telefonplan in Stockholm. With a building company he intends to develope it into 350 flats for young people. Making money is not main reason for Björn to operate with real estates. He does it, because it is exciting, fun and creative.


About the ilness of Lena, Björn tells that one does not learn to live with uncertainty and it effects their daily life.

How is she today?

-It is still there. There are different sequences in such an ilness and even if it steadily becomes worse, there are not yet any visibler symptoms, which is a blessing.


Björn tells how Lena and he met:

-.Me and Agnetha had decided to divorce, but wanted to spend the last Christmas together because of the children. On Chirstmas Day she moved out and a few days later I was a New Year´s party at home of benny and Frida. Lena was  there and then everything was clear! We have now been together for 32 years.

Quic kquestions to Björn:

Descibe yourself with three words:

-Kind, dutiful and somewhat talented


What isyour happient moment?

-When my children were born, of course. In the work? When I went to lay down after we had won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 with WATERLOO and only by then I fully rrealized what has happened and the whole world stood open.


Whe ndid you cry for the last time?

-When i went to meet my friend Hansi Schwarz and understood that it was the last time that we meet. One week later he was dead.


What makes you laugh?

-My grandchildren. The ysay so funny things.


Which drugs you have tested?

-Grass and hashish. But never during ABBA time.


 Do you have any hidden talent?

-I am a good skipper


Which person (alive or dead) you admire the most?

-Nelson Mandela


What is the biggest misunderstanding about you?

-During the ABBA years was claimed that I was such a good  businessman, smart and sleek I am better now, but absolutely not by then!


What will stand on your tombstone?

-It is up to my children to dcide, but I hope they will choose a quatrain from something that I have written.





Pierce Brosnan in Empire magazine about MAMMA MIA!:

Did you have any idea just how huge Mamma Mia! would be?

None. None whatsoever. I thought it would find an audience, of course – I knew it had an audience and a very strong following before I signed up. I had experienced the mightiness of ABBA in their day, but never did I know or believe that it would be such a monster hit.

It was criminal how much fun we had on that film. Once you got over the agony of singing and the sheer fear of opening your mouth to sing something like S.O.S., the rest was all gravy. It was just the company of Meryl. Meryl led the way. She was just a joy to behold each and every day in her love of the piece and her own courage getting out there and singing. We became a company. [Director] Phyllida Lloyd was very wise in having us all go to Pinewood Studios each and every day.

That was one of the surprises too. I said yes to this gig. I thought, “Fantastic. This will be great.” Then, of course, I end up going to work on the first day and realise I’m going back to Pinewood Studios. I felt, “Oh Jesus Christ, this could be interesting.” I went through the gates at Pinewood and I prayed they didn’t give me my old dressing room. They said I’d be in the Stanley Kubrick wing instead. “Thank God for that!”, I thought. So they gave me this beautiful dressing room, and I went in and pulled the curtains back and… there was the 007 soundstage right outside. 007 was back all over again.





Finland´s biggest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat has interview with Agnetha. Done some time ago at Grand Hotel in Stockholm like many of the recently published interviews. Helsingin Sanomat was one of the very few newspapers for which Agnetha gave telephone interview around release of MY COLOURING BOOK.

Agnetha says that she is in London when ABBA THE MUSEUM opens. She adds that they´ll see is it possible to have some sort of link send a greeting. She doesn´t say more clearly, do they try a live TV link from London to Stockholm (as world link would suggest)  or will she record a special message for the opening.

Today music is not listened that much by Agnetha. Mainly from television. Radio she listens on car, she drives quite a lot. She for ex drives from Stockholm to Copenhagen for shopping.

As we know Agnetha prefers studio working rather than live performances. She tells that one gets support from the team in the studio - but on the other hand one has to do comphromizes.

Today Agnetha has two dogs, in Scandinavia quite rare Pražský Krysařík from Czech and a Pug Dog.




The Guardian




It is Frida, who got the idea of the red telephone at ABBA THE MUSEUM, where ABBA members can call, and visitors can reply. Ingmarie Hallning expects Frida to call as it is her idea.



Svenska Dagbladet has visited ABBA THE MUSEUM several times during February-April. Harry Amster´s article has lots of nice photos.

Björn Ulvaeus opens the door to ABBA´s history

They split for more than 30 years ago, but the success story of Abba will never end. Now ABBA mseum on Djurgården. SvD has followed the work before the opening and talked pop history with ABBA member and financier Bjorn Ulvaeus.


February 21

It's freezing in Stockholm. Therefore, I guess it will be nice to get into the ABBA museum. But that's not all. There´s something so infernal in the museum which is located between Gröna lund and Liljevalchs on Djurgården. It may be due to all exterior walls are not mounted.

Everywhere is pallets, planks, ladders and cables. We go through one empty room after another and finally they sit there around a large table, the gang who will ensure that the museum will be ready for inauguration on May 7. Here's CEO Mattias Hansson, marketing manager Catarina Falkenhav, curator Ingmarie Halling, Pelle Berglund, construction supervisor plus a few more.

When I gaze sweeps over the premises I think: "This you will never fix." Then roars Mattias Hansson: "Here we go!"

The meeting agenda includes everything from Hep Stars to Hootenanny Singers in public parks. With that Björn Ulvaeus started, who sang in the Hootenanny Singers, a folk pop group with hits such as "Gabrielle", "Marianne" and "Around tiggar'n from Luossa". The problem was that Ulvaeus were not so fond of taht music. He had heard the Beatles and 60's bands that exploded out into the ether and realized that he would rather be with the Hep Stars, where Benny played the organ.

But back to the museum's bare walls. Ingmarie Halling, who is head of Eehibitions, shows me around. I gently point out that in a few months everything should be ready.

-Do not say that, she says panicky and laughing at the mess.

If everything works, visitor of the museum first sees an ABBA film by Jonas Åkerlund, which is screened in a 360 degree cinema room. The film ends with a black box and immediately a blackbird is heard. The visitor opens the door and steps out into Gamleby Folkark in the 1960s. Then follows the RING RING room - furnished as a 1970´s home with a red telephone, ABBAs original clothes, a pole with ´newspaper posters, manager Stig Anderson's office where there is a press kit with the biographies and a WATERLOO single. Stig had thought of everything if ABBA went and win the Eurovision Song Contest with WATERLOO in Brighton in 1974.

-I never thought we would win. We chose the WATERLOO and HASTA MANANA. But WATERLOO was more fun to drive, says Björn Ulvaeus when I meet him at a restaurant on Djurgården.

These days he has become 68. He usually get compliments that he looks younger. Narrower he is definitely than during ABBA years, which is because he trains. When he goes through the menu to see what he'll order he chooses away dishes with too many carbohydrates.

We're talking about the transparent mini helicopter from the cover of the album ARRIVAL. And the Polar studio, of course. And then the bench where Benny and Anni-Frid kissing while Björn and Agnetha sitting next to and are acidic.

-It's a fun picture, iconic. The whole story of ABBA is a real Cinderella story, says Björn Ulvaeus.

