Good morning, Madam President - Góðan daginn, frú forseti
Icelandic Opera-Drama in III acts with a Prologue and Epilogue
Original opera dedicated to the First Woman President in the World - Madam Vigdís Finnbogadóttir.
Music and libretto: Alexandra Chernyshova
Poetry: Sigurður Ingólfsson, Hannes Hafstein, Ásta Björk Sveinbjörnsdóttir, Alexandra Chernyshova, Þórhallur Barðason, and Elísabet Þorgeirsdóttir.
The opera “The Poet and the Bishop’s daughter” was performed in Hvalfjörður & Reykjavik (Iceland), Moscow (Russia), Kyiv (Ukraine) & Tokyo (Japan)
"Good morning, Madam President"
"Góðan daginn, frú forseti"
Opera drama in III acts with a Prologue and Epilogue
Music & libretto by : Alexandra Chernyshova
Year of creation : 2021
Years of working on the opera :
Story and libretto, 7 years
Music and orchestration, 7 years
Opera written for the symphony orchestra, 12 solo singers, men choir, women choir. Concert premiere of this opera with 22 musicians orchestra was held on the 23rd of October 2021 in Iceland, sang and played in Icelandic language (original)
Alexandra Chernyshova | lyric/coloratura soprano |
Þórvaldur Jakobsson, Vigdís's grand father
Jóhann Smári Sævarsson | bass-bariton |
Magnús Magnússon, friend of Vigdís
Gissur Páll Gissurarson | tenor |
Finnbogi Rútur , Father of Vigdís
Viðar Gunnarsson | bass |
Sigríður Eiríksdóttir, Mother of Vigdís
Gerður Bolladóttir | soprano |
Guðmundur Karl Eiríksson | bariton |
Ingibjörg Aldís Ólafsdóttir | soprano |
Hanna Dora Gudbransdottir | soprano |
Íris Sveinsdóttir | soprano |
Ingveldur Ýr Jónsdóttir | mezzo-soprano |
Elsa Waage | alto |
French girl & Icelandic nurse
Linda Pálína Sigurðardóttir | soprano |
Icelandic men in Parliament
Grafarvogs Men´s choir, conductor Íris Erlingsdóttir
French girls & Icelandic women
Suðurnes Women´s choir, conductor Dagný Jónsdóttir.
2021 - Alexandra is a prize winner of First International Clara Schumann Online Music Competition, performing aria "Móðurást"/Mother´s Love" from "Good morning, Madam President"
The Opera "Good morning, Madam President" is built on true & historical sources of life and work of a remarkable Icelandic woman - Madam Vigdís Finnbogadóttir who was democratically elected President of Iceland in 1980 and became the first Woman President in the World. A three act Opera with a Prologue and Epilogue were dedicated to this outstanding XX century woman. As the fourth president of Iceland for 16 years, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir made great contribution in promoting Icelandic culture around the world. She emphasised the importance of caring for Iceland´s environment, children and also for Iceland´s cultural heritage. She is the namesake for the University of Iceland´s Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages and serves as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Languages. Madam Vigdís works alongside other world leaders in the Club de Madrid, the largest forum of democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers, and the Council of Women World Leaders.
She was born in Reykjavík, Iceland on April 15th, 1930 in to a University professor and chairman of Nurse Association. When Vigdís was just fourteen years old Iceland became independent country in 1944, 17th of June . As a child she dreamt about all these adventurous countries which she read about in books. After her graduation from High school she studied in University of Grenoble and Paris and then eventually at University of Iceland and University of Copenhagen respectively. She was a French teacher before she became a Theatre director in Reykjavík, consequently becoming recognised by many Icelanders who watched her on television. In 1977 Vigdís became the first single parent to adopt a child in Iceland and that day when she held for the first time in her arms her adopted daughter Ástríður, was the happiest day of her life! Many events had happen in life of Madam Vigdís Finnbogadóttir which lead her to the Presidency of Iceland. Listen to the opera "Good morning, Madam President"(Icelandic: Góðan daginn, frú forseti) and you will be inspired by this remarkable woman, the first Woman President in the World.
"Life is tough, but I am tougher" - Vigdís Finnbogadóttir once said. And so let us take lessons from her life.
Libretto | "Good morning, Madam President" by Alexandra Chernyshova
Prologue -In the middle of the stage we see five women activists: Laufey, Svava, Jóhanna Auður Eir, Elísabet and young Vigdís, from the past and present and into the future. Five women activists, men and women are singing all together. On the stage behind Vigdís are three large clocks that show time in Iceland, Paris and New York. Everyone is singing that everything is possible if women and me stand together in the whole world. In the middle of the Prologue everything and everyone freezes and then young Vigdís sings arietta "What´s going on here? "( Icelandic: Hvað er að gerast?" ) And her famous phrase is there - " Life is tough, but I am tougher". If one woman can do it, you can do it too! Then chorus continues into the message of the opera.
Scene 1:Beautiful morning in Iceland. Vigdís talking to her grandfather Þorvaldur just before her confirmation. They sing duet together and Vigdís is asking her grandfather where she is going. Her grandfather tell her that she should follow her heart with pure singing and never show any doubt. At the end of the duet Þorvaldur gives her a book that became one of Vigdís´ favourite books. Then comes the rain, Vigdís parents together with her and and little brother, Bói are fetching Þorvaldur and Vigdís to go to Þingvellir because it is a big day for all Icelanders - June 17th, 1944 - Iceland became Independent country. All happy and proud people voices merging into one choir " We are free" (Icelandic: Við erum frjáls) and Icelandic flag is hoisted at Þingvellir. Everyone is wet but great full to see their dreams come true: "Finally we decide for ourselves! We are Independent nation!"
