Edvard Grieg (photographer unknown)
This is the name of the heroine in Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt (1876).
The first time the Female discovered the name, she was barely 17. The Youth Theater Society, a sponsor of the Lucerne Theater, was offering unsold tickets to teens for a fraction of their ordinary price, and my female was addicted to music, ballet, and spoken words. While an apprentice in photography, which in those times was still considered a serious craft, she sought solace in the theatrical arts.
At least once a week, at four o’clock in the afternoon, she stood by at the theater’s ticket counter, hoping to secure for herself a two-bucks seat for whatever was available: Shakespeare; Ionesco; Beckett, the “maestro of failure;”—you name it. One of the first plays for which she was able to grab a ticket, was Peer Gynt. A fascinating story of an insecure dreamer traveling the World, leaving behind a fate woman, to find her again at the end of his existence.
Henrik Ibsen (photographer unknown)
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) wrote his five-act allegorical drama in 1867 while living in Italy. It tells the story of the downfall and subsequent redemption of a Norwegian peasant anti-hero; lazy, indulgent, and impetuous. In 1874, Ibsen asked Edvard Grieg, whom he had met years earlier in Italy, to compose the music for the play. Grieg struggled to lend sound to the difficult words, yet finally the oeuvre was completed and premiered, conducted by Grieg on February 24, 1876 in Kristiania (now Oslo). Grieg’s melodies accentuated the Norwegian mood of the play, becoming some of the most popular tunes ever.
Grieg’s Peer Gynt compositions
Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 and Peer Gynt Suite No. 2, Op. 55 still take my female into a lovely world of sunrise, birdsongs, death, seduction, mystique, and the beautiful sad sound of Solveig’s Song, a piece she likes to dance to in a modern interpretation performed by the group Panta Rhei.
Solveig comes to Ithaca
Rigi & the Wolfman – Photograph © 1983 by Mignon Naegeli
When pregnant with their second child, Unnur and her husband returned to Reykjavik for a fortnight to give birth to her daughter. The Female picked them up at Syracuse Airport and met seven-day-old Solveig, gently tucked in a wicker basket.
Another Solveig was born: Adriana Solveig. A beautiful Frischling human, the one I can’t wait for to sniff her delicious smell, hear her delightful sounds, see her first glimpse when she captures my wimpy self and bursts into a smile.
These Words of Basquiat are dedicated to Adriana Solveig
Photograph © 2016 by Mignon Naegeli