Ingmarie Halling has worked as a stylist with ABBA intermittently for 36 years and still meet all four private. Now she is the curator of Abba the museum and has previously been responsible for the exhibition ABBAWORLD around Europe. She's one of those who konow ABBA members best, mainly because she spent many hours with the band during the tours, especially in the dressing room where she fixed makeup and clothes and a thousand other things. Thus, she is also well suited to describe the members.

-Agnetha is incredibly earth-bound, a small-town girl who does not complicate life. It hurts me that people talk about her as a Garbo for it is she really is not. Rather, she is a little naive and does not think that people recognize her. Frida is the nomad, globetrotter who puts down roots and then it is her home. She isurbane and street smart.

-Björn is curious and open to new ideas and arguments. A strange combination of businessman and poet. A contractor by God's grace. Benny meets all the criteria for a musician. When he has a piano or an accordion around, he can survive everyday life. At a party, he can almost apologizing for disturbing, but he sits there and plays. On tours he cared a lot of us who worked around. He has inherited incurring that everyone is eeded. All four are very down to earth and no divas anywhere.

Actually, ABBA THE MUSEUM doesn´t open after one week. In fact, it is the Sedish Music Hall of Fame which opens its doors with ABBA museum as an important component. Here the Swedish artists from the 1920s to the present day are presented. Everything from Tages and Cornelis Vreeswijk Roxette, Europe and Swedish House Mafia.

For Björn Ulvaeus has not been obvious to go for an ABBA Museum. Especially as a museum in reference books described as "a collection of objects," frequently "preserved antiquities." Mattias Hansson, CEO of the museum, said half-jokingly, half seriously:

-Björn Ulvaeus is involved to found his own statue.

As late as 2007, Bjorn Ulvaeus hesitant to an ABBA museum. In Expressen he said in an interview: "I ​​think it's really important not to take part in shaping a museum of himself. It would feel so totally wrong. "

Then it was about ABBA museum that would be in the old Customs House on Stadsgården. In 2008 the ticket sales bagan but the customs house was in poor condition and the costs were higher than anticipated. The contract with the property owner Stockholm Hamnar demolished. Instead of an ABBA museum in 2009, Photographic museum opened in the house in 2010. For a couple of years ABBAWORLD toured with many of the gadgets that will be available in ABBA THE MUSEUM.

Björn Ulvaeus´song writing partner Benny Andersson has said about the new museum that "I have nothing against it, but think maybe they could have waited for 30 years." He will not say much more than "the museum will stand on its own feet." Björn Ulvaeus however says that he has got distance since ABBA split up in 1982 and now sees himself as a drummer for Abba the museum.

-Yes, when one has gone into this, then it is to do it from start to finish. It is not enough to create content, but also putting it on the map. Therefore I will go to England, Russia, Germany, Finland, Norway and Poland to make pr.

But earlier ABBA did not want to hear about a museum?
-Yes, so it was. There is something strange about creating a museum about yourself. Usually it is a museum of dead people. And the other three in ABBA are more passive supporters.

But not you?
-No. That's because it takes place in my hometown, where I live. If someone else was in it so maybe it would not be as good. Here on the island of Djurgården, I go with my grandchildren and they will point and say "look here grandpa, here we go into". Then I want to be proud of it. After so many years I can keep doing this as if it were someone else, investigate why ABBA reached out so terribly far, says Björn Ulvaeus and smiles.

Just where he puts his finger on the crucial issue. How could a Swedish group defeat an entire world, something not done before and that almost everyone saw that completely unrealistic?

-An ingredient is the amazing story of us, that we so organically became a group. In a natural way. Benny and I metand start working together. Quite apart from this fact, we got together with two women who happen to be great singers, a blonde and a redhead and also beautiful. We hang out, sing for the fun of it and have no intention to start a group. Eventually growing up that we should do something together. It happens to be so real plus all adds something that is hard to put your fingers on.

-Then we had the Stig with its outreach and indomitable will to create something great outside Sweden. He convinced us to "why not". We saw that the only way out was the Eurovision song contest for otherwise it was blocked. The Anglo-Saxon world was not listening to anything that came from here, it went directly into the trash. But we would be so big, no one could imagine. After WATERLOO, it id not go so well and there were moments when I thought "there´s no more than this."

When S.O.S was released in Australia, ABBA made a video that they sent to the other side of the earth.

-Then it took with storm, and the British realized that there was life in that Eurovision group that should have been dead long ago. It took off and was a beeline for a long time. It seems that many of our songs have become part of contemporary life. They are there all the time. Or as Phyllida Lloyd, the director of MAMMA MIA!, said: "The songs are part of our cultural heritage."

Are you proud?
-Absolutely. Giant proud, amazed and humbled. Otherwise, I would not get involved with this museum. It is not possible to emotionally embrace the journey that ABBAmade​​. As we have sold 380 million records and touched the hearts of people. Or that 50 million people have seen MAMMA MIA!

The museum is financed by companies like Universal and Mediatec. Even CEO Mattias Hansson has joined in with a smaller portion. But the biggest financier is Björn Ulvaeus himself who will not tell you how many millions he coughed up, but says the museum costs "several tens of millions Crowns."

After the opening ceremony on May 7, Björn Ulvaeus will scale down his involvement, even if he is still the largest shareholder, and attends the board meetings.

-We have a CEO who will take care that it rolls on.

Just how the museum will do, is another major issue. If it is a success or not. Björn Ulvaeus think it may be problematic for example, during the cold season.

-Then there will be so many people there. We'll grow into it and see how we can attract people. But if you are a foreign tourist, you know the Swedish brands like Ikea, ABBA and then some. Locals I believe are not interested in ABBA.

In the 70th century Sweden, it was not socially acceptable to like ABBA. Culture pages printed articles where the progressive rock supporters complained about commercial brainwashing and how detestable ABBAs 'simple' pop music was. ´Their contempt - or even hate - sometimes almost reminded of Palm hatred.

Expessen's former music journalist Mats Olsson has written a short text to ABBA THE MUSEUM about the period. He notes that ABBAs music was regarded as flattened, mendacious and market-but it was ABBA who sold the most records while proggressive was a media event. Moreover ABBA inspiredyoung girls and boys themselves to sing and make songs.

Ingmarie Halling recently chatted with Anni-Frid Lyngstad of prog time.

-She said it still is a thorn in her heart when people say that they thought ABBA´s records were good but they hid them.

Björn Ulvaeus do not think prog rock movement was something that upset about.

-We were not affected by it because we were so totally focused on what we were doing. Proggen was never something important, a marginal phenomenon. They were not a single damn thing innovation. Aside from a few songs with the National Theatre, and Hoola Bandoola that was a good band. But of course we knew that some horrified and said that "they sell so many records, it is somewhat suspect." But do not forget that there was another Sweden - we had advance orders of 760,000 copies of THE ALBUM. The criticism was so peripheral.

But of course you did just products to make money?
-Haha, yes, we had a formula, a hit factory! And that we were two couples who were married was a gimmick! All that we were accused of. But the fall in its own absurdity. If you listen to the songs today, they are so different from each other. We tested all sorts of styles, not knowing what it was that made people liked it. It was hurtful to hear that we did the songs on pure speculation.

National Encyclopedia writes, among other things, that ABBA "is characterized by the carefully crafted style blends of 1970´s pop and dance music." But not a word about the lyrics.