Scene 2: Vigdís is in France studying French at Grenoble University. She really enjoys the people and life in France, even though she is little homesick. Vigdís decides to take a train to Paris. She follow in love with the city. On the train , girls are singing for her "Welcome to Adventurous Paris". By that time boyfriend of Vigdís - Ragnar comes to visit her in Paris, cause he misses her so much. Ragnar sings aria " Dream "( Icelandic: Draumur ) and tells Vigdís how much he loves her. Young people are very happy and in love at this moment. But happiness was not meant to be, as Vigdís receives a letter from her mother telling that her younger brother is dead.Great sorrow moves over Vigdís life.
Scene 1: Vigdís is a married woman . She is based in Sweden and is married to doctor Ragnar. They are listening to music on the radio "If you fly me to the moon", dancing and having a cozy evening. On the stage we see a big Chess table. Vigdís has white chess players and Ragnar has black chess. They are playing chess with giant chess players. This is very difficult as being married to each other and this is the end of it. Ragnar leaves and Vigdís is very lonely. She writes a letter to her parents to tell them about the divorce. Vigdís comes to Iceland. Now chess table is being turned into a French TV show. Vigdís goes again and again in her mind to Paris in the aria "Autumn" ( French: L´automne). During the teaching, she meets Magnús Magnússon, a television reporter.They become friends. Vigdís and Magnús sing a duet together that shows how much they love Iceland, but in different ways.
Scene 2: The phone rings, it is call from the adoption service and the voice of the nurse announced that Vigdís received permission to adopt a child - a girl. Vigdís is very happy. She is in the hospital, sitting in the chair and waiting for the nurse to bring a child. When Vigdís holds for the first time her adopted daughter she cannot believe her happiness, her dream to become a mother came true. Vigdís sings aria "Mothers Love"( Icelandic: Móðurást) . Her parents also come to see Vigdís´girl and her friend Magnús Magnússon becomes Ástríður godfather. They sing the quartet "Congratulations, Vigdís! "( Icelandic: Til hamingju Vigdís!) Vigdís recently got new job as a director of the theatre IÐNÓ and she in a harry walking by the streets of Reykjavík center to make it in time with baby carriage at her new work place.When she came to her job ,everyone was very surprise to see their director with a baby, but what a beautiful baby girl. Of course, the rehearsal were stopped and all the attention went to Vigdís daughter - Ástríður. At the end of the scene actors are singing choir "Theatre! Theatre! Our life is a theater! "(Icelandic: Leikhús! Leikhús! Lif okkar er leikhús) .
Scene 1: Women's Day Off (Icelandic: Kvennafrídagurinn) October 24th, 1975. Many thousands of women are gathering at Austurvellir, center of Reykjavík. It is very crowded and you have feel a revolutionary spirit in the air. The choir "Go girls"( Icelandic: Áfram stelpur!) is calling for changes and tell us that time has come for a female president in Iceland. Times flies and now we are in 1980. Five women activists" Auður EIr, Laufey, Svava, Jóhanna and ELísabet and women from the Red Socks movement are deciding to write a letter to Morgunblaðið and challenge Vigdís theatre director to run in the presidential election. Elísabet sings aria about life and work of women in Iceland " As soon as I pick up the worms from the cod" and the poetry went to the article of the newspaper and lately made strong impact on all readers. Telephone starts ringing and many men and women challenge Vigdís to run for the office of President of Iceland. At the end of this dramatic scene women activists are singing "I love you storm", the struggle of women in Iceland reaches its peak. It is time for change!
Scene 2:June 30th, 1980. The election campaign is over and Vigdís is the president of Iceland - the first female president in the world. This morning Icelanders gathereda in Aragata 2 - Vigdís home, and she hears the choir sings Good morning, Madam President (Icelandic: Góðan daginn, frú forseti) Vigdís appears on the balcony. Her gratitude has no boundaries, then comes Vigdís arietta "My good lands" ( Icelandic: Góðir landar mínir) At the end of the arietta Vigdís receives flower bouquet and her daughter Ástríður is hugging her.
Scene 3: Hospital for elderly people in Reykjavik. Sigríður - Vigdís´mother listens to the news on the radio. Journalists from all over the world talking about the first female president in Iceland. Vigdís comes with her daughter Ástríður to visit her mother, she sits by her bed and tells that she has become president and succeeded. Her mother has always been VIgdís role model. Mother and daughter are singing beautiful duet "Yes, here...Please, sit with me child"( Icelandic: Ja, hernia....Séstu hér hjá mér")
Scene 4: Vigdís is in Alþingi. There are only men and just one woman in Alþingi and now Vigdís. She is wearing beautiful Icelandic national costume. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir has been inaguared to the President of Iceland and became first Woman President in the World. The mens choir and Vigdís are singing together "Icelandic verses "(Icelandic: Íslandsvísur ) Iceland is celebrating a great victory in the history of women rights and human rights.
Epilogue - In the middle of the stage we see Vigdís FInnbogadóttir with a shovel and planting three small birch trees. One tree for the boys, another tree for the girls and a third tree for unborn children. In the final scene, people come together and sing together the choir " Forget -me-not an Icelandic nation" (Icelandic: Gleym mér ei íslenska þjóð) .
Icelanders must not forget the all those years of fighting and struggle of women for equality and must not forget Vigdís, who is a role model for many women in Iceland and around the world.