-Benny was the musical engine but we always wrote together. The lyrics I wrote when there was a basic track with overdubs, so you had a feeling of what the song actually was. Lyrics have always been unfairly treated, but the songs that remain often have lyrics with high quality in one way or another.

Björn Ulvaeus does not always remember how the lyrics came to. In recent years, he complained that many of his memories of ABBA time are forgotten. But it has noticeably improved in working with ABBA museum, and thus be able to dig back into the past. As the "FERNANDO with the refrain: "There was something in the air tonight, the stars were bright, Fernando They were shining there for you and me, for liberty, Fernando."

-I remember that Frida and Benny first did it in Swedish and I thought it was such a fussy lyric about a "Latin lover". One night I was lying on the dock in Viggsö and looked up at the stars. And there was something in the air. FERNANDO was turned into an old freedom fighter.

April 9
Just barely a month to go until the opening ceremony. I note that the seedy is gone but still ABBA museum is a giant construction site, both indoors and outdoors. As the person responsible, it should be easy to panic.

-I see thousands of things that can go wrong and wake up four every morning. I lay in the fetal position, cold sweat and splint has fallen off, jokes CEO Mattias Hansson.

But the truth is that he wakes up and ponder on all that will become clear.
-Sure, I may start thinking that we should have lockers but I'm not worried that it will not be clear.

Many of the museum's departments are getting ready even though almost no ABBA items are yet ere. RING, RING room has a cute picture of the four of ABBA members with Agnetha Fältskog calling with a giant red phone. On the walls hang pictures and clips where one of the headlines of 1970 reads: "Fästfolk privat, Festfolk på scen. Polar Studio is there but without equipment. The details are important, as the wood in Gamleby Folkark as patinated to make it look worn out. They worn cinema seats are from Torshälla where Anni-Frid Lyngstad grew up. Stikkan´s office has gota flower in the window and a low dresser.

ABBAś manager had a significant impact on the group's breakthrough, but was not always easy to deal with. He was, according to Björn Ulvaeus, a troublesome personality that the group finally found it difficult to work with. Stig Anderson's daughter Marie Ledin published a couple of years ago the book "My dad named Stikkan" where his alcoholism is described as fractions of the songs copyright. The mythical manager created the Polar Music Prize and wrote songs like "”Är du kär i mej ännu Klas-Göran?”.

-Stikkan was our mentor but became more and more focused on the business side, which meant that as soon as ABBA was mentioned was in the context of money, money, money. We wanted to alienate ourselves from it because we did not like it. Rolling Stones manager never talked about how much money they earned or what companies they bought. We wanted a manager who was acting in the background. But no one will deny his importance, says Björn Ulvaeus.

Of course, ´DANCING QUEEN is at the museum, the song that defeated the United States and took the number 1 position in most of the world. Björn Ulvaeus think it is one of ABBAś top three songs and that it "means a lot for the gay movement." The videos can be seen how the King and Silvia look happy when ABBA performs the song at the wedding in 1976.

-I did not know it would be a hit. I was equally uncertain about every single we released. But it turned out that when Benny and I felt like "damn what this is good" as it was millions of others who felt the same.

How was it to hit the U.S.?
-It's good because we were not prepared to lay down the work required in the USA - tour and visit all the radio stations in each new city. We wanted to be at home, writing songs and being with our children, not to go from city to city. We did a tour in the USA for a month in autumn 1979 but played in places that did not take more than 10,000 people.

In the museum there's the cottage , with the white piano, where Benny Andersson sat when he wrote songs with Björn Ulvaeus. Song writing took place on Viggsö, a summer place that Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog bought in 1971. The guest cottage became writing place. Next to it stood Stig Anderson's house and on the other side the island, ten minutes walk, stood Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad's house.

-Benny and I harrowed, harrowed, harrowed and got ideas, fragments, loops. We could run around the clock, and then it used to fall into place. Many think that a good chorus is what is needed. For us, every little thing in the song is just as important.

The crucial reason that Bjorn and Benny started writing songs was The Beatles breakthrough in 1963. So when I ask Björn Ulvaeus if it's okay to mention Andersson / Ulvaeus related to Lennon / McCartney, he answers a definite "no," and squirms. There appears creeps in him, he points out.

-They are the greatest and they are gods. Constantly unmatched and nothing to talk about. When compared with the Beatles, I say "no, no, no, away!" Small town kid sits inside, he smiles.

But I would not let go of The Beatles. Liverpool group released George Harrison as songwriter and even Ringo Starr wrote a couple of songs. But in ABBA there were no songs from Agnetha Fältskog even though she had a brilliant career before ABBA with many hits.

-We wanted her to write and nagged. I remember I wrote lyrics to her song DISILLUSION which was featured on the debut albumRING, RING but then she stopped completely.

The clothes wereone hallmark of ABBA. At the museum, one can try clothing sets by scanning one's face and stand in front of a screen. Ccostumes become visible virtually. It is also possible to become the fifth ABBA member by going into the white room with a small white scene. The band appears as a hologram in natural size and visitor can dance and sing with them. All fans can then watch the appearance online, share with friends and get guaranteed appreciation, whether it is good or lousy.

-We did not measure the clothes so much weight but people seemed to think they were important. Honestly - you should wear something, preferably something that said something and would be noticed. We became symbols of 1970's fashion although many groups like Sweet, Queen and Gary Glitter, had equally crazy clothes. I was quite plump when we did WATERLOO in Brighton but went down to the idol weight. Other contemporaries used drugs and was never hungry. But for me it was a constant dieting, haha.

What kind of signals you wanted to send with the clothes?
-In Brighton, we wanted to be noticed. Stand out. Point. Then they wanted to look worse and worse until we became a bit more sophisticated in the end. New outfits belonged to the rules of the game. The music was the core but we wanted to go all the way.

ABBA did not go to clubs when they recorded TV somewhere in Europe. A married couple who absolutely did not live rock'n'roll life.

-We were never in the London in-clubs but recorded the Top of the Pops and then flew home to the kids. No-one ever has tried to foist on me drugs. No-one asked "would you like some cocaine?" which of course was super common. Either people working for us kept them away, or they thought that those magnificent Swedes do not want anything anyway. We could concentrate in music, says Björn Ulvaeus and looks relieved.

Agnetha Fältskog met Hootenanny Singers singer Björn Ulvaeus when she as a solo artist did a folk park tour in the 1960's. In an interview, she told: "Björn and I looked a little at each other back then. He had recorded 'Raring', "Honey" in Swedish, and I thought it was so cozy and asked someone if Björn could send it to me. It came quite soon in the post, haha. He had signed it, so that was cute. Then we were in the same TV program, a program in the memory of the composer Jules Sylvain and I saw that Björn was there as a solo artist and I was very happy, whoa now we get to meet again! "

-Agnetha and I sang a duet and then said it undoubtedly boom, says Björn Ulvaeus about how they met in Målilla sports park in Hootenanny Singers dressing room

-She knew who I was because we had hits and she had her first hit, and it was played on the radio. What talent, I thought. I was fond of it was behind his voice. Do not really know why.

In 1970 both pairs stood on stage of Trädgår'n in Gothenburg and did restaurant show Festfolket, which flopped completely

 -Benny remember that it could be nine people in the crowd on weekdays. I remember three. We had a chunks of original songs but otherwise it was cabaret numbers, many written by Peter Himmelstrand. It was cabaret shows primetime and we had to support ourselves. We were one of the worse shows, it did not suit us. I was unhappy.

They had recorded HEJ GAMLE MAN where Agnetha and Frida for the first time, sang in the chorus. It became a big hit at Svensktoppen.

-Self-confidence got better and we realized that we should do our own stuff, not that other crap. The best part of all is that the floor show is not documented, one needs not to turn to today. Like the number that Benny and I made as dressed like little boys with hats with propeller and large giant peppermint sticks, says an obviously pleased Björn Ulvaeus.

April 22
Two weeks to go until the opening ceremony. Curator Ingmarie Halling thinks- or knows - that everything will be in place on May 7 when the gates open. But still many of ABBA stuff absent. Thereś no crisis, she emphasizes.

-But sorted chaos.

The mixing console at Polar Studios has just arrived from Germany. It had been resold and Ingmarie Halling found it from internet. In the studio at the museum are also ABBA's original drums that an underground band in Katrineholm used for several years. On the walls hang lots of pictures of legendary producer Michael B Tretow.

The museum also Agnetha Fältskog's kitchen in Lidingö. She had divorced in 1979 from Bjorn Ulvaeus but they met often and this depicts how her daughter Linda starts school and from a radio is heard ABBA song SLIPPING TROUGH MY FINERS with lyrics by Ulvaeus about how the children disappear from one's life: "I have to sit down for a while, the feeling that I'm losing her forever, And without really entering her world. I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter, that funny little girl. "

When I look at concert recordings with ABBA, Bjorn Ulvaeus is the happiest, he jumps up and down when they thank the audience. Still, he notes that it was more fun to be in the studio and record new songs, than to tour, something they only did four to five months in a decade.

-The audience does not weigh that up to create new. Without diminishing, it became very similar wherever you play. Except in Japan, where they sat and listened to the whole concert on edge without reacting. But in the end they were completely crazy. Writing and producing gave much more. The reason you and I are sitting here talking about ABBA 40 years later is because we spent so much time on songwriting.

What was your best concert?
-That's a great question. I can imagine that it was at Wembley in London where we played a whole week or at Budokan in Tokyo.

ABBA were together for ten years starting in 1972. Alone In the UK, they had nine number ones. But the group split-up in 1982. Additionally the couples separated.

-We had a period of seven or eight years when we stood at the height of our creativity. Then leveled off. We did not analyzed what it was but it felt that we wanted to try something different. But it was not so that we decided never to do something together. Benny and I had talked a long time about making a musical.

Did you fight a lot?
-No, there were no fights. How we fought as couples is a different thing and nothing to be discussed publicly. The creative force remained after we had separated us, as we did some of our best songs.

Every year, rumours of an ABBA concert pop up. A few days ago it was Agnetha Fältskog who in Die Zeit Magazine did not rule out a reunion: "Maybe a concert for some charity. I would at least do not say no right away if the question came. "Benny Andersson has also told to Svenska Dagbladet that" if it would help lock I would call the others in ABBA and ask if we're doing a job. "

in 2000 ABBA said no thanks no to a reunion tour despite the fee on unreal one billion dollars. In a Sunday interview with Svenska Dagbladet in 2007 Björn Ulvaeus explained why the group said no to that much money. He thought about how it would feel to go in night after night to an audience that will be disappointed. Thought also that they had aged, the energy was no longer there and no-one any longer was able to jump on the speakers. More like four sleepy people singing the old songs. What would that do to him as a person, wondered Ulvaeus.

Today he agrees with himself.

-Exactly so. How disappointed everyone would be. "Is that them there?" I do not mean that you should be ashamed for becoming old but it was so long ago and belongs to that time. Stones have decided to play all the time. We would suddenly bring it up. What the hell for?

Yet the statements from you and the others in the ABBA that you have not shut down the door for a reunion?
-Then I close the door now, says Björn Ulvaeus with a wry smile


In the newspaper Huvudstadsbladet, Svenska Teatern´s  chairman Sten Palmgren tells that the Boardof the theatre has  discussed  about the number of Finnish-Swedish actors in the upcoming musical production.
- We in the the board have clearly indicated that we wish that  the theatre primarily uses its own staff and otherwise preferably domestic actors. What I remember,  one of the roles in MAMMA MIA! is Norwegian, so there you might get to make an exception. Where we end up landing, we'll see. Audition will also be affected by the authors and their wishes.
Back in 1990, Benny, Orsa Spelmän, Association of fiddlers in Dalarna area of Sweden and some others made the album FIOLEN MIN where they played classical folk music pieces. Benny produced it for his Mono Music label. FIOLEN MIN 2.0 will be recorded  in Leksand during the coming weekend with 150 fiddlers. Benny is not producing/publishing this time, but he and Orsa Spelmän will be there playing.
Björn on the radio:
Björn Ulvaeus promise majestically ESC opening number
Majestic music with Europe in the center - promises Björn Ulvaeus for the opening of the International Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo on May 18. Ulvaeus has written the opening number WE WRITE THE STORY with Benny Andersson and Avicii.
 - A little bit of anthem character. Not like ANTHEM  in CHESS, but that type of song. Little majestic, he says.

The song is about Europe.

- If something I think we can be proud of, something that unites us - the enlightenment. An original topic perhaps for a song in Eurovision, says Björn Ulvaeus.
He has written  the text for the completely newly written song. The music is Benny Andersson responsible for, and then the disc jockey and music producer Avicii has filled in with his contributions.
How was it working with Avicii?
 - We have worked separately as is done nowadays. One sends to each other and fill in retrospect.

How the opening number will look like on stage at Malmö Arena on May 18, he can not say.

- But there will be many people who sing. Hopefully, but I do not know, also those who participate in the contest, ends Björn Ulvaeus
There is still no official announcement of MAMMA MIA! being produced at Svenska Teatern in Helsinki. But the project is going forward. Today the fund Konstsamfundet, which supports Swedish language  theater, litterature etc in Finland, announced that among other culture projects, they give money for MAMMA MIA! at Svenska Teatern.  Like for KRISTINA, the fund gives 200.000 euros for MM!
Claes Olson:  
Agnetha Fältskog again world priority
There is frantic activity both around and inside Jörgen Elofsson's house with home studio out in Lidingö. A large Australian film crew is on site to do a feature about Agnetha Fältskog's comeback for Australia's biggest television show. On the large terrace, with views down to the beach, Agnetha Fältskog is dancing along with the female presenter for the cameras. Agnetha smiling happily and seems very comfortable in the situation.

- Had someone told me when I was younger that one day in the future  I would have chance to make an album with Agnetha Fältskog and then sit in my studio and see how she is dancing to one of my songs on my patio, I had thought that the person
was completely insane, laughs Jörgen Elofsson, who along with me and co-producer Peter Nordahl is sitting in the studio and with surprise are considering the spectacular scene.

In Jörgen's kitchen resides Universal Music's international promotions manager. While she was bewatching film activities in the house, she is talking in the cell phone - while she constantly checks her incoming mail to synchronize even the next week's program in London, where Agnetha and company this weekend goes to process not only the English audience,
but basically the whole world.

In connection with Agnetha Fältskog's latest album My Colouring Book [Warner Music], released in 2004, was carried out for various reasons, not some international promotional campaign on the same level. Nevertheless, the album sold nearly one million copies. The recent years for ex MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE (2008) boosted interest into ABBA members´destiny - that can reasonably be expected to increase further after the opening of ABBA THE MUSEUM in Stockholm in May - may, coupled with the new album's qualities, backing
of the project, and not least Agnetha´s own personal commitment, to do A to an even greater global success.

The basis of the extensive global launch of the new comeback album was already laid when Jörgen Elofsson featured recording plans for Universal Music's top global executives at a meeting in Los Angeles at the beginning of the year. To Elofsson's Stronger (What Does not Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson at the same time was number one on the charts in both the U.S. and the rest of the world created the course extra good conditions for licensing of the album and appeared understood even a little extra to make it to the world priority it is now for the record company.

Last week was named When You Really Love Someone by BBC2 in the UK Single Of The Week and the single is now climbing on several charts around the world.

- It's especially England that apply to both the record company, Agnetha and us,  so right now it's incredibly exciting, say Jorgen and Peter. This home has been a little quiet, but Agnetha has done plenty. The BBC, for example, was here and filmed last week. They are making a documentary about Agnetha, which will be shown at prime time in England and eventually also will be screened in other countries, including here in Sweden.
Additionally, she will be on the cover of the next issue of music magazine Q!
Next week  Agnetha is in London for promotional and television appearances. Radio, television and newspapers from the U.S., Australia and Europe fly there.

- The big  interest is also noticed in advance orders for the album, says Jörgen.
It's the album that will sell, and it actually looks good in the whole world!

The album A is owned by the newly formed partnership Triple A, jointly by Agnetha, Jorgen and Peter.

- It seemed as if the stars were right when we met, says Peter with a smile. We feel all the time how the pieces fall into place.

- We are on the right place, continues Jörgen.
This is meant to be!

When Jorgen Elofsson and Peter Nordahl enter the living room  also  to be interviewed by the TV team from Australia, I get the privilege to listen to the whole upcoming album for a second time - the first time was a few weeks ago at an exclusive pre-listening to a number of selected music journalists. It's hard to resist Agnetha´s reborn voice, the grand arrangements and the magnificent production of the new song material. Although Agnetha herself only has participated  in the song writing process only on the closing track of the album, the whole album really feels  like her´s. It is personal.

When Agnetha thencomes into the studio to greet me, I honestly get starstruck as I have not been since ... ever? Agnetha listens patiently to my long exposition of superlatives about the album and look sincerely happy.
Afterwards, I remember almost not a single word she said, in addition to her warm "thank you".

To be continued ...
There are 18 performances left of KRISTINA at Svenska Teatern. There are only 300 ticketsa left and of these only 14 to the  last 11 evening performances.  The rest free tickets are to  16 of the remaining 17 day performances.
Babel, Swedish TV´s culture programme, announce that next Sunday, "we will see two ABBA legends working" without describing more exactly.  In the studio they have Lars Lerin as a  guest. Benny´s music (at least VI ÖPPNAR ALLA GRINDAR from KRISTINA as played by Benny with piano) has been used in Lerin´s new audio book "Det tysta köket". Maybe Babel has insert from the music recording/editing work? Babel has also met Catherine Johnson because of her involvement in ABBA THE MUSEUM. Maybe Björn is seen during this part of the programme.
Here Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus are recording the opening music to the Eurovision finals.

Palatial, folk music into pop of vintage and a bit of ABBA feel  That way some involved musicians are describing the song.

- You hear the at once that it is Björn and Benny who wrote it,  says Marica Lindé, singer.
Together with DJ Star Avicii, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson stand behind this year´s  intro song for  Eurovision.

Yesterday was the song was recoerded in the studio in Stockholm. 

- It's been great, very positive energy  and it feels like an honor to be with a voice in this recording, says Marica Lindé.
 - It's hard to describe the music, but I would say that it will be grand.

She works as a freelance singer and has toured much of the United States with ABBA-covers, as Anni-Frid Lyngstad
The offer to participate and sing the opening song, she received the Thérèse Löf, who previously did the main role  in the musical MAMMA MIA!

- I've been singing with Benny before so he asked if I could pull together a team for this, says Thérèse Löf.

After a demo recording in December, she chose six singers and six singers.

Among other Marica Lindé and artist Mike Grahn, notably known as the judges in the talent show "Fame Factory".

- It sounds fantastic. We understand that Benny has the position he has today, says Thérèse of the song, after the day's recordings.

- I think you recognize the music. It is very Benny trademark, and Bjorn's lyrics. It's a little folk music goes pop.
Soon, the instruments shall be added, and hopefully everything is clear in the week.

It seems to lean toward music that Eurovision audience feel at home in.

- I think this is a bit more ABBA, in comparison to what Benny usually does in Benny Anderssons Orkester, it's my personal opinion, says Thérèse Löf.

Is there a thought behind it do you think?
 - I think maybe it does. Then it was 29 years ago they won, so they can certainly be a little jubilee feel for them both.
Video interview with Emilie Granvik, who plays Elin. Great backstage footage from Svenska Teatern. Granvik tells that during audition she sang DU MÅSTE FINNAS. She was nervous, for ex. because there were more people than in audition usually, 10-15 persons. B&B said nothing while Emilie was singing, so she was thinking, wow I actually sing for Björn and Benny.  For evening performance (18:30) she comes to Svenska Teatern at 17:15, goes directly to get her hair fixed, then she does the make-up herself. Granvik praises Birthe Wingren as one of the best Swedish speaking actresses in Finland. It give a lot to work with her every evening. At 17:30 there´s session to open voices, it takes usually 15 minutes. Sound check at 18:00.  Granvik has some dream roles that she would like to play, among others Sophie in MAMMA MIA!
Granvik, by the way, is background singer for Finnish Eurovision Song Contest entry this year.
Interview with Maria Ylipää in Expressi, TV chat show Arto Nyberg.
ABBA belongs in a museum.
-ABBA was undoubtedly a phenomenon, and it is wortwhile to tell it´s  story in a  museum. I got involved in the project because the city of Stockholm wanted to have it and Stockholm is my home. Also a great location was found for it

The museum's Björn-wax figure is more handsome than you.
-It is impossible. No wax figure I can be more handsome than me.
But the museum is getting the wax dolls, they are not just ready yet.

The museum's newest articles are from the year 1982.
There's the stuff, even the old star-shaped guitar. It had traveled the world and ended up for a German guy, and he has lent it to the museum.
I believe that more stuff will be get there, when people hear about the place.

The museum guards to paljettiunivormu and thick-based high-heeled shoes.
Now that you mention it, so there should be at least one guard in that kind of suit.
I'll speak about it with Securitas.

You will never retire.
No, I won´t. In the work of song writer there´s the good thing that it is done til death. My father-in-law was working in a company run by the state, and there was no chance to continue when you were 67  years old. My father-in-law was  annoyed, because the work had meant much to him. It was sad to see how he changed all of a sudden unnecessary. That's why I'm privileged. The size of the audience
 listening to my music continues to decrease, but there are always a few who are interested.

You and Benny will never separate.
I hope and believe that this is the case. We met in 1965, or was it 1966.
We've been friends ever since, and now we are like brothers.

You play in secrecy  of death metal, as most of the other guys in Gothenburg.
Death metal! [Laughs heartily.] There is something I would ever listen to. I listen to Beethoven, unlike most of the guys in Gothenburg.
I was born in Gothenburg, yes, but I did not get to stay there for a long time.

In Karaoke you alway sings THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC.
-    I wonder what I would sing? In our old  band Hootenanny Singers sang the song "Omkring tiggarna från  Luossa". I might sing it, or ee the Swedish version of Honey, the 60's hit.

The talent of Maria Ylipää talent is wasted in Finland.
Maria is so talented and lovely! He is by no meanings she is wasting her talents in Finland, but she should definitely be get to Sweden. I don´t have yet exact plans, but eventually it will happen. Sh
e will be a sensation in Sweden.

World Ice Hockey Championships in Sweden are more important event than the Eurovision Song Contest final.
In Sweden, the Eurovision Song Contest is regarded as some kind of national treasure, even if it is only a TV show and entertainment. If the people of Sweden had been asked this 20 years ago, so hockey would have been definitely more important.
Now, the situation may be even.

Swedish Eurovision Song Contest qualifiers are watched  in Finland as direct broadcasts.
What? Terrible!
Pathetic, most of the song are pretty ethan ... [Grin and hangs his head.]

King Carl Gustaf is a surprisingly fun company to have a party with.
I have met him on several occasions, and will meet again in May, when he during a   provincial visits comes to see one of my real estate project. He is a comfortable man, but I do not go with him at a party. I have sung for him in Stockholm opera house, where he and Silvia got engaged or whether it was to get married.
We performed DANCING QUEEN.

Sweden should go over to  euro.
[Laughs heartily again.] -Supported the accession to the euro at the time, but I am very pleased that we kept the crown. Euro-problems do not seem to come to an end in any way. They always warn about new crisis, the next seems to be Slovenia.
And the whole of the Mediterranean area should step out from it.

You is not no friend of herring.
I love herring! Christmas at the table, especially, and in many different marinates. If you had to pick just one, so I would take matjes herring.
Abba matjes herring!

Folköl (Swedish  beer) is good.

Folköl is good.
I hate folköl! Drinking  Folköl is a terrible waste of time.
I guess you do not have folköl?

No, but the average dilution of the beer is being discussed again
Forget folköl, it is a terrible thing! Even non-alcohol  taste better.




Björn Ulvaeus says that he is happy that KRISTINA has made Maria Ylipää so popular in Finland.
-She is exceptionally talented and I am so happy that she came to the audition. She is wonderful and I would really like to bring her to Sweden to do the role of Kristina.
Hjallis Harkimo is former sailor, so he asked about Björns father ´who built fishing boats. Björn was very young at that time so he remembers quite little of that. Björn loves the seas, for whole time that he has lived in Stockholm, he has had a boat. Björn thinks that he mentally could not cope sailing alone for a long time. 
Björn is in good terms with Agnetha. They have even spent Christmases together as they have children and grandchildren.
The whole ABBA met for the last time at MAMMA MIA! movie premiere in Stockholm. There was a magical moment when, for some  reason, the four members, no others, were there together for a  second. They looked at each other. Björn got a feeling that some way they belong together.
Because of his age, Björn does not do long term plans. At present maybe til  next Christmas.  Björn wants his whole family on a vacation together, maybe to Vietnam or Malaysia.
Björn has been in Moscow to promote ABBA THE MUSEUM. For ex. he was interviewed for the Vecherniy Urgant TV show. Looks like the Moscow trip was brilliantly arranged, like the ones in Helsinki and Berlin and resulted lots of nice photos and media reports. Of the promo trips for the museum he London trip this week seems to be less succesful.
Here a video of the visit
A little preview of the Björn interview at Hjalliksen vieraana has been published:
When asked the most memorable moments of the ABBA era Björn mentions Brighton.
-Of course there are many eternally memorable moments, but most of them are connected with being in the studio., for example when we recorded DANCING QUEEN and THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL and got them completed.
One could never predict the potential of songs.
-We never knew, will a song become a hit. Every song was a question mark , we never knew will we make a single of it, nor how the audience will react. It sounds strange, but it is true. We were just very lucky.
In London the ABBA members could not walk in peace, while in Stockholm noone paid attention to them.
-Even during the biggest popularity of ABBA I could enter a food store without anyone stopping me coming to talk with me. Surely everyone knew who I am, but wanted to respect my privacy. The same would never have worked in London or New York.
About comeback of ABBA:
-No, it would not be possible. Where would we find the motivation any more, why would we do it? The only good reason would be  that we would again have good enough music that we would like present to the world. That would be the only motivation that we could have. For example money is no motivation.
We would like to remind that Svenska Teatern has not yet confirmed that MAMMA MIA! will be done at their theatre. Actually they have not said a word of it in publicity. Björn told about the plans to the press last week. Also newspaper Huvudstadsbladet have written about MM!  earlier this year. Svenska Teatern has today announced their musical (Junglebook) for autumn 2013..
Dagens Nyheter has large article about ABBA THE PHOTO ALBUM
Unique images of Abba given out in magnificent work
The first authorized photobook of ABBA is under production. Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Björn and Benny has given the green light to the previously closed archives to be opened. In the book, they will tell about the images, covering the entire ABBAcareer.

It's hardly the first book of ABBA issued, but it is the first official one . ABBA THE PHOTO  ALBUM will be a photo cavalcade of 500 pages and with at least as many pictures.

Incidentally, the most richly illustrated book that has been made ​​the Swedish group. The format is size as an LP cover.
- Countless books have been made of ABBA. But nevee one that brings up the time before and an after. Childhood, growing up, the years with the Hep Stars, and not least  what happened after the ABBA era, says Jeppe Wikström, publisher at Max Ström Förlag.
At book pubsher´s house next to Moderna Museet in Skeppsholmen the selection of images is going on. Photographer Bengt Wanselius, the book's editor, is standing at a light table and holds up picture after picture. He has looked at a few tens of thousands, and boiled them down to 3, 000.

- Now comes the most diffigult moment, to opt out lots of nice pictures for reasons of space can not be included in the book, says Bengt Wanselius who received the August Prize 2008  for the brick sized  "Directed by  Bergman" and among many other things done "Strindberg's worlds."

The text is written by journalist and author Petter Karlsson. His previous contact with ABBA consist among other things that he co-wrote about ABBA founder and Polar Music Prize  founders Stig Anderson in "Min pappa hette Stikkan".
- The ambition for this book is to find images that no one has seen. Those that  fans have taken, private pictures and more. When we started the work, I thought - wrongly - that I had seen all the pictures that exist of ABBA, says Petter Karlsson.

When DN talks with Petter Karlsson is he just going through Björn Ulvaeus´ father's archives. Björn´s father started early collecting pictures, newspaper clippings and articles.

There´s no lack of pictures when it comes to ABBA. They were always there for photographers, at press conferences, in concerts, even at home in the kitchen. Efforts to trace the images seem to have gone relatively smoothly. Most of those contacted have wanted to help. Photographers around the world like the initiative and are happy to share their ABBA pictures.

To some extent the good mood in the work  is because  the former ABBA members themselves have given the green light to the book. It has taken many years of persuasion from the publisher's side. Whoever got the ball to start rolling was one of the veterans on Polar.
- But all four are on the hook and will tell you about some images, says Jeppe Wikström over a cup of coffee on the publisher.

He believes that as the publisher promised a lavish product has been crucial to it eventually became a yes from the four former ABBA members . High technical quality, award winning design and the finest paper is more than any fan club has previously been able to accomplish.

- They were themselves enormously quality-conscious, put great attention to the music, sound production and graphics on album covers, says Jeppe Wikström.

Benny Andersson is happy about the  release.
- There's 40 million photos of ABBA. They have picked up some of them. It's a good publishing house so it will be certainly a good book, Benny Andersson says.

The book's structure is built chronologically. The 13 ABBA years hung on the year the album was released. You can see how clothes fashions change, new hair styles are introduced and at the end how the occasional wrinkle start to appear.

At the London Book Fair next week, the ABBA book will launched. Bengt Wanselius Bergman book has far this been  published in eight countries. Advance interest for ABBA  is hardly less.

- I travel a lot for my job. In the past, people asked if I knew Bjorn Borg when they found out I was Swedish. But no one asks anymore, now they ask for ABBA. It is the same in both the U.S. and Indonesia, says Jeppe Wikström
Björn´s visit to Helsinki to promote ABBA THE MUSEUM resulted a lot of publicity. The press conference took place at Café Veranda of Finlandia Hall. ABBA´s onlu live concert in Finland was done right at that house in 1975.
Newspapers online articles: 
Note: Newspapers marked with * have nice photo taken during the press conference 
TV channel Nelonen,
Femman´s Min Morgon (Youtube with English subtitles) Femman´s Min Morgon (TV channels´s own version),
Newspaper  Helsingin Sanomat
MTV3 chat show Hjalliksen kanssa, will be screened April 18
Print version of news papers
Photo agency has nice gallery off the press conference.
Uutisaalto has six photos from the press meeting
Some interesting info appeared during interviews
The museum (updated)
-new material will be added time to time, for ex. vax figures
-Björn has donated everything that he has found of his ABBA time
-recently Agnetha and Björn spoke for a tape to be used in the exhibition, about their first meeting
-as so many Finnish people visit Sweden, it is important for Björn to do promotion in Finland for the museum
Fave ABBA songs
When asked about fave ABBA songs he replied that from early period he likes MAMMA MIA and S.O.S, from middle one DANCING QUEEN, FERNANDO and KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU and from later period THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL.
MAMMA MIA! at Svenska Teatern 
During the visit Björn told about plans to stage MAMMA MIA! at Svenska Teatern. Björn and benny are not as much involved with MM! as with KRISTINA. But Björn intends to return to Helsinki at latest when auditions are inderway. Björn was asked dows he miss any unheard song from MAMMA MIA!. he said no, songs that fit to the story were chosen. WATERLOO comes in the end and FERNANDO did not fit into the story.
Here reports that tell about MM! Ones marked with * have photos taken during the visit:
Svenska Teatern commented to press that contract for MM! has not been yet signed.
Plans for future:
Björn was asked about his plans after ABBA THE MUSEUM has been opened: play with legos with grandchildren, spend time at summer house in archipelago and visit to St. Petersburg.
Björn was asked for three favourite places in Helsinki:
-Svenska Teatern
-department store Stockmann (next to Svenska Teatern), but he won´t enter the house during "Crazy days", four days discount sales period in April, right this week when he was in Helsinki
 -Esplanade park (Svenska Teatern is located in one end of it, and the hotel where Björn usually stays in Helsinki, in the other end), Björn wishes that there would be similar park also in Stockholm.
Björn about himself
Björn says that when he is doing promotion, he is self-confident. Otherwise, his wife lena thinks that Björn does not have good self confidence. Björn regrds himself as shy man from Västervik, who somehow ended up with show business.
Björn about (grand)children)
Björn is happy that his four children and five grandchildren have grown into well behaving people.
Björn had seen KRISTINA on Wednesday and it was as good as ever. Benny and Björn are very pleased with the Svenska Teatern production. Björn will attend the final performance.
In beginning of September, Swedish choir association arranges Choir expo in Jönköping. Hundreds of choir singers get there. The event´s finale will be concert version of KRISTINA FRÅN DUVEMÅLA, with 400-500 people in the choir! In addition involved are an orchestra and soloists. The arrangers don´t want yet tell who will be the soloists.
Björn recorded an interview with Hjallis Harkimos TV chat show "Hjalliksen vieraana" last week´s Thursday when he was in Helsinki. The interview will be screened this week, Thursday April 18, on MTV3 channel at 22:35.
Björn has promoted ABBA THE MUSEUM in Berlin, Cannes and Helsinki. Today he is in London and for the next he travels to Russia.
The new museum consists of three different parts: ABBA THE MUSEUM, Swedish Music Hall of Fame and The History of Swedish Popular Music.  Benny and Björn are behind the idea that Swedish Music Hall of Fame would be where ABBA museum would be included, tells Björn.
Björn stresses that he sponsors the house, but is not involved into choosing the artistes who make it into Swedish Music Hall of Fame. Neither the rules for getting into the Swedish Music Hall of Fame are  yet completed. Opening of the Hall of Fane takes place in the autumn.
ABBA THE MUSEUM and The History of Swedish Popular Music are completed. No more than 500 visitors are taken into the museum at a time. Soon the museum starts to take in test groups to see how long people stay during their visit.

ESC executive producer Martin Österdahl has told more about WE WRITE THE STORY:
- This is the opening number in the final. One of the first things we started talking about for Eurovision 2013 was that there would be an anthem. What I do know it has not previously had a melody that becomes the signature of the event.
- The song is a soundtrack for our Eurovision with Avicii-signed instrumental sound, as for example from "Fade Into Darkness", mixed with what is unique in Björn & Benny's ability to make pop, classical, musical feel and dramatic music.
Björn Ulvaeus wrote the song lyrics, inspired by the fundamental ideas behind this year's Eurovision.

- The music and text that Bjorn has written ties together so many of our themes. First, the European perspective that we focused on, and the story as our slogan "We are one" stands for.

Martin Österdahl think the song will live on after the event and is played on the radio.

- I think and I hope, but it's hard to say. It definitely has the qualities to survive.
It was the Swedish idea of ​​reinventing the Eurovision Song Contest that made superstars to want to participate.

- Björn and Benny have said they were inspired and felt that they wanted to be on it when we talked about our idea. We want to make a Eurovision different from what we have seen in recent years and focus on the community, the music and the artists. The values ​​are the main reason that "We Write the Story" became true.

The song began to take shape around the turn of the year and has been refined for long.

- Björn and Benny have written a work that Avicii then received and processed. I met Ash, Aviciis executive producer and manager, at the Madonna concert last summer. In parallel, we contacted Björn and Benny. Both parties were very positive about the project and suggested a collaboration rather quickly.
Martin Österdahl see the partnership as a way to tie together the story of Swedish popmusic´s success.

- Before ABBA won, there was not so many Swedish successes in pop. Then there is an incredible amount followed, and right now is Avicii in the front line. He was number one in England  just a few weeks ago. To get everything in the same number, we are extremely pleased.
From many quarters, SVT has been the question of whether ABBA will be reuniting. But that is something that management has never asked for.

- What we wanted was that Björn and Benny would feel that they were doing something that is here and now, and with them we get also the history. This persistent question of the reunion has never been in anyone's interest. It was 40 years since they won, and it must have respect for, says Martin Österdahl.
Dagens Nyheter:
After many rounds, the acclaimed youth novel "Circlen"  ends up as a film - thanks to Benny Andersson. ABBA legend starts film company with his son Ludvig, and witchdrama will be their first project.

When DN meets writers Sara Bergmark Elfgren and Mats Strandberg, director Levan Akin and producers Cecilia Norman Mardell, Benny Andersson and Ludvig Andersson has the final papers have been signed and it's finally clear that the novel "Circlen" becomes  film.

- We are delighted to have been resolved and that we can start working. And getting a chance to work with Benny and Ludvig ... You get a little pinch in the arm, says Sara Bergmark Elfgren.
- I want to put myself in a saltwater tank and float in a week and digest this. You can not even say it's a dream come true, because who would have thought that this kind of opening would appear, said Mats Strandberg.

Mats Strandberg and Sara Bergmark Elfgrens book series Engelfors trilogy is a big success and was sold to more than 20 countries. In the spring of 2011 bought Filmlance rights to the entire trilogy, director Levan Akin was hired and they began casting for the film shooting. But in early 2012 announced the authors that they no longer supported the project: "We are way too big responsibility to our readers and the world we have created to be able to stand behind this production," the authors wrote in a blog post. Since then, the film has been on ice.
But now, Benny Andersson and his son Ludvig new company RMV Movie has bought the rights of Filmlance and the film gets off.

Ludvig Andersson read "Circlen" two years ago and was charmed.
And when he learned that the film plans stalled, he called his dad.

- I was in an airport when Ludvig called and asked if I had read the "Circlen".
I had just walked past a bookstore where it stood in the window, so I bought and read it, says Benny Andersson.

Then they contacted Filmlance and reached an agreement to take over the project. Plans to start a film company was arouse after Benny was involved in "Mamma Mia!" and got interested into films. So far, "Circle" is the only planned  film, but the idea is that it will be more eventually.
RMV Film has rights to the entire Engelfors trilogy but whether all the parts to be filmed is not yet decided.

Why is your first film a youth novel about witches?
- Why not? What else would it be? I think it's fantastic that it's about young women and their efforts to solve problems together, it's interesting. And good that it is not about five guys, says Benny Andersson.

How will the film financed?
- We have a great advantage. We do not need to chase money as hard as normally.
If only we get a script we can honk and go on

What is the budget?
- A little higher than a normal Swedish film.
But not much higher, says Benny Andersson.

The director Levan Akin has the ambition to make a film that is different from others in the genre, which has its own expression.

- With this story, we need not imitate others.
We can find an original tone, says Levan Akin.

So what kind of movie is it?
- Even if you take away the magical aspects of the story, there is still a story about what it's like to be young, to live in different family relationships, about relationships and about being a teenager.
It's very fine and true stories, and we want to make a film that portrays it, says Ludvig Andersson.

- There will not be much  "tits and ass", I can promise you, laughs Benny Andersson.

The seasoned producer Cecilia Norman Mardell will manage the daily work of the producer, but Ludvig and Benny Andersson will very much be tangibly involved in the film.

- We are not interested in just stand for money, we want to be involved and believe that we have the knowledge that will give joy, says Ludvig Andersson.

- The trouble with the film industry is all waiting, all no. It can be broken down by it. So Benny and Ludvig  have this huge enthusiasm and that we all can be excited in full is amazing, says Sara Bergmark Elfgren.
In the photo: Benny Andersson, director Levan Akin, Ludvig Andersson, producer Cecilia Norman och authors Sara Bergmark Elfgren and Mats Strandberg.
Benny and Björn have written the song WE WRITE THE STORY with reworking done by Avicii. It is the opening anthem for the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö on May 18.
- We got a nice presentation by Martin Österdahl and Christer Björkman on SVT's vision of the ESC, which led to the mission, in collaboration with Avicii write a piece about consensus and community. Very fun and inspiring, say Benny and Björn.
It is still a secret what way the song will be performed.  The song will not be performed before the contest. ESC producer Martin Österdahl describes the piece as very beautiful and will give joy to many people. He says it will not sound like ABBA 2013.
SVT wanted to put together the streghts of ABBA, with whom  the Swedish music´s word conquering began 40 years ago,  with today´s with something that is on top today.
In the photo: Björn Ulvaeus, Christer Björkman from Swedish TV, Ash (Avicii´s producer), Benny Andersson and Martin Österdahl (producer for ESC)
Expressen has a long interview with Thomas Johansson. He tells that when ABBA was in the USA for the first time, someone phoned him and asked  them to visit Groucho Marx in a hospital. Marx was ill and  wanted to have folk around himeself. Frida liked the idea, so they went there,  Frida, Thomas Johansson and Freddie Marc
 HJÄLP SÖKESThe manuscipt of HJÄLP SÖKES is now available on book form at box office of Orionteatern.  APRIL 11: MM! IN HELSINKIBjörn said in Helsinki today that Svenska Teatern will stage MAMMA MIA! in September 2014! B&B are very happy how  KRISTINA  turned out at Svenska Teatern and want to continue collobration. Svenska Teatern says that negotiations are still going on, contract has not yet been signed. Björn has seen KRISTINA on Wednesday. He will attend the last performance in May. 
Finnish radio aired last week an interview with Maria Ylipää made during an afternoon before KRISTINA performance. Maria tells that she visited Stockholm three times during autumn 2011 to work and rehearse with Benny.  
Funny and interesting video with backstage material of KRISTINA at Svenska Teatern, for ex long part of MIN ASTRAKAN, clips from rehearsals. Glenn Daniel Nilsson sings the song of Pastor Jackson for Ulrika that was cut from the production.  It looks like the ensemble has a lot of fun together.
Svenska Teatern writes on their Facebook page that it will be closed after KRISTINA finishes it´s run. They don´t say will they close the www.kristina.fi webpage. Propably not, as if the Finnish version will be done, the domain name can be used for it. But just in case, one better save quite soon pics etc from the site in case it is closed or in time replaced with info of the Finnish staging.
Here you can listen to live recordings done at Svenska Teatern:
Glenn Daniel Nilsson: VILDGRÄS
Maria Ylipää & Glenn Daniel Nilsson: HÄR HAR DU MIG IGEN
Glenn Daniel Nilsson: STANNA




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